Vinita Rathi: CEO, Systango, Founder, WomenHackforNonProfit.com & Ex-VP, Goldman Sachs

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m the Founder and CEO of Systango Technologies and Studio Fintech, a 175+ people digital consultancy and Fintech agency headquartered in London,UK.

We are a technology business with a focus on IoT, Smart City, Hospitality, Connected Logistics, and FinTech. We help unlock the next stage of digitalization for traditional businesses by integrating Blockchain workflows in parallel to existing enterprise system. We specialize in building mobile apps, web apps and websites from start to finish. We have done this for some very large companies like Grindr, Dialpad, Target, and Disney.

I have a 8-year-old and 8 months old son. Just the fact that I am able to balance being a mom while running a 175+ person strong software agency is quite an accomplishment for me!

Managing a global IT firm that is growing every day requires me to work 10-12 hours a day at least. It’s not easy but I make sure that I am able to prioritize and spend time with my two boys. Depending on where I am, I generally start my day early, 5ish and finish early about 5ish with rarely any breaks in between. This gives me enough time to spend with my family without compromising with my office hours. I tend to do most interesting things earlier in the day whereas leaving the mundane ones for towards the end of the day. This ensures things that need my attention gets it and I am efficient as well as effective.

How did you get into the industry?

Back in 1996-1997, when we were still using dial-up internet in my hometown (Indore, India), my dad got me a computer and I opened my first email account on yahoo. It really was a privilege, most of my friends had no clue what email services were. I spent endless nights either playing Minesweeper or programming in C. I think this early exposure made me interested in tech and enabled me to pursue engineering in Information Technology afterward. Ever since then I have been a tech and tech gadget lady.

Any emerging industry trends?

User Friendly FinTech Apps! A traditional vertical such as financial services is now being called “FinTech”. Right from 2017 – 2018, we are seeing massive adoption of cutting edge technologies across the industry. From digital payments, money transfers, alternative lending platform, open banking and funding platforms, though the market is still in its infancy. We are yet to see what machine learning algorithms; intelligent bots can do to the massive data set that is lying underneath financial sector. I am quite certain, the technical overhaul of this sector will have an impact on our lives in a way that has not happened before.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

They way people approach a tech startup and technology now. Industry is much matured than ever before.

A lot of companies get into trouble because they base product development on what they hope will be a future demand, and all too often that market demand never materializes. While sometimes the results are inspiring, they can also lead to failure. That’s why it’s critical to be more measured, taking steps and not leaps based on current market demand and how it is likely to change over time. Also Technology advances rapidly and shows up in media on all sides. This means users, managers at all levels, and even competitors pressure IT staff to implement new technology, simply because it is new. The real challenge is deciding which of these new technologies will work to the best interest of advancing the product, and which are better to avoid for now.

I see massive opportunity for agencies like Systango that remains at forefront of all technological innovations and makes sure that our clients are aware of its pros and cons before they decide to embrace it and make an educated decision.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

I hated the way offshore Indian teams worked at Goldman and always thought there is better way to offer the service.I have taken my personal love for the latest tech stack, and I’ve underpinned this with trust, ethics,

and security to build Systango. My desire was to bring transparency and offer reliable technology team with business advisory wrapped. And I figured the best way for me to do that is to setup a Web and Mobile development agency that can work with founders that struggle with the build of their technology product even when they have a fantastic idea just because they lack the technical know how.

My experience at Goldman Sachs has taught me how a big organization can be kept lean and made efficient year on year. This is what I am trying to do with clients we work with and within our own team. We want to be the most cost effective, reliable, the best on the street and transparent technology partners to our clients.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

We never wanted to call ourselves as outsourcing company. Despite of the fact that majority of our 175+ engineers work from India office, we deliver the same value as any other in-house, onshore/near shore companies would provide.

When we started Systango, we decided to stay at the forefront of technology. Every new technology that comes to the market, be it ReactJS back in 2015, React Native in 2016, Blockchain in 2015, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, UI-UX, Flutter, we are one of the first teams that evaluates it and prepares a mind map of how/when, what should be used. We embrace the technology as is but use it for the business to improve its efficiency.

