Bangalore, India — Radiating warmth and an optimistic attitude, Vandhana Parkavi Valaguru is a shining star in the Sezzle universe, as our Country Head in India. Drawing on her exemplary talents as a skilled engineer and entrepreneur, she champions the importance of cultivating careers that are both deeply purpose-driven and enriched by surrounding oneself with a diverse and inclusive team.
“There’s more to building a company than just focusing on the bottom line. After all, building a company requires observing everything from a 360° perspective and ensuring every stakeholder’s needs are fulfilled. At Sezzle, this is something we believe in and practice diligently. Our core strength is our people who come from different geographies, diverse backgrounds and each having a unique story to tell. This culture of inclusiveness that we at Sezzle are cultivating is truly the way forward.”
Vandhana graduated from Anna University with First Class Honors in Electronics and Communication Engineering, going on to work on end to end implementation of the Eurail ticketing & pass systems. Following this, she was a Senior Software Engineer at Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, responsible for design, implementation and system testing for off-highway trucks. During this time, she mentored and managed a team of freshers and worked closely with the Germany based team.
In 2016, her entrepreneurial aspirations were realized, when she co-founded Journee, a cloud-based transit platform for transit service providers. Serving as COO, she takes care of operations and financial planning. That same year, she was selected to be part of The Bangalore Management Programme for Women Entrepreneurs at The Indian Institute of Management – one of the top 50 from 1700 applicants. Also in 2016, she was named “Nasscom Technology Explorer (NTE),” a prestigious title awarded to a technologist with very deep technology expertise across a full stack in a specific technology domain. The NTE demonstrates design thinking expertise — an ability to focus on a human-centered design by combining the needs of people and the possibilities of technology: a reflection of Vandhana’s purpose-driven approach inherent in her work.
Who or what inspires you?
People. Learning about people from different walks of life and their stories.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received and/or favorite advice to give?
I am blessed to have wonderful mentors around me. One of the best pieces of advice I have received is that “we should learn to be soft like a flower, as well as strong like a diamond when the situation demands.”
What was a pivotal moment in your life that had a major impact on you?
It was the moment when I unearthed the entrepreneur inside me. I learned to look at this universe from a 360 degree perspective. That’s the moment I realised there is no problem without a solution. At times in your life, you may think you’ve hit the dead end. But always remember that there’s no problem without a solution, and when shortcuts and quick fixes don’t work, don’t shy away from hard work – because it’s the hard work that has consistently yielded results.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I am more of an artistic person. I love designing apparel & drawing.
Any fun facts about you and your journey that you’d like to share?
My mom is a tailor. To support her in business, I started making dresses from the age of 13.
What is your favorite thing about working at Sezzle?
The culture we are building at Sezzle is amazing. A financial company with a purpose is very rare. I love that.