Rushika Pattni: Chief of BD & Service Innovation, Ramani
Selecting leaders to work for, learning when to step up and step down, and developing a leadership style as an introvert
About our Guest
This episode’s conversation is with Rushika Pattni based in Tanzania. She was the youngest and first appointed Chief Strategy Officer at the largest payment service provider in Tanzania. She has experience in various sectors spanning from data analytics to academia and research. She began her work as a Consultant with Salesforce Foundation's International Partner, Vera Solutions, where she managed their new projects and implementation support projects for legacy clients. After that, she joined the African Leadership Group in developing and designing curriculum and being part of the founding team to expand their university campus and accelerator program in Rwanda and Kenya. She then moved back to Tanzania, and while at Selcom, she led the fintech partnership with Mastercard and managed the teams for products development and market execution as part of their East Africa launch strategy. She has also had experience in Nepal, the US, the UK and China for different consulting projects in the space of health, technology and education before venturing into payments.
Rushika is currently leading strategy and new projects execution for Ramani as the Chief of Business Development and Service Innovation which is a culmination of her last three positions. At Ramani, she focuses on the execution of their products and services to new markets, identification of large scale partnerships as well as establishing a research and Innovation focus for service innovation within the company. Rushika holds a double B.A. in Economics and Public Health with additional core competencies in leadership training, executive and mid-manager coaching, and data visualization techniques for informed decision making.
Everyday Leadership in Action
Here are a few highlights from the conversation with Rushika:
No matter what sector you enter, there will always be an element of people: In her first role, she was tasked with helping implement Salesforce software at a client of Vera Solutions. But she was surprised by the amount of partner relationship management that was required to get the job done successfully. Many of us forget about this as we think about sectors to pursue. It was during this first role where Rushika began learning the skill of patience and developing a listening mindset.
Learn when to step up and step down: In her role as a leadership course facilitator at the African Leadership University, she learned about classroom management and finding ways to carefully encourage and facilitate conversation among a wide range of opinions. This approach has come in handy as she has developed her leadership style as a self-described introvert.
Career progression doesn’t necessarily need to mean a regional or global role: Rushika is originally from Tanzania. She studied abroad for university at Yale, where she realized that she wanted to travel and work abroad further before returning to Tanzania to make her impact. She first worked in India and Rwanda, and since then has grown her career in leadership roles within Tanzania-focused companies.
Be intentional in selecting the type of leader you want to work for: Before stepping into her current role, Rushika had worked closely with a number of leaders at different companies. When deciding to join a new startup and report directly to the founder, she shares that she made sure to think carefully about their working style, sense of urgency and execution, connection and passion for the problem they are addressing, and how they treat their team. From her experience, it’s important to know to what extent you’ll be able to influence strategy, and how your skills complement the current leadership team. You can do this discovery and screening process by asking your own questions and due diligence during the interview stages and by asking current and former staff.
The Everyday Leader is a podcast featuring conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.
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