A Road That Felt Familiar
To tell you a little about myself, I have had a long relationship with farmers and vegetable mandis from a young age because my family has been in the business of selling vegetables for years now. I had been working with some top startups before, but I feel more at home here at Ninjacart because I could learn more about the business, the industry, and gain experience in a field that my family has been in.
Since then, the learnings and experience from working with Ninjacart have helped me improve and scale my family business. I advise my family constantly about making improvements to their business operations. I joined Ninjacart in 2016 as a Senior Executive. It has been 5 years, and today I work in the company as a Farmer Ecosystem Manager.
A Down to Earth Leadership
The Leadership at Ninjacart is committed to the success of the organization. They ensure that all employees are motivated so that they unleash their highest potentials. The one thing that sets our leadership apart from other companies is that if we approach them with a business idea and if it gets approved, they will always ensure that the plan is enforced in full motion. They will also make sure that all teams are aligned and that we get their full support and implementation is done within a day or two. This is a culture that is ingrained in Ninjacart, there is a lot of knowledge sharing and an open door system where an employee can always walk in and present their big ideas.
Due to this, we are confident that if we have to do anything, we need not worry about it being a big process, the leadership makes sure everything falls in place. Leadership encourages every individual to be a go-getter. They trust our abilities and give us ownership and freedom to experiment to get things done. The speed in execution that Ninjacart Leadership exhibits are mind-blowing.
To give a small example, when I was working on a particular project, I was reporting directly to our co-founder, Vasu. One day, he asked me if I would like to lead and have complete ownership of the project and take care of the entire process. Even though I felt I wasn’t qualified and lacked experience, I was honored to take up the lead. I had to start from scratch, and he always guided me throughout, saying that I have the free hand to do the work in my way and style. I was given complete freedom.
“ I have worked with other companies, but the culture here in Ninjacart is completely different from others. If I ask for specific guidance, be it from my manager or the co-founders, they would even go to the extent of coming down to the field to help solve my problems. Be it a farmer’s field or the mandi, they will always be happy to come and teach us how the system works. They are always ready to get their hands dirty so that we learn. Especially, the co-founders coming down to the field as a normal employee is something that I haven’t seen anywhere else.”
The Freedom of Ideas and Experimenting
What I love about Ninjacart is the friendly atmosphere and the ‘Work hard, play hard’ concept. The culture at Ninjacart encourages me to deliver my best in a fast-paced environment.
The freedom to experiment with things at my job is a blessing. The management gives you a free hand to try different strategies, which creates many opportunities for learning and growth. I have seen the same level of freedom being given to my younger colleagues, as well.
In Ninjacart, you can reach any height in your career if you explore your potential to grow. Be it an executive or a laborer working in our facilities, everyone is challenged to do better. The growth at Ninjacart is very quick. No matter the size of a project, if you make it successful, you will be recognized, appreciated, promoted and be given more opportunities to lead. There have been instances where employees were tasked with leading a 50-member team without any prior experience, and they were mentored by the seniors to be better leaders for the future.
“ The company gave me an opportunity to work in the Sourcing team, and start a new initiative called ‘Farmer Festival’ to understand the experience of the farmers working with Ninjacart. We started it at the pan-India level and after every meeting, we offered them lunch and a small gift. I had an idea of giving a complimentary gift, Mammootty (Shovels), and a seed fixer. I pitched this idea to my manager, and he gave me an immediate go-ahead.
After this, I organized a Farmer Health Camp at Bidaraguppe Collection Center. Through this initiative, we increased farmer retention and attracted more farmers to supply to us. This event also helped us understand farmer queries, and establish a great trust with the farmers.”
A Company That Cares
During the Covid-19 breakout, when my family was infected by the virus, the company ensured we had maximum support and took such good care of us, which was very touching.
My wife delivered a baby during the lockdown. Within the next 3 days, my entire family was infected by the virus, including my in-laws. We were scared and confused. We didn’t know how to take care of the baby and were worried about my baby’s safety.
I temporarily rented a flat beside my home to take care of my baby, separate from the infected family members. But, when the apartment community came to know that my family tested Covid-positive, they asked us to vacate the flat. We looked for other places and faced the same issue. Anywhere we went, no one was accepting us. That is when my teammates, managers, and co-founders gave me and my family tremendous support. They would order food for us 3 times a day and would send COVID care kits to my doorstep. They even asked us to move in with them and said they will take care of the baby. I will be eternally thankful to them for this gesture.