DEI May. 25, 2023

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month: Meet Rachit Soni

"Inclusion@Climate: Sowing the Seeds of Belonging" is a feature highlighting the diverse backgrounds of our employees and their achievements, passions, and personalities. We hope you enjoy learning about their contributions to our community, and we think you'll agree that the very best elements of our culture are the people.

Our latest entry celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, and this year's theme of “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity”, emphasizes how being a leader can create growth opportunities for yourself and others around you.

Meet Rachit Soni, our Director of Engineering - Data & Analytics. Through celebration, togetherness, and mentorship, Rachit's culture and career experience teach us that life is more fulfilling with a strong support system.

Can you tell us a bit about your role here and what brought you to Climate?

I began my career in the early 2010s working for an electronic medical data company in Kansas City. It had a compelling mission and vision, and I was driven by knowing that what I was doing directly affected patients. Though, like any other engineer, I wanted to be in Silicon Valley, where all the great minds in computer science were. So I moved from Kansas City to San Francisco Bay Area and started working in the internet space. I quickly realized I missed helping people.

Climate was very different from anything I had heard of in Silicon Valley. The opportunity to use my skills to promote sustainability in agriculture, help farmers, and generate more food drew me in.

Is there anything in your upbringing that contributed to your success?

In Indian culture, we love to celebrate life. Whether it's festivals, personal and professional wins, or any other milestones—we'll take it. Growing up, I had a big family who each brought something unique to the table, and many of my friends were my cousins. I loved to spend time with them, and we've continued to get together throughout the years; we're very close-knit.

Today, I carry that spirit of togetherness and celebration to my teams.

What element of your identity are you proud to bring to your role?

My ability to learn and listen to others. Keeping an open mind. The technology landscape changes so rapidly that keeping up with all the different innovations is challenging.

Now that I'm a people manager, I have to keep an open mind and listen intently to my team, stakeholders, peers, and higher management. I love talking to people, having honest conversations, and trying to understand their point of view. My personality is very much like, "Hey, how can I help?" I enjoy open communication and collaboration and helping others shape their path.

What career growth opportunities have you experienced or created for others?

I started [at Climate] as a software engineer and was in that role for about three years. During that time, the organization was looking for someone to manage the team. As a senior lead engineer, I was interested in where the team was going, and I wanted to be involved in building the future roadmap.

When I shared this opportunity with my mentors, they encouraged me to uncover new strengths. Climate cares deeply about career growth and mobility, and my manager allowed me to try out management with the option to return to my previous role. This freedom paved the way for me to manage increasingly larger teams and be responsible for end-to-end data and analytics strategy.

One of my biggest takeaways from that experience was how important it is to talk to the people you admire and ask about their journey. There's just so much you can gather and apply to yourself. Since, I've guided individuals on similar crossroads in their professional journey by sharing the strategies I used to make career choices. My experiences taught me to give my team more decision-making autonomy. Doing so enables them to develop skills and progress in their career.

In what ways have you experienced inclusivity and diversity at Climate?

Climate has many initiatives that allow us to celebrate different cultures, helping bring perspective and understanding (this AANHPI employee feature is a perfect example). We’re a global organization and have a presence in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

It's important we create a workforce representative of the world we serve to be more open to the needs of a global customer base. Greater diversity fosters better decision-making and creativity. It also promotes challenging discussions that ultimately propel everyone forward.

Born and raised in India, a country with a kaleidoscope of cultures, I learned to respect everyone from a young age. This value of embracing differences has followed me throughout my career and how I lead teams.

Diwali celebration at the Climate office

Left: Rachit and his wife celebrating Diwali in 2022. Right: Rachit and his wife and parents celebrating a cousin’s wedding

Left: Rachit and his wife celebrating Holi in 2023. Right: First family summer trip to Alaska, ocean kayaking

We're proud to share Rachit's career growth story and how his Indian culture has positively impacted it. If you're feeling inspired, our diverse, supportive, and fun team is hiring!

We're looking for passionate problem solvers to help us work towards a more sustainable future:

About the Author

Rachit is the Director of Engineering - Data & Analytics at Climate with over ten years of engineering experience working on data. His journey at Climate began in 2017, and he now leads the Data Lakehouse group, responsible for executing data and analytics strategy. Rachit holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Ritika. Outside work, he loves exploring new places and trying different plant-based restaurants. 

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