Rati Shetty, co-founder and CPO of BankBazaar.com, India’s first neutral online marketplace, is adept at balancing both a successful start-up and a family and making it all seem quite effortless. Hear what she has to say about her foray into entrepreneurship and how she manages it all.
In Rati’s Words
I feel that the inclination to be an entrepreneur was always in me, perhaps it was also on account of being born into a family of entrepreneurs. I was always keen on learning and organically gravitated towards it when a good enough opportunity presented itself.
Here I am today, having the wonderfully challenging task of being the Chief Product Officer at a company that I’m proud to say is making an impact and providing much-needed solutions when it comes to financial products.
People often ask me how I manage it all. If there’s one thing that I can state with certainty- it’s that none of this, nothing at all, is done in isolation. I’m proud to say that BankBazaar’s core asset is and always will be its people.
Now, here’s another question that I get a lot. How do I keep the balance? When it comes to finding the perfect balance between managing a successful start-up and taking care of a family, I think one should be involved a 100 percent in everything one does and learn on the job.
When you become a mother, it’s something you haven’t done before. You just start learning on the go! For me, both areas, work and family, consume my attention full time. When I am giving time to either of them, I’m always trying to give it everything I have. I wouldn’t give up either of the two for anything in the world.
The beauty of donning several hats is that each one has something to teach about the other. Like, I learn a lot from my kids about dealing with people, which applies to the work I do and to life in general. All those times when I’m figuring out how to motivate these guys to eat, for example. There is so much to be said about how something like this can give me perspective when dealing with situations at work!
Ultimately, it all comes down to how you manage people, time, and optimise the things you are expected or required to do. You can achieve at least 80 percent of what you need in both areas, and I try to do my best to make that 100 percent.
I actually wake up very early in the morning to carve out some time for myself, taking out the time to exercise and clear my mind. On a typical day, this is followed by the whole process of waking up my kids and getting them to school. I try my best to come back from work early too, though that never happens. For me, it’s about optimising whatever time I have with myself and with my kids.
When it comes to downtime, spending time with my close friends helps me unwind to a great extent. I love watching movies too, which is like alone time within a group of people. I enjoy both experiences in different ways.
Travelling is a great stress buster and I am very fond of exploring new places and new cuisines. I like every kind of place — mountains, beaches or otherwise. My husband, kids and I do travel quite a bit, making sure that we do at least one trip a year, though we haven’t seen much of India yet, which is quite shameful. On second thought, I think I have a soft corner for beaches. If you look at our vacation choices in the past, we’ve done a lot of beaches. One of my fondest memories is of when we went diving in Andaman a few years ago, it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
As for food, I’m a total foodie and love exploring Indian food in particular. I love the traditional South Indian food that you only get here in the South, in small messes and the like. I also love food from Kerala and am a little biased towards Japanese cuisine as well.
And there you have it, folks. A little bit of insight into how the Chief Product Offer at BankBazaar does it all!