Ashish Jain is the co-founder & CEO at Olik, a B2B2C SaaS platform that empowers retailers digitally to improve their customer experience and grow efficiently through analytical insights.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
After working for several years in the corporate across different functions in Business Development, I had a strong desire to start something of my own and make it truly impactful over time.
This led to the birth of Olik which started with an aim to create a marketplace to help end users reduce waiting time across sectors which later pivoted to an Enterprise SaaS model to digitalise retail experiences.
In the long run, wherever we see end customers interacting in the retail environment and if the process is manual, we want to automate that. We are two best friends who started Olik together and aim to leave a true legacy behind as we embark on this journey. I handle Business Development, investment and several support functions at Olik.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Several childhood quotes live with us throughout the years, and one I hold dear is Early to bed, Early to rise, for it helped me to be much healthier, wealthy in virtues, and wiser than ever, and this epitomizes any day in my life.
The mornings start early for me, and I love running in nature early in the morning. Before I go to sleep every night, I make a list of tasks to do the next day. During the day, I spend most of my time on virtual meetups and discussions at Olik as well as outside the company.
In my spare time, I enjoy reading books and spending time with my family. In general, I love planning my day in advance, and then going with the flow, to make sure I can leverage my knowledge and skills to serve the world as well as myself.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
As work cultures change following the pandemic, flexibility and remote work cannot be ruled out.
Although I would like to tell you that I have only had a few meetups with all my teammates who are from all across the nation, and all the excellent progress we have made at Olik, has been the result of collective brainstorming and inputs from everyone working remotely.
What matters most is the kind of communication you have between team members or employees, and how do you ensure that they have enough time for recreation.
These days, growth is driven by the fact that not only Olik, but many other MNCs have recognized that people sitting at their work stations in their house can be just as productive as people in a 4 by 6 cabin.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
It is an art to balance work and personal life, if you do well and are satisfied with what you do at work, then you are definitely going to have a good life.
If you have a good, happy life, then you can maximise your productivity, think creatively and excel. In my opinion, every university campus and every school must instil a sense of self-discovery in students and working professionals, be it sports, reading books, meditation, spending time with family, binge watching movies, or anything that makes them happy, because then can they keep up with all they want to accomplish in their job/working environments.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
As a long term New Delhi (India) resident, I must admit moving to Singapore from New Delhi has made quite a difference to me.
However, I still see myself as the same early riser, although I have begun appreciating nature more, listening to some good old music more often, and getting inspiration from the ecosystem around, I am trying to focus more on health and fitness.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Recently I finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear and Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Both of these are strong recommendations for anyone who desires self-help in life, striving to improve at least one percent every day.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Right now, I believe my smartphone, WhatsApp and Google Meet are quite important to continue the show at Olik. I agree to the truth that, “Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world, but they carry with them the reward of their charity and the alms they give. For these, they will receive from the Lord the reward and recompense they deserve” – Francis of Assisi
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Amanda Gore, award winning keynote speaker, and Brick Conner’s experience as a former Navy strike fighter always makes me want to hear from them about work life balance.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
As you complete all the work you are being asked to complete, it is imperative to do it as best you can within the given time. However, health is wealth, and a happy life is a healthy life.
Therefore, we must stay open to the process and continually apply the right intentions as we discover ourselves. At Olik, we truly believe it’s our responsibility to provide our fellow colleagues with that space, giving them the time they need in that process.
When you are able to maintain that balance, you will most definitely be able to cherish that satisfaction for years to come. I wish all readers the best of health and success!
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