At CLEO, we’re constantly on the lookout for game-changers who are dedicated to making a positive change in the world. Every year, we seek out young female professionals who are not only great at what they do, but also inspire others. This year, we found 10.
Nyha Shree, 29, Co-founder of Jumper.ai
CLEO Change Maker Nyha knows what it’s like to fail. But she also knows a couple of things about getting back on her feet again and again. After all, she struggled with running startups for half a decade before she found some success.
“I’ve been running startups since 2012. My first venture was in the online tutoring space, but that didn’t work out and I had to wind it up after nine months,” she explains. “Shortly after that, I met my current co-founder and we worked on four to five ventures together. Some of them gave us bread-and-butter jobs, but some also failed miserably,” she adds. “I saved every penny possible. I even survived on 40 cents a day and all sorts of junk. It was all a roller coaster ride before Jumper.ai happened.”
Founded just a year and a half ago, Jumper.ai allows businesses to sell their products on their social media platforms. This means you can now buy something off a brand’s Facebook or Instagram page without having to be redirected to their website.
“When it comes to lifestyle products, most of us are impulse buyers. We don’t want to have to do extensive research on them,” she explains. “Our tool enables the fastest checkout on social media platforms.”
The idea for Jumper.ai came about when this Change Maker was trying to shop for a special occasion a couple of years ago. She found the online shopping process more taxing than it should be – so she decided to do something about it.
It’s clear that the tool has made quite a splash in the e-commerce scene. Though it’s less than two years old, it’s already available in 135 countries and currently partners with over 4,000 brands. But this success didn’t come easy for Nyha at all – because aside from struggling with failure, she also struggled with wavering family support.
“When I first wanted to give up on a corporate life to run startups, my dad was like, ‘OK’. He wasn’t happy about it, but he was supportive,” she says. “But the real difficult time came when my ventures were failing and friends and family were asking, ‘What is she doing?’ That was when it became really difficult for my parents to understand why I was ‘wasting time’ when I could have chosen a more secure path.”
Nyha dealt with their uncertainty with sheer grit. “I had to work through it slowly and over a period of time. It was important to make them understand that this was important to me, and that while it wasn’t churning out any results then, that it eventually would,” she adds. “I’d constantly reinforce my belief [in my success] to them.”
But it’s safe to say that her parents are well supportive of her efforts now – especially since Nyha made it onto this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia. “I was surprised. I didn’t expect it. I’m usually very hard on myself and always feel like I need to be more strategic about where I want to make an impact,” she says. “And after I found out that I made it onto the list, I was immediately like, ‘I need to do more and excel further.’”
And Nyha sure is doing a lot. For one, she moved to Singapore from India in April last year to grow her company. “We were looking for a more mature and accepting market, and as the technological and financial hub of Asia, Singapore was a good fit,” she says. “Of course, Silicon Valley was an option, but Singapore is closer to home and it’s been really, really good.”