Freedom Financial Network has been expanding rapidly, and with that expansion we have had a flurry of new hires – including a new president of product and technology, Ravi Keswani.
I was able to sit down with Ravi during his first week in the office to discuss his biggest life lessons, his career path and the piece(s) of technology that he cannot live without. Check out the Q&A session below and connect with Ravi on LinkedIn.
Once again, welcome to the Freedom Family. Can you tell us about your career path before you came to Freedom Financial Network?
I have been part of the Silicon Valley tech scene for more than 20 years. I was most recently at Ten-X, a leader in online real estate transactions. I was CTO there, and managed all product, engineering and infrastructure. Ten-X grew multi-fold during my time there, and we exited successfully through an acquisition in 2017. Prior to Ten-X, I worked at a diverse set of technology and online businesses involved in search, online offers, gaming and mobile. I have truly enjoyed the diversity of experiences over the years.
What inspired you to join Freedom Financial Network?
The mission: the idea of helping everyday Americans strive for a better financial future. As you know, there are many socioeconomic issues in the United States right now, and the products that Freedom offers address those issues head-on. I was impressed with the founders (Brad Stroh and Andrew Housser), their passion to help consumers and the team they have assembled.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
Builder. It’s not shocking, but I love to build great products that provide value and delight to users. I am passionate about building top-notch professional teams and a great culture that can deliver a world-class experience while having fun doing it. Engaged and happy technology teams are 10x on creativity and productivity.
Is there a gadget you couldn’t live without?
I am a technology guy, so I couldn’t live without my phone or my Fitbit. My phone is an extension of my work and my life. It connects me to everything that is important. As for my Fitbit, this device has given me insight into my health and my sleeping habits, and has forced me into a better, healthier me. I feel empowered by the data that it provides. This really does speak to how technology should work for people: provide actionable insights that empower us to improve our everyday lives.
How do you see this industry growing in the next five years?
The scale opportunities in debt relief alone are massive. In addition, the opportunities to expand into areas such as mortgages, credit repair and debt consolidation are huge. We will be able to stitch these products together as a full life cycle of products, providing a lifetime end-to-end product set. Imagine guiding an individual who is financially challenged, getting him or her to a better and better place. This is somewhat unprecedented. Right now, the industry still depends on a lot of manual processes, but as technology such as AI/ML (artificial intelligence and machine learning) and data science mature, the opportunity to bring automation and efficiency to product development will have a huge impact on our ability to make an even bigger difference in our clients’ lives.
In one sentence, can you share your vision of what Freedom Financial Network should achieve in the next five years?
We should be able to attract top talent, innovate and bring high-value products to our clients, and incorporate automation and efficiency through modern technology.