The model that we work with where the account manager is onsite with no charge to client is unique in the industry and we are able to do it at the total cost that’s quite unbeatable at the moment!

Systango is also invested in EdSystango, an education arm of Systango with the vision to bridge the gap between traditional education sector and the skillset that industry requires. It is producing about 10 hands-on, industry ready developer every month.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

It’s the execution not the idea that decides the fate of a technology product. Our clients cherish the technical competency, commitment, passion and love for the product our team has most. Most of the clients that started working with us back in 2012 are still our clients. We have equity in at least 5 of our client companies and to date 4 clients have invested in Systango. The numbers speaks for itself!

How do you motivate others?

What I feel is, these days, if you’re a leader of any type, you can’t simply order people around and expect them to do what you want. They may follow your directions, if you are watching, but once they’re left on their own they’ll go back to doing what they think is important. I make myself regularly available, listening to their ideas is empowering and I try harder to listen for what my people are not saying. I also believe in building the Culture of Trust. I provide the resources they need to do their work exceptionally well. Help them develop new skills. Giving them meaningful new skills or knowledge in other areas that they can use to leverage their natural strengths for future roles which will help them to grow.

Career advice to those in your industry?

One of the upsides, as well as downsides to tech, is, it’s the ever-changing and at an extremely fast pace. Make sure to keep yourself updated. If this is something you enjoy you will love and thrive in the industry. You can do what you have set out to. It’s not as bad it sounds. As long as you are confident, determined, you will sail through. Persist and persevere are two traits you have to keep exhibiting - as much cliché it sounds its true!

What do I do best?

I demonstrate honesty and trust in all my actions to establish credibility as a leader. By having this conviction behind my words and actions, those who I lead are gain bought into the direction I take them. My problem-solving attitude helps me cope up with anything really!

.What makes me the best version of myself?

Don’t count the hours. They don’t matter. Don’t give up. Make it work attitude!

What are my aspirations?

Be one of the best digital consultancies, to become synonym of success.

Personally, be there for my family whenever I am needed the most.

My Biggest Success?

Despite of my insane schedule, I am able to spend quality time with my boys, be there for them!

My Motto?

Why Fit in, When you are born to stand out.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I look up to Sheryl Sandberg for her determination and persistence and her stand for women empowerment.

look forward to the day when half our homes are run by men and half our companies and institutions are run by women. When that happens, it won’t just mean happier women and families; it will mean more successful businesses and better lives for us all.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Iceland and Egypt. I would like to travel to Antarctica and climb Mount Everest soon!

My Current Passions?

Reading, travelling and playing with my 8 month old. Preparing my firm for the next level. Step up!

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

I love Indore because it is a City with a passion for all that is homegrown, sustainable and community-oriented. We are famous for the Food & the Reach Culture that we have. This is where I was born and raised, and no place will ever feel more alive, or more home than here.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Tea-biscuits.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Getting Up & Getting my Son Ready for School

10:00 AM– Checking emails, working on my to-do list for the day

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal? : Lunch Spot: Is My Office & Meal - Home Made Food.

7:00 PM - In Meeting or on Client Call.

11:00 PM – Making my younger one to sleep.

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What Else to Know?

You will find me at:

• MobileWorldCongress (MWC) Barcelona (Regular keynote speaker)
• Blockchain Technology Conference (Regular keynote speaker)
• WomenWhoCode.com London Chapter (Director)
• WomenHackForNonProfit.com (Founder)
• Google Women Techmakers (Lead)• JAX London (Java conference) (Regular keynote speaker)
• JAXenter webinars (Panel speaker)

I’m proud of:

• Being named in the business leaders 40 under 40 list
• Winning Dream Employer of Central India 2018
• Women At Work Leadership Award
• Donating 1% of profit to sponsor the education of underprivileged children. The aim is to not only fund their education but also influence and help children build their career by pairing them with a mentor who can relate with them and follow as a role model.