4 March 2021|Meet the Successful Founder
Shruti Rai is the Chief Growth Officer and a Co-Founder at Novus, the new sustainable banking app making it easy to generate a positive impact from everyday purchases. With extensive experience in mission-driven fintech, Shruti is a purveyor of enabling financial apps for doing good, improving lives, and using her position to steward many more women into finance and tech.
What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own business?
When I was deliberating on making the decision of quitting my full-time job and giving entrepreneurship a go, I tried to speak to a lot of people I looked up to for help and guidance. One piece of advice particularly stuck in my head and that was that if you overthink any decision to do something, you will almost always talk yourself out of it. I saw that happening in so many non-career related decisions too. So my advice to women would be the same. The amount of learning you get out of starting a business of your own is 100 times more than what you would learn as an employee of another company. Take a measured risk so even if you fail, you will gain so many skills along the way.
What are your top tips 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?
The meaning of success is different for every individual. For instance for me personally, being able to spend enough time with my family on a daily basis while building a business is extremely important. And I think most women (especially mothers) would agree with me here. So in order to maximise your success:-
Work on a business opportunity with a big enough revenue opportunity and be hypothesis-driven in your approach to make important product/service decisions.
Build your product/service wearing your customer’s hat. Be obsessively customer-centric in your decision-making process.
Use technology to drive as much of your supply chain as possible.
Hire people who are as passionate about your customers as you- Talk and learn from people who have already taken a similar journey or launched a similar service/product so you can avoid the pitfalls.
Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?
There are quite a few women I have met through my life who have been great role models for different aspects:
My mum, Suman – first and foremost. She did not have the opportunity for a great education or the support to build a successful career, but she completely aced the motherhood job and I aspire to be a mother like her every single day.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – What a woman to have inspired generations of American women and men to drive gender equity without losing her cool – even once. She’s an inspiration when it comes to working with people with opposing views and bringing them to the table for a conversation.
Mother Teresa – Probably because I was born and raised in India and heard so much about her on the news. The impact she made on Indian society was remarkable, to say the least. So if there is anyone to look up to for compassionate leadership, for me, it’s her.
Whitney Wolfe Herd – The CEO of the recently IPO’d Bumble – a great story of the modern woman showing how it’s done! 🙂 The picture of her ringing the bell with her child in her arms will forever be etched in my mind – not a common sight.
Kalpana Chawla – The first woman of Indian origin to go to space with NASA. As a student of science, she was a great inspiration to break any myths around what women can and cannot be good at. For me personally, her story of being one of the few female figures in an extremely male-dominated environment was quite inspiring.
What is your favourite saying/inspirational quote?
This one is from RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) – “I ask no favour for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks.”
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