Tell us about your role at NaviParking.
Mishika: I work as a Data Analyst at NaviParking. My role typically revolves around bridging the gap between the business and the technical team. I take the data we generate through our app and convert it to business use cases. I also define KPIs before product launch and constantly evaluate them to determine the success of a launch. I come up with data-driven decision making to better the product life cycle.
What does smart mobility mean to you? Why is it important?
M: We are living in a world so tech-savvy that while enjoying its pros, we tend to overlook its cons. The surging per capita vehicle usage urges the concerned authorities to cut down more trees and construct more roads. However, clearly, it’s causing an appalling imbalance in the ecosystem, and we need a fix. I want to contribute to the cause by being a part of the best smart mobility initiatives.
What drew you to working in the tech industry?
M: My love for innovation knows no bounds. I have always taken pleasure in being a creator, and I have paved my own way into all the obstacles I have faced to being a beautiful creator. When I took up computer science engineering, I knew this was the key to the fascinating tech world, but I knew zero coding – unlike most conventional techie beginners. I decided to join a dynamic club in my university called IFOR – Intelligent Flying Object for Reconnaissance. As the name suggests this club was famous for making drones. It gave me the exposure I needed in Artificial Intelligence (A.I) and its applications in object recognition and path planning. I participated in INNOVATOR, Abu Dhabi in 2018 demonstrating a prototype of a drone that cleared fogs. I remember how my seniors had warned me, “This competition is just a show you guys, nobody has ever won it from our university in the last nine years”. Guess what! I won the Judge’s Choice Award in the Aeronautical Space category. This was a stone turning event as I started believing in learning new skills to not perfection, but to apply them in a real-world scenario to solve problems. I eventually took up internships and developed a business approach to solving problems. Since A.I. uses a lot of data, and I was pretty innovative with solving business problems anyways, I figured out I wanted to be a Business Analyst. So here I am – working as a Data Analyst (close enough?)
My love for innovation knows no bounds. I have always taken pleasure in being a creator, and I have paved my own way into all the obstacles I have faced to being a beautiful creator.
How do you like working at a startup?
M: I like how fast I can see the impact of my decisions. I can therefore assess my data-based decision-making skills and better them with time.
What does sustainability mean to you? In what ways are you sustainable at your job and outside of it?
M: Saving energy all day (working from home) to be able to work out in the evening is sustainable. Well, it counts haha! Sustainability is making the most out of the most environmentally friendly energy resources possible. My job is all about providing a sustainable touchless solution to the client. So, we ensure sustainability measures all the time. Outside work, I make sure I walk or cycle instead of taking a cab to the destination (unless I am too late). It’s very common in Dubai for people to maintain freezing cold temperatures in their rooms. My AC is off all day, and it is only turned on while sleeping at night. The temperature is never below 24 degrees Celsius.
What is it about NaviParking that makes you proud to work here?
M: Marek, the CEO really believes in his employees and their capabilities. NaviParking is very unlike conventional start-ups. We work with Agile methodology to implement tasks and strategies. The engineering team has sprint plannings designed for them. There is a feedback process, and quite frequently, we hear about employees getting promoted. If anyone helps NaviParking grow, they grow for sure with the company.
My insights matter to make significant business decisions, and the business team anticipates my insights. I feel like I am adding value every day to the company.
Describe the best part of your job.
M: I get to do the best of both worlds. My insights matter to make significant business decisions, and the business team anticipates my insights. I feel like I am adding value every day to the company. I also love the fact that I get to give presentations very frequently (I am very good at logically presenting data-driven solutions to the business team, technical team and even sometimes to the clients).
Tell us about your favourite thing that you’ve worked on.
M: The launch of NaviPay at NMC (Medical Healthcare) Sharjah, has been my daily project since March. I had arduously worked on monitoring KPIs that I had set for this project. I saw it grow, and I knew exactly from the customer’s and application’s perspective what needed to be changed to make it a successful project. Recently, I proposed a small tweak in the way the payment is done, and it has led to a whole new innovation in the company. I am proud of this achievement. I am now responsible for making this innovation work at NMC. I can’t reveal too much about this innovation now, but I am sure we will see it in action soon!
What motivates you?
M: If my contributions and I are valued in a company or a relationship, I make the ends meet to drive its success.
What’s remote work like for you?
M: I am more innovative when I have my innovation space. I have a whiteboard and desk to work and draw my ideas on. So, I am more creative with the work I do remotely.
What are you most excited to do post-pandemic?
M: Pandemic has changed our lifestyle so much that I can’t remember a time that I would go out to a crowded place without a mask on. So every time I watch movies, I am psychologically disturbed by the fact that the actors are not wearing a mask. I am excited about going back to normal life again. I really hope masked faces are not the new normal forever.
My absolute zen is dancing to any music without caring about being judged on my dance moves! My empathetic zen mode is writing poems. I am sensitive and empathetic about pretty much everything I see and hear. Of course, the work distracts me from thinking about the intense feelings however, I can end up feeling euphoric/miserable for days revisiting the same thoughts again and again. Poems are my outlet to the world about my emotions.
What do you do when you’re not at work? Do you have any hobbies?
M: My absolute zen is dancing to any music without caring about being judged on my dance moves! My empathetic zen mode is writing poems. I am sensitive and empathetic about pretty much everything I see and hear. Of course, the work distracts me from thinking about the intense feelings however, I can end up feeling euphoric/miserable for days revisiting the same thoughts again and again. Poems are my outlet to the world about my emotions. Therefore, a part of my hobby is also to share my poems. Here is one that I would happily share :
Context – A disfigured man on the street selling a few items. The items are not evident as they are kept in a trolley, and he’s standing and looking at people. I take out my wallet to offer him some money. He refuses, and he says he’d rather have me buy something he’s selling than me feeling bad for him. He doesn’t frown once, he smiles and waves me goodbye.
THE AFFECTED SMILE OF AN ANGEL IN DISGUISE
Street urchins in rags,
Vagabonds with their saggy bags,
They loiter on street,
With few nondescript things
They hope to sell to the sweet.
“You want some?”, they ask
Your slight attention, igniting a ray of hope.
Their twinkling eyes looking straight into yours,
Stirring a quandary under the poker face mask.
And then you stop your heart to pour.
So you collect yourself,
In your mind, looking for an apothegm,
Rushing back to being the same busy femme.
But this vagrant being special,
Acknowledges your time, and says “next time”.
Bewildered by his sangfroid as you are,
You pray he’s not a derelict as they are.
“I am not a beggar madam”,
“For I need just your benediction”,
he smiles, now I feel like an imbecile!
How did I overlook his attire.
A collared shirt, and a black pant,
Definitely a satire,
But oh wait! It’s real,
It’s life, it can be surreal.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
M: When I was two years old, I lived in Bhubaneswar, Orissa and my veranda was full of beautiful butterflies. Our caretaker would sit me on her lap on the veranda and feed me food. Every time I wouldn’t eat, she would threaten me that butterflies would turn into flying monsters and eat me up. Growing up, I had a massive phobia of butterflies. Now it has got better as I try to logic with my fear – so I can stand them in the garden, but still never in the same room as me.