Employee Spotlight: Ayush Singh
In conversation with our AVP, Engineering
How often do your paths cross with people who can assertively share that they are what they dreamt of growing up to be? Most of the time, circumstances change over the course of one’s life, and so do people and their aspirations. Today, we bring you an exception.
In this edition of our employee spotlights, meet Ayush Singh who took a keen interest in coding at a very young age. While he was in the fourth grade, he enjoyed working with a very funny and simple language called Logo and later on with BASIC (Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). Although the computing world has evolved a lot since then, these languages were his starting point in pursuing the path to become a computer engineer.
Ayush spent his growing up years in Bhagalpur, Bihar and completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Anna University, Chennai. Despite coming from a family of two generations of doctors (both his parents and grandparents are doctors) he chose to follow his passion for coding and currently works as Assistant Vice President (AVP), Engineering at Niyo. He has two furry buddies. You can see one of them — Veera, in the picture below.
“The work environment at Niyo is challenging, that’s something I like. At the same time, I find it relaxing as well in some aspects. People are willing to work whenever they’re needed. When I see younger engineers learn something good and deliver it in the right way, it’s inspiring. Because then I know they’ve become better at their job and that’s just the beginning of an accomplishing journey for them.”
Q: What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
A: I’m very happy with my work. I chose engineering as a profession because I like it and not because everyone at my age at that time was becoming an engineer.
Q: What has been your career path before joining Niyo?
A: After graduation, I joined a fintech company called Indus Valley Partners. After working there for a year, I joined Oracle in supply-chain management and worked there for about 5 years.
In December 2015, I joined Goalwise as CTO. Ankur, one of the co-founders, is my childhood friend and he had an idea of starting this company with his friends Swapnil and Savitri. They were looking for people to join them and make Goalwise bigger. I came to know about it, we tried it out for a couple of months, and it just clicked.
When Goalwise was acquired by Niyo, IDFC was on the plate and we were asked to create the wealth SDK (software development kit), which is currently being used in NiyoX-Equitas in one form or the other. The development time span was very short — there were no designs or product flows, the team was non-existent, and everything had to be completed within 3 months, which was quite challenging. Those were quite tough times with lots of work. Everyone in the Product, Design, and Tech Teams worked all days of the week and generally spent 16 hours working in a day for 3 months straight. Once done, it was a smooth transition. It was created in such a way that the same SDK could be used in NiyoX and elsewhere too in the future, unless there are major technical or design changes.
Q: How did you get your job at Niyo?
A: Niyo acquired Goalwise in 2020 and that’s how my journey started here.
Q: What entails your typical workday?
A: My day includes meetings with everyone, discussing what’s pending and needs to be done on a particular day, and motivating the team. At the end of the day, I spend time doing whatever I was supposed to do, including coding.
Q: Are there any specific traditions/habits/culture quirks in your team?
A: Before the pandemic, we used to meet to celebrate birthdays and milestones. Now, we have our moments and to celebrate them, the teams engage in virtual escape rooms, tambola, etc.
Q: Are things different now that we’re all WFH?
A: It has its pros and cons. On the pro side, I also get to WFH, so I can spend a lot of time with my dogs. On the downside, now the boundaries of the day end are not very clear. I’m not really sure when the day starts and when it ends. I have to be very conscious about it now. Because, since WFH, all I need is the laptop and the day just goes on.
Q: What has been your favourite project so far at Niyo? Why?
A: MF Core (mutual funds as a platform service) was a great project. Rebalancing was another groundbreaking project. When we released it in the market, there was no such product available in the market. Even 5–6 years after its release there’s still no such product.
Q: What do you like about working at Niyo?
A: The work environment at Niyo is challenging, that’s something I like. At the same time, I find it relaxing as well in some aspects. People are willing to work whenever they’re needed.
Q: How has your career grown since starting at Niyo?
A: Since there are multiple teams now there’s a lot more managing that needs to be done.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A: Anything that’s worth having, doesn’t come easy. It’s true for everything.
Q: What is the most inspiring part of your job?
A: A good delivery — when I see younger engineers learn something good and deliver it in the right way, it’s inspiring. Because then I know they’ve become better at their job and that’s just the beginning of an accomplishing journey for them.
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I am what I wanted to be when I grew up. One month into learning coding in grade four, I had made up my mind that I want to pursue a career in engineering. My parents wanted me to become a doctor but they never objected to my decision. I cleared both engineering and medical entrance exams but never told them about it. It was two years after my engineering that I told about clearing the AIIMS entrance — you can imagine the rest!
Q: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
A: I like strong black coffee. I tried filter coffee while I was in Chennai and started growing fond of coffee. Later, my preferences evolved and off-late there’s a place called Third Wave, that’s become my go-to place for coffee.
Q: How do you unwind from work?
A: I like to play with my dogs and since we are WFH, I get to spend more time with them. I also enjoy playing board games and PS4. I like to occasionally catch up on some non-technical reading, mostly short stories.