Shubhi Rao, Dosh
Shubhi Rao is not the kind of person who looks to back down from a challenge. In deciding where she wanted to spend her career she did something no woman in her family had done before.
“I’m the first woman in my family to be in corporate America,” said Rao, chief financial officer at Dosh and one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2019.
Rao joined Dosh in August 2018 after having been a vice president and treasurer at Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc.; group treasurer at British grocer Tesco PLC; head of treasury, risk and capital financial services at PwC; vice president and assistant treasurer at Tyco and assistant treasurer at Ford of Europe.
Rao joined the fintech startup Dosh because she saw a business with a charitable angle to it. Dosh offers a card-linked cash back app. A key message to consumers is that what’s earned is cash, not points or miles. Dosh allows consumers to transfer their earned cash to their bank accounts, PayPal accounts or donate to a charity directly from the app.
It’s Dosh’s charitable donation angle that’s important to Rao as she feels it helps nonprofit organizations.
Rao has been doing a lot of nonprofit work in the last three years, including at the International Center for Research on Women, a global research institute whose mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty. Donating her time and energy to be part of the ICRW support team is also reflective our how she approaches team building at her startup.
“When building a great team, I always try to hire people smarter than me and then empower them to be successful. For my team to succeed, it’s critical they have the context into all projects and bigger picture so they can approach each task with an understanding and a passion for success,” Rao said.
The hallmark of a good leader is empathy with the team, and the ability to demonstrate real support rather than just sitting back and hoping for the best.
“As a leader, I’m right in the trenches with my team, tackling issues hand in hand, because I know my success can only be a good as the success of my team,” Rao said.
Women are an important part of the fintech and banking industries and their lack of representation is a major challenge, for two key reasons, according to Rao. First, an absence of women in finance harms banks because these companies need to mirror their client base. Second, “the core value that women bring to fintech is a passion to solve genuine problems, and thereby make a true impact on society,” she said.
In giving advice to future women leaders in the payments industry, Rao is very succinct: “Have the confidence to say and lead it.” She added that a big part of her success has been her ability to draw on the global network of executives that she has built after having worked in both the U.S. and UK.