Sustaining hypergrowth with PhonePe: Building a community of women leaders in technology
Organized by PhonePe in association with YourStory, ‘Sustaining Hypergrowth — An insider perspective on leveraging tech to achieve scale at speed’, was an evening of community building and learning with women leaders in technology.
PhonePe in association with YourStory recently hosted a space for women leaders in technology to come together, learn, and build community. From discussing their inspiring journeys to deep-diving into unconscious bias, Conrad’s Mikusu came to life as tech leaders shared their incredible journeys.
“As engineering leaders we get so caught up in the execution and implementation, we tend to lose sight of what growth really means. We must look at growth metrics closely as we might lose sight of that in the daily hustle,” remarked Swati, an Engineering Manager at Uber.
“I’ve not seen many organisations doing a community event like this. These kinds of meet-ups help address the real problems women in tech face,” shares Asifa, VP, Engineering, at Autogrid.
Rahul Chari, CTO, , Pooja Gulrajani, Head of Engineering, PhonePe, and Ramesh Perumalsamy, Head of Engineering, PhonePe, kicked the evening off with a keynote and a talk on PhonePe’s engineering team structure and functioning. This was followed by an interactive discussion where tech leaders across industry verticals discussed their growth journeys, experiences, and shared knowledge.
“At PhonePe, every engineer can build their own curated dashboard to view growth metrics,” said Chari during his keynote.
Building a strong engineering culture
PhonePe has been fostering shared attitudes towards problem-solving, collaboration, innovation, and continuous learning for quite some time. A healthy engineering culture encourages experimentation, risk-taking, and thinking outside the box. It nurtures an atmosphere where engineers feel empowered to propose and implement innovative ideas, leading to technological advancements and competitive advantage.
“When we invest in building our systems, we approach it with the idea of whether it is creating or adding IP in the company. We classify our technology into three buckets of IP - Infrastructure, Core Platform, and Data Intelligence systems,” Chari said.
From a data intelligence perspective, which is their core to sustaining hypergrowth, Chari spoke about the classification of PhonePe’s capabilities into three major aspects - Knowledge Stores, which hold derived/computed intelligence are the foundation; Growth Engineering capabilities that allow other systems and services to take advantage of this intelligence; and Machine Learning platforms that help in closing the loop of continuous improvement of existing models.
Technical cornerstone of the PhonePe App
Gulrajani explained how PhonePe prevents users from starting transactions if their bank is not having a high success rate for the last few minutes
The four technical cornerstones of the app on which she and her team spend a lot of time are:
01. Reliability: High reliability of successful payments on the app
02. Speed: Less than three seconds for the confirmation screen to appear
03.Security: Users trust PhonePe with their money
04. Scale: High volume of transactions showcasing exponential growth
“Our key focus continues to be looking at every process. There are many downtimes we see from outside partners. How we react and automate our reaction continues to be a very big focus area. A lot of our time goes towards understanding how we reacted to something in a minute and how we can reduce that to 30 seconds the next time.
“A consistent view combined with culture and a continuous focus on how we can be better every day is our strategy at payments,” Gulrajani said.
Tackling complexities from a domain perspective
Be it a P2P transaction, a recharge, a bill payment, buying insurance, or any other BFSI use-cases , a lot of these leverage the strength of the payments platform at PhonePe. But the nuances of every use-case are different and require drastically different technological solutions - for example, recharging your mobile vs buying insurance.
Perumalsamy talked about two classes of customers. Some don't want to be bothered and look for digital-only options while others want the decision to be with them, but also need the support and guidance a customer support team can offer.
“Our mission is to simplify product flow for the customer as much as possible via technology, thus helping us reinvent even complex domains such as insurance or investments. We need to be able to find the right balance between how to provide true assistance without making it look like a sales gimmick,” he said.
Afterwards, participants engaged in insightful conversations regarding the effective management of hypergrowth charters, sharing their personal experiences as women in the technology industry, and discovering the common thread that unites them all — their passion for technology.
“Getting to know wonderful women who have had similar experiences and journeys like me is an incredible feeling. Most of my mentors have been male so to see female mentors is refreshing,” shared Nithyashree, Engineering Manager,.