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How I started my journey at Frappe
Connecting the dots that led me to join the company


Neha Sankhe


Mar, 13 2024



min read

In early 2023, I was thinking about a job switch. After a fulfilling journey as a Strategy & Product Lead at Clear (formerly ClearTax), it was time for a change. My work experience at Clear helped me build hands-on execution and management skills in an ambiguous and fast-evolving environment. After having learned the cogs of a scaling software company, I was interested to contribute in a similar field.

However, quitting something isn’t easy due to fear of change — both in terms of job and city, so the decision was delayed. Yet, I applied to a few companies in Mumbai, including Frappe. Frappe was known for ERPNext, a system frequently referenced by engineering counterparts at Clear. Their website and blogs had a lot to share about their culture of transparency and freedom and that made me curious. So I applied to the “Dreamer” role, but didn’t hear from them.

Later that year, I came across a Tedx talk by Lisa Orbé-Austin, and read her book ‘Own Your Greatness’. A key statement that made an impact on me was “If you work as hard for yourself as you do for others, you would be unstoppable!”. This statement made me fearless and I knew there was something else destined for me and decided to move back to my home city, Mumbai.

The first few weeks in Mumbai flew quickly as I was busy settling in a new home. There were no calendar invites and no urgent tasks to complete. Later I started thinking of what next. I casually tinkered about the idea of solving a problem that accountants struggle with. It was spending precious hours processing hundreds of invoices and getting approvals. But even building an MVP required engineering skills, which I’d given up on many years ago. During this time, my husband Pritesh poached me with the idea of joining his company, Gratitude. His entrepreneurial journey was inspiring and he valued my work ethic, so it seemed like a win-win for both of us.

One fine day, Rushabh Mehta, Founder and CEO at Frappe, replied to my job application, a cold-reach out on Linkedin. They were looking for someone to drive their US business. With limited research, I landed at the doorstep of the 3rd-floor Neelkanth office at Vidyavihar, probably before time. I remember asking Rushabh a barrage of questions, I could have come across as a candidate with no research. After my initial discussion, I did some basic research to discover that ERPNext is loved by its customers and developer community, especially for its underlying Frappe Framework that enables customizations. Given my background in software, I knew how difficult it is to build such customer loyalty.

In the concluding discussions, Rushabh and Sydel (HR Manager at Frappe), explained to me about the culture. Rushabh highlighted the importance of excellent work, and owning your outcomes. He stressed on this point multiple times.

My first day at office was interesting. It was Open Day, where engineers present their work. I loved the amazing work people were up to. I liked the wallpapers and posters hung in the office about good design and engineering practices.

I remember looking at the bookcase and thinking of borrowing some books someday. Like an excited kid, I marveled at everything. I was impressed by the ownership, confidence, and clarity demonstrated by the team. I joined the company offsite to Igatpuri (near Mumbai) in my first week where I got the opportunity to interact with everyone. All the things I’d heard and read about the company were true. I had a say in picking my workstream and pay too. That’s when I decided to work on revenue growth.

When I joined Frappe, I didn’t have a clear vision and wanted to figure things along the way. However, I wanted to join a company with a long-term vision and Frappe over-delivered on it.

Like any interesting journey, my experience so far has been like a tiny roller coaster. Even though I try not to go into a chase or urgency-driven mindset, some things are difficult to unlearn, I am aware of and working on these. Unlike traditional organizations where managers get instant leverage from their teams, and performance drivers are extrinsic, Frappe operates very differently. Most people are intrinsically motivated. The leadership structures are loosely defined, which could frustrate a new hire. But intrinsic motivation is exactly what enables magical outcomes.

Overall, I am still as excited as my first day to work on things I enjoy and create impact.

In retrospect, so many things played a role in me joining the company. Moving to Mumbai, committing to building an independent career, applying and meeting with the team, and most importantly, getting hired.

Steve Jobs once said, “You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward”.

Published by

Neha Sankhe


Mar, 13 2024


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Paul Mugambi


3 days


Beautiful read, and an insight into an individual I respect and have learned a lot from. Am inspired to trust the process and never give up.


Anna Dane


5 days


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