The Hybrid Investor
For once, Head Office starts with a wager with myself. I’m on my way to meet Roopa Kudva, managing director of Omidyar Network India Advisors, the Indian arm of the Silicon Valley-headquartered impact investors.
The bet is straightforward: How likely is Kudva to work Silicon Valley style, in an entirely open office, without a cabin? Having previously served as managing director of Crisil, a large, home-grown financial analytics company with several thousand employees, will she be comfortable in a radically different work environment (which I’m betting to myself will be how Omidyar operates)?
Life in the open
The answer is an unequivocal yes. I learn very quickly that Kudva works from a height-adjustable, open-plan workstation located in the corner of an open office, surrounded by just over a dozen co-workers, in an office block in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex. It is quite a transition from Crisil’s stand-alone office building in Powai.
“To be very candid, when I decided to join Omidyar Network in 2015, I was apprehensive. It was the little things that I wasn’t so sure about, like the office. If you are used to sitting in a large office all by yourself, with a whole army of support staff outside just helping you with your day-to-day stuff, simple things like your (PowerPoint) decks and putting your research for your speeches, you’re not sure how you would be able to cope with those changes,” admits Kudva.