WFY Today

Know About The Epic Indian-origin Mom Who Made Billions

A fifty-year-old working woman from the Bay Area of California had to leave her job early every time her children’s bus failed to arrive on time so she could take them to school. She decided to take action since this reminded her of the sacrifices made by her own mother, a former teacher who gave up her job to raise her children in India.

Ritu Narayan took a risk in 2015 when she decided to quit her career and launch Zum, an AI-backed electric school transportation service. Zum started out as a self-funded Uber, giving parents a dependable option. With the help of this cutting-edge programme, parents could schedule rides ahead of time and keep an eye on their kids’ locations in real time.

Working parents’ lives were being altered by it. Working women would write about their return to work, promotion, and increased advancement because they no longer needed to run at 4 p.m. to pick up their kids.
Narayan asked local schools to tell parents about her business in an attempt to grow it. However, the schools hired Zum to operate a fleet of electric school buses with tracking capabilities once they privatised the fleet. She therefore redesigned Zum’s offerings to cater to a wider clientele and rival well-established bus services.

The firm gained traction in 2020 after signing a $53 million, five-year contract with the Oakland Unified School District.
After that, there was a pandemic, and school transport was discontinued for around five or six months. That put us in a predicament where we had to create lemonade out of lemons. We used that opportunity to quickly improve our product because we weren’t running day-to-day operations or truly serving current consumers.

With more than 4,000 contracts totaling $1.5 billion, Zum serves both public and private schools in California, Washington, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, and Maryland.
In order to improve student transport and ensure that millions of working families wouldn’t have to pick between taking care of their children and their jobs, Narayan developed Zum. As the pioneer of contemporary student mobility, Zum has ushered in a new era of greater sustainability, dependability, and safety.

Concerning Ritu Narayan
Zum is a technology business led by Ritu Narayan that is modernising and decarbonising school transport and the electricity grid. In an effort to spur its expansion, Zum recently disclosed a $140 million funding round headed by GIC. Return investors Sequoia and Softbank also contributed, bringing Zum’s total fundraising to $350 million.
Narayan is a seasoned businesswoman with over two decades of experience leading the tech sector. Among her many honours and distinctions, she was named one of Goldman Sachs’ Exceptional Entrepreneurs, Inc.’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneur’s 100 Women of Influence, and she was given the 2023 Power of Women Award by GSV ASU.

Narayan oversaw teams at IBM, eBay, Oracle, Yahoo, and Yahoo before founding Zum. Narayan received her undergraduate degree in computer science from the Delhi Institute of Technology and went on to graduate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She resides in California, USA, together with her spouse and two kids, all of whom commuted to school in a sustainable, safe, and reliable manner because of Zum.

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