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Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Priyamvada

Author:

Priyamvada Kamra

Published:

June 6, 2023

Risk UnZipped: Q&A with Priyamvada

Meet Priyamvada, our Director, Risk Strategy based in the US. Read on for more information about Priyamvada's career story, the work she's leading at Zip and how she brings her true, authentic self to work.

Priyamvada tell us about your background, how long you’ve been with Zip and a little bit about your role and your day to day work here

I come from a consulting background with over ten years of experience in strategy and analytics consulting. I have worked across numerous industries, but my primary focus has been on the Banking and Financial Services sector. Over the last seven years prior to joining Zip, I worked for a banking client across various domains including marketing, new product launch and risk.

I have been with Zip’s Risk Management practice for more than three years now, having started in April 2020. I have been fortunate to work on various aspects of risk and analytics such as credit risk (underwriting and line management), fraud risk and merchant risk; as well as merchant and product analytics. My current focus is on customer repayments and collections function, which plays a key role in managing long term losses and helping the organization on its journey towards profitability.

On a day to day basis, I manage a talented dual shore team based in the US and India focused on delivering on the company and team goals. We own the repayments and collections strategy and analytics, day to day portfolio monitoring as well as managing internal and external stakeholders such as collections agencies.

You’ve held previous roles in strategy and analytics consulting in your previous career in the banking space. What was the pull of joining Zip and how does your work differ now that you are in an ‘in-house’ role?

I started working for Zip in a consulting capacity at the start of the pandemic when the entire world switched to working remotely. Towards the end of the consulting assignment, I accepted a full-time role with the company mainly because of the company culture, leadership and learning opportunities.

During my time consulting here, I saw firsthand how leaders placed a high value on employee wellbeing and work life balance despite being a fast paced organization in a rapidly growing industry. They believe in a culture where employees feel comfortable being able to bring their “whole self to work”.

Role wise, the opportunity of setting up the risk team pretty much from scratch was very appealing, and we have seen a real evolution in the way the team operates, moving from simple score based rules to sophisticated machine learning models. Working in an in-house role also gave me greater responsibility and accountability, end to end ownership from strategy to implementation and the opportunity to make a bigger impact.

How does your work contribute to Zip’s strategic objectives in the US?

Many industries are facing into the impacts of significant economic headwinds and BNPL is no different, with Zip and other players pivoting their focus to profitability and sustainable growth.

The role that me and my team play is critical in helping the company achieve its loss rate targets and effectively pave the path towards profitable growth. When customers make a purchase with Zip, we set up a payment plan with due dates for their subsequent installment payments. When customers miss making their payments on time, this is where our role begins - we strategically retry the payments, we send payment reminders and other communications to the customer, helping them avoid having to pay late fees and enter delinquency.

As a Zipster, how are you empowered to bring your true, authentic self to work?

Our leaders really make an effort to understand you as a person, inside and outside of work; they are interested in your hobbies and your family. My manager has always emphasized that health and family comes before everything else, and that gives me peace of mind. Our Zipsters have many diverse nationalities and come from different backgrounds and this leads to a culture where there is respect and tolerance for differences, such as communication styles. Diversity is reflected in the leadership team as well - we have several leaders who are inspiring role models. They are also generous with their time and actively mentor other junior leaders, which has helped in my professional growth.

What one thing that people outside of the organization may not know about Zip that makes you excited about your future here?

There is definitely more than one thing that excites me about my future working for Zip.

We recently adopted a new organization structure in terms of how the different teams work together - specifically introducing the role of a “business owner” for each function. As someone who is charged with the responsibility of completely owning the Customer Repayments and Collections journey, this change has been empowering in many ways and provided clear roles and accountability. I’m excited to see how this new model will pan out for us in the coming months.

Besides this, we are making several exciting changes in our risk decisioning such as building a new platform, adopting no code workflows and incorporating alternative credit data.

Zip has also been exploring new product features that align with our vision of being able to provide a financially fearless future to the US consumer. Stay tuned to find out more...

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