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Nurturing Talent: Women Leading the Innovations at Cashfree Payments

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Over the last eight years, Cashfree Payments has spearheaded the development of India’s digital payment ecosystem. Trusted by over 600,000 businesses nationwide and facilitating the processing of over USD 80 Billion annually, Cashfree Payments has pioneered numerous industry-leading products aimed at empowering Indian businesses. On the occasion of International Women’s day, we take a look at how women at Cashfree Payments are leading the innovations.

Product Visionaries with a User-Centric Approach

At the core of Cashfree Payments’ growth and the development of its distinctive product suite is a dynamic collaboration between diverse engineering and product teams, where women play a prominent role. From insightful product managers to adept software development engineers (SDEs), these women actively sculpt cutting-edge solutions, instilling a culture of innovation and inclusivity throughout the organisation. They possess a keen user-centric approach, seamlessly marrying user empathy with technical expertise to ensure that products not only satisfy customer needs but also integrate the latest technological advancements

This collaborative spirit extends beyond the individual roles within the teams. The profound synergy between the product and engineering teams creates a strong foundation for the company’s success. As a testament to this synergy, Cashfree Payments’ engineers actively engage with merchant feedback and requirements, maintaining a deep sense of empathy for customers. This proactive involvement allows the teams to swiftly address customer concerns, demonstrating a high level of agility and excellence in product development.

Aditi Olemann, Senior Director – Product Marketing & Strategy,Cashfree Payments shares insights on the commitment to a Customer-Centric Approach “At Cashfree Payments, our customers are at the centre of what we do. Our new product development efforts begin with talking closely to our existing and prospective merchants, and what new challenges we can solve for them. For example, we understood from a lot of our merchants that as they grow, they use more than one Payment Gateway – and managing this in a single place is a key pain point. That is how we built our payment management platform – FlowWise. Anticipating the next big problem merchants face as payments evolve fast, is in the DNA of our company.”

Highlighting the contribution of her women colleagues she says, “We are proud to have a very gender neutral workplace with young women professionals in various functions, including tech, engineering and sales – functions that have traditionally seen less women professionals.”

Building the Backbone: Tech Powerhouses Focused on Scalability and Efficiency

The foundation of Cashfree Payments’ innovative products lies in its robust tech infrastructure, meticulously built and maintained by a talented team of SDEs, many of whom are women. Their expertise extends beyond coding, encompassing areas like automation, scalability, and data management.

Kavya T, SDET-3, Financial Engineering,Cashfree Payments shares her perspective, “We are driven every day to solve complex payment problems for our merchants through our core DNA of engineering excellence. The culture of continuous learning keeps our profession intellectually stimulating. Working closely with them, my primary objective revolves around crafting solutions and products that effectively streamline manual tasks for our finance team, thereby boosting overall productivity. My responsibilities encompass not only automation but also quality assurance, ensuring the implementation of resilient and efficient testing processes.”

The company prioritises developers’ experience, empowering them with the best tools to devise applications. Shubhi Maheshwari, a product manager at Cashfree Payments accounts, “Our strategy for developing developer tools commences with a thorough understanding of integration challenges. In addition to providing intuitive APIs, SDKs, and comprehensive documentation, we consistently develop tools and resources designed to assist developers at every stage of their pre-integration and post-integration journey. Through streamlining processes and enhancing support, we empower developers to accelerate their “time to go-live” and efficiently address any post-integration issues during the “time-to-debug” phase.”

Beyond the Code: Fostering a Culture of Empowerment and Collaboration

Cashfree Payments recognizes that diversity breeds innovation. The company actively promotes initiatives like mentorship programs, workshops, and networking events aimed at empowering women in tech and providing them with the guidance and support they need to thrive in their careers. This fosters a collaborative environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives and skillsets.

The organisation actively encourages diversity in fields like Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), where women’s participation is typically lower at an industry level. Bhargavi Meenavalli, an SDE in Platform Settlements, is forging her career in SDE (software Development Engineer) and aspiring to become a female leader herself. She shares her reflections on this journey at Cashfree Payments, “At Cashfree Payments, I started as an intern in Jan 2022 from NIT-Bhopal, transitioning from an Electronics Engineering background, I learned everything from the basics and work with the Settlements team, handling systems processing around thousands of crores of settlements monthly. The opportunities here are outstanding. I’ve had the chance to build a microservice from scratch, working on both back-end and also front-end, with a growth and learning curve that’s truly exponential. My team feels like family – we work closely, go for outings, and enjoy each other’s company. We’re a 9-person team, and the camaraderie is unmatched. Participating in and winning both internal hackathons has been a highlight, showcasing the supportive and innovative environment at Cashfree Payments. I joined for opportunities, but I’ve found a community where growth, learning, and camaraderie thrive – it’s more than just a workplace, it’s a collective success story.”

A Shared Vision for a Brighter Future

As the fintech leader continues to grow, its women tech leaders and professionals will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the company and the fintech industry as a whole. Their dedication, expertise, collaborative spirit, and commitment to user-centric innovation are paving the way for a more inclusive and future-proof financial landscape.

Summing up, Ramkumar Venkatesan, CTO, Cashfree Payments expressed, “Our engineering culture revolves around innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast dedication to technological prowess. Our engineering team comprises talents in software development, data science, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), quality assurance, and various technical domains, cultivating a tight-knit community that fosters collaboration and embraces diverse perspectives. Diversity brings diverse perspectives and approaches to the table. The more diverse teams we have, the more solutions are better debated and the best solution emerges. Women play a critical role in shaping our innovative solutions, and their unique contributions significantly enhance our product development and company culture. By nurturing an inclusive space where women can thrive, we not only unlock their full potential but also drive sustainable growth for the company and the entire fintech landscape.”

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