My struggles with the founder

Mar 10, 2022


I joined Slash in the early first half of 2021 as their first non-tech hire. Having worked at a neo-banking fintech before, I thought this one is going to be an easy peasy. Little did I know that creating a UPI app (with competitors like Google Pay) would be no easy task even for an experienced product person like me. The problem statement was simple yet exciting (read: challenging). Make payment apps simple and the payments interoperable. The founders and I were in our 20s so there was also an itch to make payments fun and social (we were so done with the white and blue payment apps with scratch cards (a total dig at the un-named!).


So I embark on this journey with my first goal — create simple and thoughtful user journeys, ship them to the engineering team and simultaneously start building my product team. My first roadblock hit right around the fourth week of my joining. I’ve been an entrepreneur in my past stint with 8 years of experience and wrapping my head around the Gen Z ideas of my founder took me a while. It also took us time to get used to each other’s way of working.

  1. So there was a trifecta here. Since UPI depends on the banks, I had to be a serious adult when talking to the banking staff and then by evening pretend to be a Gen Z to blend into my team’s world and vision (all of them are in their early 20s, some just graduating from college). The shifting of mindset to accommodate the best of both worlds; the seriousness of a payments app and the social elements of fun got exhaustive but I kept going.

  2. At one pivotal moment, I was training my two new PMs, revamping the entire app’s user flows, shipping features to engineering, and coordinating with the bank to get all the 100+ documents that were required to understand the APIs, error codes, etc. Top this up with my COVID illness and you got a perfect Netflix reality show lining up your alleyway.

  3. Eventually, I got used to it and started sharing ideas on how we can embed a meme generator while sending payments (something that previously would have never crossed my mind).

Laman and Rahul have pushed me to my creative limits on some days and the banks have helped me become more resilient. The creatively persuasive product manager that I am today is all set to launch the fastest and most fun app this week to its friends and family.

From having no banking partner to completing 1000+ transactions in a week and we are just getting started 🎉

-Kalyani K