As a customer, I’ve always been able to appreciate the need for digitisation of commerce and payments and so I took the opportunities to build early e-commerce (Sifymall), mobile payment (mChek) and wealth management (Paytm Money) platforms in India. I’m glad to have been part of efforts to build disruptive products for the Indian market.
After a career in a mix of startups and global tech companies like Amazon and Paytm, I noticed that I’ve always enjoyed working at growth-phase startups more than at established companies, given the business impact one can create with smaller teams. So when I saw an opportunity to join Carousell in July and build up a solid engineering team in Bangalore to build products/platforms for the Southeast Asian market, I took the chance. Southeast Asia has produced several unicorns and tech disruptors in recent years, and while startups raised less money this year globally, the drop was less than India’s. It has great potential for further growth compared to the matured Indian landscape, so it is exciting to be a part of this new wave and help accelerate this growth.
Added to this is my belief in Carousell’s mission to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying to make more possible for one another, on a global scale. We are building a platform that is driving the circular economy, and hopefully one day, be a market leader in that area. The Ads team has built internal ad features that has supported local businesses and SMEs to digitalise their businesses and find selling success online. Seeing the tangible impact that our engineering work has made on our users makes the work meaningful.
My vision for the India Development Centre (INDC) team to build Ads and Trust platforms that can be used across Carousell’s group of companies in all markets. We are building a high-performance Tech team that will be empowered to plan, design and build the right products for the domains we own, while collaborating with global teams to contribute to overall Tech initiatives across all domains. Our Ads team is working on an innovative idea to use Machine Learning to predict user behaviour while browsing to achieve smart delivery of ads. In addition, our Trust team is building a content-moderation engine that uses Machine Learning to detect duplicate images to prevent duplicate content, making it easier for users to search for items in our marketplace.
One of the key hires I’d made was for an engineering manager to build a Platform Trust team that will focus on building products to keep bad actors and bad/inappropriate content out of Carousell’s platform. In the last 1 year, our Ads engineering team has helped build innovative products to double the revenue from external ads. So, I’m also actively hiring to ramp up the CRM & Platform Trust teams to deliver a bigger business impact in 2021.
I’m also passionate about building and mentoring teams. Helping my team members thrive and grow in their careers gives me the utmost satisfaction. Building great products and contributing to business impact are by-products of that. We believe in empowering our engineers to work on their creative ideas to create business impact — the idea to use Machine Learning to predict user browsing behaviour came from one of our engineers. Based on the success of the experiment, he is now working with the rest of the team to productise the same. I look forward to supporting many more creative ideas from my team.