Anmol Rastogi leads Tala’s India Product Team. As Tala’s India office continues to grow, Anmol shares why the Indian market is so unique, what he’s looking for in new hires, and his vision for Tala in India and beyond.
Tell us a little about yourself. What led you to Tala and how have your experiences working around the world shaped the way you approach product management?
I loved math and computers growing up, so I started my career at IBM as a software engineer. I soon realized I was more drawn to software design than coding though, as I really wanted to understand and solve consumers’ problems. This led me to product design roles in Australia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, where I confirmed both my passion for managing the entire lifecycle of products and appreciation for seeking diverse solutions for complex problems.
India was booming left, right, and center at that time, so I returned for an MBA and worked at multiple startups as a product manager, including Paytm, India’s largest fintech. A former colleague then reached out to me about Tala. I was immediately drawn to Tala’s mission. I had actually started my own non-profit working with underprivileged children in Bangalore because I wanted to give back to my community but too much bandwidth went into securing the resources I needed to sustain. At Tala, though, we can provide our customers with access to the financial products and services they need at scale in a much more sustainable way. That’s why Tala is a sort of a holy grail in terms of having a cutting edge product and mission.
Tala is preparing to officially launch in India soon! What is most exciting about the Indian market in your opinion?
One of the single most exciting aspects of the Indian market is its size. Right now, we have hundreds of millions of potential customers in India, which is more than the combined population of other countries Tala is working in. There is a massive number of underserved people that need access to financial services, and Tala has the potential to help them. It’s the right time and we are doing the right thing.
With this scale and the need for our services comes other fascinating elements as well. India has multiple languages and cultures. There is massive diversity from the southern part of India to the north and from the east to the west. One cannot say that a set of hypothesis will always work within a particular city, so there’s no way you can do that for the entire country. These variations will come into play while shipping products in India and are also what make this market so exciting.
You’re hiring multiple android and backend engineers as well as a product manager. Can you describe your ideal candidates?
An ideal candidate for our product manager role is user-centric. They understand the customers pain points and can think from their point of view. Whenever they think about a solution, they not only have to think about how to build it but how to validate certain hypotheses. Moreover, there are changes that happen almost on a daily basis in India, with respect to consumers, competition, and regulations, so candidates should be very flexible in managing and adapting to change.
For our open technology roles, the primary characteristic we are looking for is the ability to think at scale. The solutions we are building are for a massive scale right now and we need people to help take us to the next level. Tala is like a rocket ship right now. If you join the rocket ship, you don’t know where the rocket will take you. There are hundreds of millions of customers in India and over three billion financially underserved around the world that we are aspiring to reach. As a product manager and as a techy, I have always dreamed about working on scale, and this is absolutely humongous scale we’re talking about.
Want to build with Anmol and #TeamTala? We’re hiring! We are growth hackers, engineers, data scientists, customer experience designers, marketers, and finance geeks all passionate about extending financial freedom to the billions of underserved people across the globe. We believe in people from every type of background — around the world, and within our company. We call this #RadicalTrust. Come join our global team at tala.co/careers