The Most Fulfilling Part of My Job Is Watching My People Grow: Shelly Pareek

The Most Fulfilling Part of My Job Is Watching My People Grow: Shelly Pareek

I started my career in 2014 — a very exciting time in the product development space when apps were just beginning to take over the world. I got placed in TaxiForSure while I was in IIM-Indore. I think I fell in love with startups while working at TaxiForSure — I find the speed at which we function and execute so appealing! My journey with startups continued over the years with companies like, Novopay, and now Ninjacart. This is my second stint at Ninjacart and what I love the most about my job is being able to see my work materialise and make an impact. That’s a feeling like no other!

Journey At Ninjacart

“I was the first female employee at Ninjacart.”

Thiru (Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Co-founder of Ninjacart), KK (Kartheeswaran KK, Co-founder of Ninjacart), Vasudevan C (Co-founder of Ninjacart) and I were my colleagues back in TaxiForSure. Thiru had an idea for a startup and had begun building his core team. When Ola acquired TaxiForSure, I was looking for other opportunities and around the same time, Thiru got his first round of funding and offered me a role. Thus, I joined Ninjacart in 2015.

In the early days, Ninjacart was more like a group of friends who wanted to disrupt the agri-ecosystem with next-gen ideas. Today, it’s grown into an amazing organization. We’ve definitely come a long way! When we started out, we were a B2C company and I really enjoyed working with numbers, UX, and analytics. I had a lot of fun — my job involved a lot of creative thinking and solving problems from a consumer’s perspective was very exciting.

After six months, Ninjacart decided to pivot to B2B. Since solving for the consumer has always been my calling, I started looking out for opportunities in B2C organizations a few years later. That’s when I worked for and Novopay.

In 2021, I got a call from Thiru to rejoin Ninjacart. He got me so excited about the new products they were working on. The idea of creating something that could make a difference in the lives of so many in our country’s agri ecosystem was irresistible. They were up to creating something path breaking and I just couldn’t say no! So, here I am — continuing my journey at Ninjacart in the reseller platform team. Every day at work is rewarding because I get to develop something that changes the lives of farmers, retailers, traders, importers, and exporters for the good. The fact that I get to do this with a great team is a bonus! 

Being A Leader

“It’s lovely to watch your people grow. It gives me immense joy that I get to make that impact.”

The most exciting and challenging part of my work is mentoring a team. We have so many young minds on our team — the way they think is entirely different. They’re full of fresh ideas and keen to learn. Working with them has been rewarding since I got to make a difference in their lives. 

I used to be an individual contributor but that changed at Novopay. While leading the retail segment there, I got to groom and mentor my team. Being a leader is a process, it demands a lot of patience but it can be rewarding. 

So far, I’ve learned not to take things at face value. I think it’s important to listen to your team and assess the situation before concluding. I really aspire to be an approachable leader. I want to be my team’s go-to person! The managers that I’ve worked with have set that example for me. The way they handled situations and made me feel is something that I aspire to become as a leader. 

Drawing Strength From A Supportive Home 

I come from a very traditional background. I was born and raised in Jaipur and many girls in the region are not allowed to work after graduation. My parents, however, have been extremely supportive. They have always encouraged me to chase my dreams. Home is a fundamental source of my strength and peace. I am lucky to have a supportive husband and mother-in-law too. I get to choose my priorities and I value that freedom so much. 

Aspiring To Inspire

I aspire to be a role model for women. I believe role models can make a huge difference — they inspire and encourage you on so many levels. Growing up, I never had a woman leader that I could look up to. Yes, I had strong working women who inspired me but I didn’t know someone who’d made a breakthrough impact at work. I want to be that for someone, so the kind of leader I become matters a lot to me. 


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