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I am Rashmi Daga, Founder of FreshMenu, and This is How I Work
How I Work

I am Rashmi Daga, Founder of FreshMenu, and This is How I Work

Location : Bengaluru
Current Gig : FreshMenu
One word that best describes how you work : Persistent
Current mobile device : Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Black)
Current computer : Lenovo Yoga Book

She calls herself a 'juggler'. An IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, she has mastered the art of running a successful business and household. Rashmi Daga, Founder of FreshMenu, believes in experimenting in life and that's how she started her cloud kitchen, which delivers world cuisine in well-packaged meal boxes to food lovers in India. She started her online kitchen in Bengaluru in 2014, which has now expanded to Delhi/NCR and Mumbai with 29 operational kitchens (and another one opening soon). Although work keeps her busy, her daughter is her priority and she knows the secret ingredient to maintain a perfect work-life balance. In an exclusive interview, Rashmi tells Ishita Blaggan all about her journey and how she works.

Tell us about your journey and how did you get where you have?

Born and brought up in Delhi, I did my MBA at IIM, Ahmedabad, and began my career as a Business Manager at IBM in 2003 and then went on to complete a successful tenure at LifeScan and TutorVista. I worked with segment leaders such as and Olacabs and soon started my entrepreneurial journey with, an online business which focused on selling curated art and craft products.

The wide range of experience I gathered by working across industries and leading names equipped me to scale and build a formidable brand - FreshMenu.

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I rely on Inshorts to keep myself updated with the latest news, BookMyShow to plan those much-desired breaks and OLA app for my daily commute. And of course, FreshMenu to satiate my complex food cravings.

What's your workspace setup like?

My work space is my think station, and I make sure I populate it with positivity. I have articles framed across to keep motivated and the walls are covered with fun quotes and art to keep things vibrant and lively.

What's your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

I utilize a lot of travel time to do something productive as the journey is mostly disrupted due to the city traffic. I use my commutes as the perfect excuse to make calls and catch up with loved ones or do some light reading.

What's your favourite to-do list manager?

I'm a bit old school and love the beauty of a simple notepad and pen to keep track of my to-do list and meetings. My organizer is my go-to manager for tasks and schedules.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without and why?

I am not very dependent on gadgets. There's no denying technology is great, but we are becoming too dependent on it. How many of us can go for a week without an internet connection or cell phone? Technology has made life so convenient, that being without it is a very scary thought for some. I don't intend to feel that way.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I am not sure if this makes me better than others but I do consider myself a juggler - I switch quite a bit between roles. While FreshMenu demands for more of my time, my daughter demands more of my attention. And I make sure I don't miss out on my daughter even in times of crisis. This effort arises not just through my love for her, but through the will to play a larger part in my daughter's life.

What do you listen to while you work? Got a favourite playlist? Or do you prefer silence?

At work, I tune in to my playlist which is filled with latest commercial music, something I can enjoy with fellow team members. At home though, I like it silent.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

My daughter is one of my biggest sources of energy and spending time with her just lifts my spirits. But apart from that, I'm a huge movie buff and will always travel if I have enough time on hand.

What's your fitness and sleep routine like?

I wake up early, sleep early and avoid staying awake late at night unnecessarily. I also try and incorporate 30 minutes of Yoga every day in my morning routine and 30 minutes of walking before I head to bed.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading The Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It offers essential advice on building and running a startup, outlining how startup life will either kill you or make you stronger. The book is filled with Horowitz's trademark humor and straight talk, and leaves readers with humbling personal anecdotes and experiences. I would definitely recommend the book to those aspiring to start their own ventures and even veteran entrepreneurs.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

"With life, experiment". The experimental life is one of pushing limits and intervening over one's environment. It's in such times, that you can test almost anything about yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like to add for our readers?

Focus on the present and live in it. Be mindful, set the intention to pay attention to what's happening in the present moment. Don't regret your past or fear the future, be present. Look around. What you have is really amazing.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Ishita.

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