[100 Emerging Women Leaders] Clinical psychology to gaming: Saumya Singh Rathore of Winzo
As someone who has lived in several small towns in India, Saumya Singh Rathore felt that those hailing from larger cities never understood this segment of the population socially.
Living with people in these towns she realised there simply was no awareness of mental health issues. Behaviours away from the norm were just given judgemental tags, without further investigation.
To better understand these nuances, despite growing up in a family of doctors and engineers, Saumya opted to study clinical psychology, specialising in schizophrenia, much to her own surprise. “I thought I was too sensitive to deal with something like this,” she recalls, in a quiet afterthought.
There was always an underlying desire to create an impact on society, and for Saumya, it involved flying to the UK to study Consumer Psychology. But there was a nagging feeling that she should go back home, a distant calling for an environment that was more challenging than anything she’d experienced before.
Saumya’s story is about a life of hopping across small cities in Uttar Pradesh during her childhood. The daughter of a public servant, moving across places was her idea of normal. It’s also something that stuck with her throughout her life.
What was unique about her return was this: the India she had left behind was different from the burgeoning country she was seeing now. Inspired by the technologies of the West, we too were catching up on transformations. That’s how her whirlwind meet-up with gaming began. “People were connecting to the global grid for the first time, and what are they doing? They’re playing games!”
“I’m not a hardcore gamer,” Saumya says, and it seems ironic on the surface for someone who has established her own gaming platform Winzo. Except that life is all about trying new things and exploring uncharted territories.
When one thinks of games, they generally assume the man-living-in-their-parents-basement tag. And as someone who is fascinated by the nuances of tags, she’s a believer in the space being diverse.
“I don’t think that it’s a male-dominated industry anymore…and I do see a lot of women getting into mainstream gaming companies across a lot of positions. So, I’ll share my journey as well.”
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta