Sonam Khubchandani:On The Mission Of Driving Successful Financial Transformation For Businesses
It is an undeniable fact that the number of women-led organizations lags behind that led by men. As an elixir to these biased stats, women are chasing their entrepreneurial dreams. They are on the raising graph despite a world of challenges confronting them, making a fair game of equality in the world of business. Among such ambitious and avid women, we have Sonam Khubchandani, who courageously chased her entrepreneurial dream. Breaking several false notions and stereotypes, Sonam is a true inspiration for young women who aspire to succeed.
With the immense exposure gained in sales, technology, and business management in both enterprise and start-up environments, she is a person who looks for inefficient procedures, finds ways to streamline them, and consistently strives to boost business success. Appreciating her work as a leader, Women Entrepreneur India engages in an exclusive conversation with Sonam, Co-founder of Dice – a new-age corporate spending and consumption marketplace.
What are some important features and expertise of your brainchild?
Dice is a fintech company that aims at leading financial transformation for corporates. We counter the spend management issues faced by businesses with our one-of-a-kind platform that manages all the business spending. The platform enables enterprises to manage all categories of corporate spending right from travel management to employee expense management and vendor spend management with a complete procure-to-pay suit. Dice is a single application any business would need to manage all financial strategies, procurement, and expenses with a completely automated and seamless system.
The key aspect that sets our business apart is our ability to empathize with our users and understand their problem statements; while being able to translate that empathy into our communication via different channels. We believe that our users should be able to gauge that we understand them. We follow a consultative approach and suggest appropriate solutions rather than pushing our product onto their processes.
What is your guiding leadership philosophy as a sales and business development leader?
I strongly believe that it is crucial to drive an innovative culture within the team. Being in the sales and marketing function, people mostly focus on chasing numbers as a primary duty while forgetting to maintain an innovative culture in the team. I always emphasize thriving with innovative ideas. There is no particular framework we follow. However, we continuously improvise and innovate by analysing our data and identifying our mistakes, and fixing them promptly.
The most important thing I tell my team is to be audacious and agile. In my view, perfectionism is a myth and you shouldn’t strive for it while stopping yourself from implementing new ideas.
Take us through your early educational journey and the prior industry experience that you bring to the table.
I hail from a small town called Balaghat in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Growing up in a family that is into business, entrepreneurial spirit has been deep-rooted in me. However, I pursued engineering in Electronics and Instrumentation from Devi Ahilya College and then worked with Accenture for three years. I always had the urge to trail down the business path and completed an MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies. Working with entrepreneurship cells intrigued me towards startups and I decided to start my own business. My experience of handling international sales, business, and product management in a B2B logistics company called LogiNext, has been helping me a lot in my current role.
What motivated you to co-found Dice? Tell us about the underlying idea behind the company and some of its most unique features.
‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, this phrase is true for us just like many other businesses. While I was working with LogiNext and the Co-Founder Prashant was working with Snapdeal, we faced several issues in managing business spends. On my side of the story, we had to travel a lot on our own and manage all the expenses. Filing reimbursement for those expenses was such a time-consuming and painful task. Prashant crafted a solution for this issue and we understood that it is a prevalent issue while talking to several investors and corporates. That marked the start of our platform which manages all spending on a single portal.
In order to solve the financial hurdles of businesses, I, along with a highly talented team set out on the journey to identify and create a product that provides a holistic spend management suite, transforming the way enterprises consume B2B goods and services, and conduct spend management.
“Make bold decisions in life, break the monotony, and do not waste time focussing on attaining perfectionism”
What are some of the most pressing challenges that you encounter in your current role? How do you successfully mitigate these challenges?
The first and foremost challenge for any business owner is finding time for themselves. Apart from that, it is sometimes difficult to replicate one’s enthusiasm to the team and align them to the organisational goals and vision. However, we have been successful in building a coherent team across all the functions. To keep the team enthusiastic and happy, we present an open and conducive culture. Interestingly, we do not have any cap on the number of leaves an employee can take as long as the work is being done.
Sonam Khubchandani, Co-Founder, Dice
Having worked in both enterprise and a start-up environment, Sonam gained a holistic view of the varied challenges of businesses; specifically in the area of spend management.