Rashmi Sinha is an Indian-American businesswoman and CEO of San Francisco-based technology company SlideShare. She was born in Lucknow, India, grew up in India, and earned a PhD in cognitive neuropsychology at Brown University. There, Rashmi took computer science courses with Andy Van Dam, so she had some exposure to the HCI (human-computer interaction) way of thinking. She took a course in designing educational software. Rashmi Sinha went to University of California, Berkeley for a postdoc where she switched her focus to human-computer interaction. She also earned an M.A. and a B.A. in Psychology from Allahabad University.
She then left academia at the University of California to start her own user-experience consultancy. Deciding that she enjoyed practical problems more, she co-founded Uzanto, a user experience consulting company and worked on projects for companies like eBay, Blue Shield, AAA etc. Her first foray into products was with MindCanvas (a game-like software for customer research) released in November 2005.
Simultaneously, Rashmi and her husband, with the help of her older brother Amit Ranjan, built SlideShare, a site for people to share presentations online, in just six months. SlideShare started operating in two offices – at San Francisco with 8 employees and Delhi with 20 employees. Since its launch in 2006, more than 9 million presentations have been uploaded to SlideShare, helping professionals connect through content. LinkedIn acquired SlideShare for over $100 million in 2012. MindCanvas was sold to top companies like Microsoft and Yahoo. This became a stepping stone in the life of an entrepreneur woman, Rashmi Sinha.
Creating a team atmosphere – Rashmi doesn’t believe in working from her private office room. She rather joins the employees alongside the desk. It instills a huge sense of teamwork and ownership in employees.
- In 2008, she was in the list of top 10 women influencers in Web 2.0 by Fast Company.
- In 2012, Fortune named her no. 8 on its most powerful businesswoman entrepreneurs list.
- The Economic Times listed her in one of the 20 most influential global Indian women in January 2015.
- In May 2012, LinkedIn had absorbed SlideShare for $119 Million. It had 9 Million presentations and 29 Million unique visitors. Rashmi runs SlideShare as a unit of LinkedIn as head of product, technology, and marketing team. Under her leadership, SlideShare has 70 Million unique visitors a month and 38 Million registered users today.
Rashmi Sinha’s urge to impact the world and her vigor in business makes her a successful entrepreneur. Her leadership attributes and vision to promote SheLeads is inspirational and something that future entrepreneurs need to learn from.
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