When I was first told that I would be interning at Artoo, I was thrilled! Sameer’s presentation on Artoo in school a few years ago coupled with my own research had given me a brief insight into what the company stood for, which is simply put across in their tagline — “technology for those who need it most”. After talking to Indus in school and seeing her excitement and passion toward Artoo, I was also infused with the same fervour and I couldn’t wait to learn about and be part of the culture at a start-up like Artoo.
The first day there opened up my eyes to the kind of impact Artoo was having on the lives of people all over the country. After the introductory session with Mradula, I realised that the spread of the usage of technology was making everything in the microfinance sector so much more convenient. As the days went by and I talked to more and more people including Sameer and Yashaswini, I was exposed more and more to the change that Artoo was spearheading — the increase in availability for financial resources for the people who did not have access to it. I also learned how the human contact went a really long way in establishing trust within the customer.
On analysing Artoo’s social media handles, I understood how social media had a very large role to play in the branding of a company. We used our newly found data analysis skills to come up with Artoo’s Operations Review for their primary client, Ujjivan. These experiences coupled with the field visits we got to do, interviewing small business lenders about their troubles gave me a deeper insight into Artoo’s primary purpose and I felt more connected. Listening to the tales of hardships, hope and success that we heard from these people humbled me.
We also got to interact with Aparna, one of the Engineers at Artoo. She showed us the app created by Artoo to expedite the process of obtaining of loans by customers by reducing paperwork by a huge margin and increasing convenience. We also interacted with Anubhav, their data analyst and he explained to us exactly what ‘machine learning’ was and by the end of our discussion with him, the sheer beauty of data analytics and the kind of thought that went into everything that had been done was absolutely mind blowing. But only afterward, when we were given the opportunity to do some data work ourselves did I truly appreciate its power.
I was really inspired by the kind of passion the people at Artoo have for their jobs and the sense of goal orientation that was in each one of the employees. But one of the most special things that I felt while I was interning at Artoo was the feeling of togetherness.
Being from a school like Valley where going to school is almost like coming home, I was always told that things outside would be different and less comfortable. At Artoo, I felt deeply involved and the kind of family like feeling there was in the air was undeniable. Every time we got to eat lunch together, go out for ice-cream with them (almost every day) or even just sit in on their meetings, there was a sense of people coming together to truly and honestly make a difference. This was really special for me and one of the things that will stay with me forever.
This has genuinely been one of the most enriching experiences in my whole life and I can’t thank the people at Artoo (especially Mradula for organising everything and spending so much time with us) and at Valley enough for giving me this opportunity. I feel that two weeks was just not enough time and if I could, I would love to intern at Artoo for at least a month!
About the Author
Maya Krishnan | Class XII, The Valley School
Maya is a student of the Valley School who was a summer intern at Artoo. Science and Mathematics are her subjects of interest, and she hopes to work someday in environment conservation. Her hobbies include singing, reading and playing sports, among which volleyball and basketball are her favourites.