Humans of Tech - Latif Naji
Who am I?
I’m Latif Nanji, co-founder and CEO at Roadmunk.
I grew up in Vancouver, spent some time in Calgary, then ventured to the University of Waterloo. Currently, I live in Queen West, Toronto.
People who know me would describe me as curious (I read as much as I can—mostly nonfiction), energetic (I climb stuff. For fun!) and passionate about everything I do (I’ll get into Roadmunk in a little bit). But the thing I value the most is emotional intelligence. I think people who can weather storms and go through tense, high-stakes situations with a cool head are absolute diamonds.
What is your motivation/ drive behind Roadmunk and leading this team?
Roadmunk was born out of a problem I had while working on a project with my co-founder Tomas Benda. We realized we didn’t have what we needed to make strategic roadmaps that are easy to build, share, and align on (fun fact: we actually built the tool externally, then took it to Y Combinator). Through that experience of building roadmapping software, we learned that the market didn’t have the tools Product Managers needed.
Fast forward to where we are today and that motivation has scaled along with our team of 90 people. Culturally, I want to create a place where people can leave a meaningful mark on their life and their work; where they can be motivated to push themselves and grow—for their families and the communities that matter to them.
How do you maintain energy to do everything and recharge?
I think structure and consistency are what power those batteries. I keep a regimented schedule that my team can access via Google calendar. My only rule is that when something health-related is booked, those time slots are unavailable for meetings.
My daily routine involves doing something to get the heart rate going in the middle of the day. My favourites lately are indoor rock climbing, hot yoga, biking or just spending some time at the gym. I really believe that when I take those wellness breaks in the middle of the day, I’m able to subconsciously work through things like business problems.
I’ve also always been an avid practitioner of meditation. It’s tough to stay consistent with it, but it’s a grounding skill I can always tap into when I need it. It’s an amazing tool for controlling emotions and stopping them from running the show.