[100 Emerging Women Leaders] How Tarusha Mittal stormed into the blockchain club
The entrepreneurial bug bit Tarusha Mittal very early on. She co-founded multiple tech ventures such as Cloudrino, a cloud management and infra platform, and Soul Machine Innovations, an artificial intelligence-driven customer and brand managing software.
For a young woman who had absolutely no background in tech, she’s come a long way. Tarusha, who has been in the tech space for the last decade, is today one of the brightest brains in blockchain.
The tech entrepreneur’s curiosity in the field of blockchain and crypto piqued during her stint as a co-founder in the previous ventures, with data centre and cloud business on the backburner.
“In 2013, we were already assembling mining rigs for crypto, and since we had stopped scaling Cloudrino, we launched an Ethereum exchange named ethx.co. It was one of the first Ethereum exchanges in India, and we were also trying to go global,” she says.
However, in 2018, the Reserve Bank of India, in an almost overnight move, banned Indian banks from supporting crypto transactions, which effectively signalled the start of the bearish 'crypto winter' where blockchain and crypto startups found it difficult to move forward.
The setback left Tarusha with two choices—either move operations abroad or shut down. The former was challenging as the startup did not have sufficient funds to scale up. However, as the founders started to bring ethx.co to a halt, they quickly knuckled down to another opportunity of building a fintech app that recorded transactions on the blockchain.
This led to the conceptualisation of Oropocket, a startup that allows users to diversify their portfolios beyond traditional assets by investing in multiple digital assets such as digital gold and silver. It also makes revenue from two other products, OpenDefi and UniFarm, which come under the larger OroPocket umbrella.
“I am a self-taught techie. I have learnt everything on the go and credit myself a lot for this. A lot of people used to ask me if this was my husband or father’s business. I brush off all such biases and let my actions speak for themselves,” says Tarusha, who has been a part of several accelerator programmes across the world and has been felicitated by the Indian government, under the Department of Science and Technology.
Born and brought up in Lucknow, Tarusha always had a passion for building something of her own. Before the tech business, she started a lifestyle magazine MishMash back in 2009.
Today, the award-winning techie mentors women entrepreneurs in starting and scaling their business without compromising on their mental health.
What is Tarusha’s advice to women in leadership? “Don’t dissipate your energy on petty things; be a gangster! You can choose two kinds of regrets—regret that you failed or regret that you are not doing anything at all and the ‘what if’ aspect of it. Choose wisely.”
Edited by Teja Lele