Payal Jain, a senior software engineer at Indus Valley Partners, wins the rising star (vendor) category at this year’s Women in Technology & Data Awards. Jain is the acting lead of a team of seven that works on development and products for asset managers, particularly around IVP’s reconciliation platform. She rose to this position after starting at IVP as an associate software engineer in 2014, and after little more than a year became a core member of its development team. Much of her experience in technology has resulted from on-the-job training and experimentation, she says. Today, she works with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence in the development of IVP’s products.
Despite a lifelong inclination toward technology, Jain wasn’t particularly interested in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, although she credits the company’s experimental environment as piquing her interest. “At first, it was not something that initially intrigued me, but it was something that the company’s experimental culture has infused within me,” she says. “IVP has always been supportive, especially when it comes to experimenting with new ideas that could potentially benefit clients or improve productivity and user experience.”
Jain adds that working with AI has been challenging, although through constant experimentation with her team they have been able to automate break resolution in IVP’s reconciliation offering. She says she has always been inclined to work in technology, especially since she took up computer science in college. That inspired her to complete a graduate degree in the same field so that she could learn about the latest technologies. “The path to where I am today was quite interesting and challenging,” she says. “Initially, I found that it was quite tough to be at par working with the best minds in the industry and at the same pace, but I gradually adapted and thrived. What I’ve learned is that patience and hard work is the key to success. You always have to keep yourself motivated so that team members around you can sense positivity and enjoy working together as a team, thus ensuring quality work output with a work–life balance.”
Working in the financial technology industry has helped Jain see the direct impact of the work she does. The new technology she gets to work with and help design brings about changes to the way things have traditionally been done.
Jain explains that her responsibilities not only include analysis, developing a plan to upgrade functionality and meeting with clients, but also mentoring those in her team. She notes that it’s important to implement mentorship programs that focus on the value of existing technology and clearing out myths in the industry.
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