Done is better than perfect: Akriti Chopra of Zomato reveals her success mantra

One of the key takeaways for Akriti Chopra, Chief People Officer, Zomato has been the opportunity to be able to work in different roles and discover what actually sparks her inner joy.

Done is better than perfect: Akriti Chopra of Zomato reveals her success mantra

Thursday October 27, 2022,

5 min Read

From a chartered accountant to leading India’s top food tech startup, Akriti Chopra’s journey has been quite an interesting ride. A dedicated Zoman for over a decade, Akriti has held several positions in the top management and is currently the Chief People Officer and Co-founder of the food aggregator.

At the first edition of the ‘No Ceiling Summit 2022’, Akriti engaged in a fireside chat with YourStory’s Founder and CEO Shraddha Sharma, discussing the strength that is required to juggle different roles in an evolving and growing organisation. Powered by Kalaari Capital’s CXXO programme and YourStory, the ‘No Ceiling Summit 2022’ aimed towards creating an empowered community of women entrepreneurs, nurturing emerging talent, and celebrating the efforts and achievements of women changemakers of today.

Having started her career in finance at PwC, Akriti realised early on that it wasn’t her calling. An influential leader, Akriti makes no bones in confessing that it took her multiple attempts to clear the final exam of chartered accountancy. The startup culture which is on an all time boom now, wasn’t such a smooth ride a decade ago and the decision to leave her stable job at PwC to join a food startup was not an easy one.

“It sounded so interesting and exciting to wake up every morning and come to an organisation where you had people who were as motivated as charged and on a similar wavelength,” she says talking about her decision to move to Zomato. Her parents were initially not on board with her, but over the years it is family support and some great mentors who’ve propelled her to stay on her path. “The people in Zomato along with our early investor were very encouraging and provided the mentorship I needed to come into my own and know what I’m good at and where I can add value. It’s about finding that community of people that is rooting for you,” she says.

The Zomato journey

In her decade-long journey at Zomato, what has been most special for Akriti was the opportunity to be able to work in different roles and discover what actually sparks her inner joy. Having started her journey in Operations, she moved to finance and is currently leading the people charter as the Chief People Officer. “There is something that other people are seeing in you so you borrow that faith a little bit and over a period of time develop that confidence of just being comfortable in your skin and accepting who you are, what your strengths are and what your limitations are. I think that process has really been transformational for me,” she adds.

A firm believer in the power of showing up, she says it was her perseverance and resilience that made her overcome moments of self doubt as the company went through its ups and downs over the years. “There have been times where we didn't think we're going to make it as an organisation and at that point of time you're thrown into an existential crisis. But eventually you find the courage to say I'm going to show up and take one day at a time,” she says.

The last decade has been a journey of intense personal discovery for Akriti and she has been successful in identifying tools that help her anchor herself. Journaling her thoughts has been extremely helpful in bringing more clarity and reducing anxiety. Focussing on not just her physical fitness but her emotional and mental health too has paid huge dividends. “I highly recommend getting a therapist [for everybody] it doesn't require you to be dealing with some really severe mental crisis. Therapy has helped me unpack a lot of mysteries of why some of my behaviours have shaped the way that they have,” she shares. Lastly, she adds that having a close inner circle can help you sail through the worst times, and mentions how her husband and close friends have been her pillars of strength in overcoming moments of self-doubt.

Leadership style

Akriti firmly believes that an effective leader needs to know and understand his customer and get to the nerve of what the problem statement is for the customers. In her current role as Chief People Officer, it’s the employees who are her customers, and doing her job effectively entails finding out what her employees are actually good at doing. A people’s leader, for her leadership means working through people and eventually getting them to meet their own personal goals.

Taking a leaf from her own journey, Akriti believes in encouraging her team to experiment and challenge the status quo. Zomato’s internal mobility platform empowers employees to experiment with different roles and find that they actually love doing. “As a practice at zomato we really encourage throwing people into different problem statements encouraging them to form a multi-dimensional viewpoint. I feel people are most effective when they identify what they are good at and find happiness in doing it,” she adds.

With her favourite phrase being ‘done is better than perfect’, Akriti believes in taking action rather than waiting to find the perfect answer.