Name: Sumedha Ganjoo | Designation: Founder & CEO | Company: Quimby | Place: Texas
(September 30, 2023) Delhi-born Kashmiri Sumedha Ganjoo was living every Indian’s big American dream. After completing her Masters in Computer Science from University of Georgia, she landed herself a cushy job with National Instruments in Austin, Texas. Over the course of the next decade, she worked her way up the corporate ladder through her hard work and innovation in roles that spanned software engineer, project manager and a technical product manager. However, there was a change in the offing. Somewhere along her journey within the corporate world she was introduced to mindfulness and emotional intelligence training. The more she explored, the more she realised the power we hold in our subconscious. It sparked in her the yearning to do something more along the lines. And that’s how Sumedha went from being a corporate employee to a startup founder when she set up Quimby in September 2021.
“Quimby is a tech startup which focuses on bringing emotional resilience and mindfulness tools to day-to-day life, work and productivity tools (calendar, Slack, etc.). Our mission is to elevate consciousness which means to empower individuals to live intentionally and create accessible safe spaces so individuals and organisations can both thrive,” says Sumedha.
On why she launched Quimby, Sumedha writes on LinkedIn, “After over 10,000 hours of mindfulness training, I had learnt that emotions and mindset can be trained. Whether we know it or not, we are always training it. I also noticed how technology overuse at work and digital fatigue was impacting people’s mental health.”
During an interview with Global Indian, this alumna of Government College of Engineering, Pune, said, “I realised how much power we all hold in our subconscious and how we are all really creating our reality through our mind, how we can train our emotions and how we can live more mindfully. Most importantly, I had some experiences which made me realise that I am not as separate from the world as I perceived; we are all connected. I continued to get more involved from weekend programs, daily meditations to silent meditation retreats, to switching to a flip phone for over two years. I started volunteering for organisations and coaching people. I started speaking at companies about being mindful with our technology usage, screen time, etc. It started very organically but over time, I learnt more and grew my network.” She was also selected in a few well-known accelerators like Techstars, Dinvinc, and Mass Challenge that helped her grow her knowledge and network.
Currently, as CEO of an early-stage startup, Sumedha’s day can involve a fair mix of fundraising, customer interviews, hiring, understanding legal contracts, customer success, and tech decisions with her team. “In short, my responsibilities are to ensure we have a vision, a plan to execute towards that vision, and the right resources for execution,” she says, adding that she typically begins her day with meditation practices. “I work from home, so after my morning rituals I typically jump into a meeting or prioritise my to-do list. Some days if I feel stuck and I need a change of place, I will work from a coffee shop for a few hours. After work, I have a tea break and then the evening varies – from gym, to family time, to cooking or eating out – my evening schedule varies by the day. I usually get a couple of hours of more work in before going to bed sometimes.”
When asked about how she strikes work-life balance, she explains that she doesn’t like to think of it as a balance between the two “because then it puts one against the other”. “We can’t stop life, whether we are working or not, so why put them against each other. I think we have to be diligent in defining what it means to have a balance for us as an individual. We have the choice to prioritise the various domains of life and choose to prioritise them differently depending on the situation,” she says, adding, “For instance, for my health and wellbeing, I try to regularly meditate, attend spiritual retreats, and disconnect from screens and gadgets for a day. As far as work goes, I think of my work as my service and the impact to elevate consciousness drives my effort in my business. That is a very big part of life for me. Where family is concerned, I try to ensure I spend quality time every day with my husband and video call my family regularly. In terms of social life, I tend to have co-working sessions or get-togethers with friends over pickleball or dinner. Reality is there is limited time and sometimes I make trade offs in a domain at the cost of others. That is balance to me – making a conscious choice.”
An avid Harry Potter fan, she loves to unwind over the JK Rowling books or other young adult sci-fi/fantasy books or a spiritual one. “I also love being outdoors, in nature, hiking, dancing, hanging out with friends, and recently I have been really enjoying playing pickleball. My vacations in the last couple of years have been to visit family or to a meditation retreat.”
As an entrepreneur, Sumedha believes talking to people who’ve built successful companies and understanding their thought process is very valuable when compared to certifications and courses. “Working at a startup is a great learning experience too apart from attending accelerators,” she says, adding, “I am on a mission to elevate consciousness to help individuals realise their full potential and live a happier life. Pretty much everything I do revolves around it whether it’s work, volunteering and coaching people, my business and my way of being with my family. I think that’s the biggest service you can do for society – humans are capable of and have unlimited potential – once they realise and tap into it.”
With fond memories of growing up in Delhi, Sumedha believes that social connections back home always felt deep, genuine, and full of love. “Everyone knew everyone in our neighbourhood. When I’d get home from school, I’d drop my bag and run to a neighbours’ or relatives’. I was always surrounded with love from family, cousins, neighbours and relatives. As kids, we would play out every evening and I remember how people would go out of their way to help each other,” the she smiles as she recalls. She now makes it a point to travel to India at least once a year to visit family and has them visit her as well. “I also celebrate most Indian festivals that I did as a kid and spend time diving deeper into the teachings of spiritual texts that are at the core of our culture.”