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People

June 28, 2024

8 mins read

Living in Asia, Powering Dreams in Africa

by Aparana Bhatt

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Being part of an international community is a beautiful part of my work as an Engineer at moniepoint! I love interacting with multiple nationalities in the same virtual space, and it has had a huge impact on my personal development. I collaborate and interact with people, which has influenced how I even approach my work as an Engineer, as I understand building tech from different perspectives. Unlike my previous work experiences, I was working with a homogenous group. Here, I get to work with people from Nigeria, Greece, the UK, etc.

Why am I going on and on about the international community?

My name is Aparana Bhatt, and I live in India. I work at Moniepoint as a Senior Backend Engineer. When people ask me how I cope with the time zone differences, I smile because it’s perfect for me. I am not a morning person. I prefer to sleep in and stay up late. With our time zone difference, I get to start work around noon, and it just gives me the flexibility to sleep to my satisfaction while still having a bit of time to spend with family before getting into the heat of work. Before I talk about how I started working at Moniepoint, I think I’d like to begin with my education and interest in backend engineering.

Where it all began

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I have always loved engineering. In India, our parents have a lot of say in what we study, and most parents want us to study something in the sciences, law or business. As a child, I always loved science and maths, so I think that made my parents confident in my choice and not have to insist on anything. So, when I had to pick three top choices, I chose computer science, electrical engineering and electronics engineering, but I got assigned computer science and engineering. So that's how my journey began. Initially, during my college education, I didn’t enjoy it so much because I had been more of an electronics person, but later on, especially during my first job, my interest grew. 

I studied computer science and engineering and graduated from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute in 2015. If you’re unfamiliar with India, this institute is primarily located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is around 100 years old now, and was one of the first colleges providing engineering degrees since 1928 or something.

After school, I started working. My first job as a software developer was at a travel organisation. I was in the backend team, handling everything Java-related. And I worked there for two and a half years. Seeing the impact one could make through software engineering was what did it for me. 

After that, I worked for an Indian media company. There, I worked for around four years. My team was focused on providing super fast news to the editors, processing it, and publishing it in our digital news platform. By the second year of working there, I had developed a bit of interest in Data Science. Taking this interest further, I got a degree in Data Science while I was still working. After, I joined another company as a technical lead. Here, we focused on lending and offering credit so that customers could buy what they needed. As technical lead, my day-to-day work was still backend-related, but I was a part of different projects. After working here for a while, I decided to take a break. 

The break between the journey to Powering Dreams

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Firstly, I had taken this break for about four months to refresh and recharge. At that point, I was homesick because I had to live in Delhi and Sia most of my career to work from the office in my previous roles. During the break, I wasn’t even so big on travelling, but I did travel a bit and spent most of the break in my home town with my family. The difference between living with my family was so evident that I decided I wouldn’t be taking any job that required me to be away from home. And, like I said earlier, it’s one of the things that made me interested in working with Moniepoint.

Moniepoint

By the time I was taking a break from my break, I had decided that I wanted a job that kept me close to home and gave me a semblance of the peace I had experienced during my break. Around that time, one of our recruiters contacted me for a Technical Product Manager role I interviewed for, but I didn’t make it through. The interview experience, however, piqued my interest in Moniepoint. I went to the website, read almost all the employee stories, and was impressed. I could see the company making an evidential impact in emerging markets, but it was beyond that for me. I could also see that the working conditions were what I was looking for. So I went to the careers page and saw an opening for senior backend engineering, which I applied for. 

Why Moniepoint?

For me, Moniepoint’s impact resonated strongly because comparing Nigeria to India, we have a lot in common regarding financial inclusion, and the huge impact Moniepoint has had in the lives of regular, everyday people sold it for me.

From August, when I had my interview for a TPM role, until November, when I saw an opening for a senior backend engineer, I’d go to the website fortnightly to read the stories of employees and other articles about the company. The impact of Moniepoint was and is quite visible. Even the impact on employees, not just customers, caught my attention. 

Also, following the progress of the products, I could see a consistent effort to improve, basically being committed to finding ways to create financial happiness via digitisation. And oh, the timing for me - it’s the best timing that any organisation can give me, jokes apart. To know that I get to spend with their family and everything in a remote setup, like even if the hours are hectic, you are still close to your family. That’s a huge selling point for me.

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Powering Dreams in an International Community

I’ve been here for about 6 months now, and my expectations have been exceeded. When I initially joined, I was on the savings team. Abraham was my Enterprise Architect, and I worked with him, Vincent and Tolu, amongst others. I noticed the speed at which we were able to resolve customer issues. The time an issue was raised was never an issue. All that mattered was for all hands to be on deck and for it to be resolved as soon as it was raised. Seeing this, I was more confident that I had made the right choice to join here as it further proved that we are customer-centric, not just product-centric, in our approach.

But if I were asked what I love the most about working here, it wouldn’t just be about the impact. It's also about being in such a diverse community of people, like I mentioned earlier. As I’m learning a lot about other people’s cultures, they are learning a lot about mine. So I think this is a sharing process I like a lot. Also, everybody I have worked with has been very understanding and helpful in a way that helps me stay motivated to do my work at my best.

Enough work talk. Here’s how I have fun.

For a job that is this flexible, I’d be wasteful only to spend time working. So when I'm not working, I try to relax in different ways. Recently, I joined swimming classes and had a good time in them. Otherwise, I sketch, paint, or just go for long drives. Once or twice a month, I go on a road trip. Recently, I took a road trip to Ranikhet - a small hilly village in India. And, of course, these trips do not affect my work because I can set up anywhere and work as long as I’m hitting my performance requirements. 

Now, enough about me, what about you? 

I know when I was waiting for a role that fits my next career path, I spent a lot of time reading stories on the blog, so I am guessing you’re here because you’re considering or wondering if you should consider joining Moniepoint. Here’s the simple truth I’d tell you -  it's worth giving a try. If you live in India or somewhere outside Nigeria, I think it’s the best option for you because, aside from the flexibility, you get to be part of an international community,  interacting with people from different cultures around the world. I’d give you a thumbs up. Just check for a role that fits.  https://moniepoint.com/careers

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