follow us

Nabanita De: Adding feathers to her hat and how!

Nabanita De (Dubai, ‘2011) is the founder of Nabanita De Foundation ( initiative) and FiB. Nabanita De is currently an Engineering Manager at Remitly. She has been honored as the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Honoree 2022 (Her nonprofit made the Fast company Best World-changing idea North America List and Wellness List), BITS Pilani Global 30 under 30, and is also the Forbes Brand Contributor (written 20 Forbes articles with 450,000+ reads). Read below her story of becoming an entrepreneur, starting her Not for profit organization, Nabanita De Foundation, and her idea of using tech for solving societal problems.

Born to startup

Graduating with a CS degree definitely set me up for success. I took up fundamental CS courses in algorithms, systems, and data science. Building on this foundation, I applied to UMass Amherst during my senior year at BITS and got into the Masters program with an International Student Tuition Waiver Scholarship and further went to pursue the program immediately after graduation.

I inculcated my entrepreneurial roots from BITS where I was the founding member & Chief Financial Officer of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in BITS Dubai Campus. I was awarded the BITSAA Mantra Entrepreneur of the year when my startup hit 50k downloads on the app store. My app was also in the top 6 in new and rising categories in Windows Store worldwide.

I continued my entrepreneurial journey as a student at UMass Amherst, where I led a team to build Project Fib, a fake news detecting chrome extension, at HackPrinceton 2016, winning the Google Moonshot Award and was featured on 1000+ news outlets worldwide & invited to Forbes 30 under 30 conferences by the Forbes team. I was awarded the Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Concept award at Umass and was also the finalist at the prestigious Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship innovation challenge at Umass Isenberg School of Management.

My experience at Uber has been really inspiring for me. My manager has been a strong pillar of support throughout, and has set a great example of what leadership looks like. My Cloud security team has made me feel included and supported.

What made it even more memorable and worthwhile was winning 6 awards- Uber Engsec Rockstar Leadership Award, the Make Security Better Award, Customer Obsession Award, the Uber Go get it award, Uber Engsec Hackathons, and the Uber Security Snackers token. I have led a few company-wide initiatives in the space of Data Privacy, Natural language processing, and cloud security with x billion dollars of impact for Uber. I collaborated with Uber eats and a few other organizations, to share my ideas which are now products at Uber - Uber connects, Uber ride by the hour, and Uber grocery.

Nabanita De Foundation

While I was helping a family member return to work after a significant career gap, the process on where to take the first step, look very overwhelming and there was no one-stop solution for this. That is when my initiative came in and helped the candidates who wished to return to work after a gap. We provide a step-by-step guide to help feel confident for returning to the work-life.

In the first year of being live, the initiative reached 102 countries and 2174 cities, with 100+ organizations that started their own returnship programs. We partnered with Forbes, Amazon, Audible, Unicef, PowerToFly, University of Maryland College Park, Princeton University, United Nations, UNESCO, and more to raise awareness on return-to-work programs and process that is available.

My hope is to continue to influence more and more caregivers and help them reclaim their dream to be financially independent, increase access to education/learning, and escape difficult situations (e.g. domestic abuse) that are tied to financial dependence.

Problem solver

I always perceived myself as an action taker, if there is a problem, I like to find solutions and implement them. Having lived and grown up in 3 continents, 4 countries and also several states in India, I closely experienced the common societal issues and the limitation of opportunities available to the people who need the most. Working in tech with the ability to put opportunity in hands of billions of people, I have decided to use tech as a platform to make education and opportunities accessible in hands of billions of people with no cost. That is what drives me, in terms of my non-profit initiatives