#CandidsAtJar — Meet Aashi
Jar brings you #CandidsAtJar, a series to bring our team members (read : pennies in our Jar) — in the spotlight. We chit-chat with folks from different teams to get a glimpse of what goes behind the scenes at Jar.
This week we got a chance to catch up with Aashi Mirani — Founder’s Office — a very talented , smart and proactive member of the Jar family, who also happens to be the youngest female here. She shares her story of transitioning from a big corporation to a startup, what made her take the plunge and join Jar and her life outside work (psss, she’s a jack of all trades).
What does your role look like, being in the founder’s office?
My work, to be honest, revolves around anything and everything. To mention a few things, I start with taking care of the founders’ entire work schedule — from analyzing and channeling P0s with them to working closely with the leadership team. Helping Jar on strategic and operational activities, bringing a highly focused view on business transformation through a lens of cross functionality and forecasting, focusing on how the work distribution will be done for all of those things, and program managing end-to-end processes and functions.(cutting short the list that goes on and on). That is what the role kind of looks like.
You transitioned from a big corporation to a startup. How did this happen?
So I was in a typical corporate investment banking role, which required a great deal of interaction with external stakeholders, negotiations and a lot of paperwork including people from all around the world. We were a small team of 17 people, in charge of all the wholesale payment across morgan offices globally . It was, without a doubt, an enriching experience which helped me in my growth, and the folks were amazing. The learning was excellent in terms of exposure.
But there was a part of me that wanted to do something of my own, and, in a corporate setting, that kind of learning curve just does not exist. *sighs* When you want to start something of your own, you want to see firsthand how things are shaped up at the ground level and what problems you come across. That was something I wanted to experience. So I decided to take the plunge and dive into the startup industry. And as I was from a financial background, FinTech made a lot of sense.
What made you believe in Jar?
When I joined Jar, the company had just raised the seed round. I believed in it, majorly because of the team we have here at Jar. It isn’t brimming with folks who have 15 to 17 years of experience. It has people who have previously built and sold million-dollar companies or have experience building their own startups. People who are competitive and challenging to work with. The culture is very healthy, transparent and candid, and you get great support at any hour of the day.
Our founders are not specifically from the fintech industry, but come from a wide range of backgrounds and dynamics. And my role places me perfectly in the center of all the leaders and founders, making me a direct point of contact for all of them. *smiles* So I’ve always been put in situations or given opportunities that I would never have had otherwise. And it was that kind of push and learning that drew me in.
Also, I was drawn to Nishchay’s career trajectory, the bigger person he is, my interaction with him, and the clarity he possessed. He was very accepting of the clarity and things that I needed, as well as the fact that I wanted the space where I got paid to learn. That’s the kind of platform he’s given me. He gives you the power and makes you do things early in your career, making you accountable and providing you with opportunities. He will stand by you no matter what happens or what decisions you make. That is the type of dynamic we have.
That’s what I like about being pushed into uncomfortable situations; it forces me to step outside of my comfort zone, which I would never have done otherwise. It is always a game of making mistakes and learning from them. I don’t have extensive experience in all of these areas. But the learning is exceptional, and in terms of exposure, I believe I am getting the best guidance.
How do you feel being the youngest female in the company?
Honestly, I think it makes no difference to me or to the other people in the organization. I am in no way privileged. I believe I’ve worked extremely hard to be in a position where people respect me and recognise the quality of work and professionalism I bring to the table. So age is not a barrier, and being female is not a barrier; there is no distinction. When I walk into the office, I am treated with equal respect; I sit with all the senior male employees, who are double my age, but it is completely comfortable.
Share one experience or incident with your senior that really stands out or is really close to your heart?
Oh, there are a lot of such experiences. *thinks for a while* If I’d have to pick one, it would be when I was only a few months into the organization and we were having a leadership call to discuss something about hiring. The HR asked “What kind of requirements and people do you need?” and one of the leaders said “I just want a person like Aashi. That’s my requirement and fit.” That is what made me feel valued, despite the fact that I don’t work closely in that domain or area. I work closely with Misbah and Nishchay. But people expect someone similar to me to work with them. That means I have done my job well enough for people to acknowledge and appreciate me and my work.
Who is Aashi as a person?
*laughs* People at work seem to think I’m a very serious person — sticking to my work like — “Hi. Hello. This is my work. Bye.” And won’t lie, I really am that kind of person at work. Extremely calm and patient. But in reality, I simply know how to strike a good work — life balance. I’m a completely different person outside of work. I enjoy drawing and painting, as well as spending time learning more about aesthetics and artististic existence. I play basketball, lawn tennis and swim and used to be a national basketball player. I love hitting the gym. That’s where you’ll most likely find me outside of work. Taking two Cult classes is almost a necessity for me — One yoga and one HRX. Aside from that, I’m a total party animal — love to dress up, go out, and chill. I’m a foodie too, so I love to explore new places to eat. I am extremely extroverted — very blunt, and no bullshit kind of person. It’s fun when people say they flip when they see me at work and when they see me outside.
What’s something that we would never guess about you?
I think no one knows that I’m an athletic person. Or that I’m a published author in the International Journal of Research and Technology 2018 insights and study on Progression of the maturity model of the supply chain. People mistake me for a nerd. They have no idea that I’m so athletic that I’ve competed in nationals twice. I was a two-time national champion in hockey and basketball. Apart from this, I was chosen for the Indian base camp.
Her athletic side was definitely news to us! Aashi is a wiz kid, always on the ball. It was a fun chit-chat, with a smile on her face throughout. Stay tuned for the next edition of #CandidsAtJar for more scoop from our crew members!