[Awesome Startup Employee] Paytm adds ‘balance’ to Aadhar Agarwal’s life
Aadhar is enjoying every bit of his life at the moment. For him weekdays and weekends merge seamlessly. In his words "har din weekend ki tarah hai and there is no weekend". When you are having so much fun doing what you love and living your dream then weekdays and weekends are just one and the same." While interacting with him you realize why he is our Awesome Starup Employee. Though he has been with Paytm since last August, the passion and drive he exudes seems like he has been there for ever!
Enjoying his mornings, Aadhar's workday begins at noon when he drives to work. If you were to visit his office a surprise awaits you; there is a small table placed on top of his regular work desk! It is because he enjoys being on his feet at all times.
Once he is in the office, he helps himself to his daily dose of energy -- a glass of Glucon D! The next hour or so is crucial as he makes his way through a general round of hellos and chit chat catching up on all the accomplishments of the previous day and the challenges lined up for the day. Then begin the slew of meetings that last until 8 pm, somewhere in the midst of all this is lunch. Post 8 pm, he takes a team call, checks emails, watches videos on youtube and then after a quick walk around the office gets back to work. He usually leaves office around 10:30 pm and drives back home where after a quick bite, he watches TV , goes for a walk and calls it a day around 1 am. Before going to sleep, he enjoys reading some Hindi fiction and Hindi movie scripts. A current author he likes is Chetan Bhagat.
This is not his first step in the startup ecosystem. He has been here before and has tried his hands at a few things. Aaadhar founded a company called 'Chotu'. Chotu provided courier/logistics service to e-commerce companies, and it was at this point in his life that Aadhar met Vijay S.Sharma who was one of the Angels who invested in this enterprise. Aadhar credits Vijay for providing him the mentorship that helped him evolve and gave him a much-needed perspective on his business . Last year, he realized that ‘Chotu’ needed more capital to grow and looking at the market, Aadhar decided to close shop.
A testament to his people skills is his interaction with Vijay, which continued even after his startup folded up. During one such interaction, Vijay asked Aadhar to come and work at Paytm for a few days and see if he liked it there. He did not know much about the organisation or its culture but decided to give it a shot since Vijay had been a great mentor and guide. Aadhar says, “When I reached Paytm office I realised the scale of Vijay's operation. The office was nice and well done with fancy tea and coffee machines and all these perks for employees. Then it struck me that even though he (Vijay) had achieved so much he still pays attention to everything that you share and discuss with him. How can you not admire that? How can someone walk away from that?” Aadhar believes that,
there are just so many days one is going to live and if during the days you are alive if someone trusts you and allows you to chase your dreams, you really cannot ask for more.
That is how Paytm happened to Aadhar and vice versa.
He loves the work culture at Patym. “If my company had scaled and become big I would have liked it to have the structure Paytm has.” Aadhar is proud to work for an organization that "does not base his appraisal on trivial details like the shoes you wear or the time you come in but on strong principles like commitment and passion for delivery." The organisation’s vision is not to make it big in India but to go global and he knows that he is in it for the long haul. "At Paytm, each employee is made to feel like the owner of the company. Paytm is not the investors’ company but the employees’ company. Here you have a chance to make a difference and if you want to improve something around you, you can do so.”
His key learning at Paytm is that trust is crucial. According to him, "If you can build trust with everyone who works for you and with you then that trust will always carry you through everything."
At the young age of 25, Aadhar's insights into life are amazing. When asked as to what or who inspires him, he says, “Of course, Vijay and my family inspire me in a big way, but I find inspiration from can be found from everyone around me. Even your enemy is a source of inspiration.” "For example, an admin supervisor, for the pay he draws, has no reason to do multiple rounds and stay on till closing time. He can choose not to do that but the fact that he is doing that is inspirational. The dedication to work and honesty is inspiring,” he adds.
What is work life balance asks Aadhar? "Monday mornings are so good, they are an awesome start for me. When you do what you like, then the balance is already there. You do not have to work at it. My company is not stopping me from calling my family at 3 pm or stopping me from coming to office after 9 am or stopping me from having my food when my phone is on silent or telling me that I can’t be in the boardroom at 12 am on a Saturday.” This, he says, is liberating.
At Paytm, I'm free, and I have my balance.
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