Zum - Female Executive of the Year
Company: Zum, Redwood City, CA
Company Description: Zum is the leading provider of safe and reliable child transportation for schools and parents. Zum is committed to saving schools money and saving parents' time by providing flexible ride options, through highly vetted drivers. Founded by Ritu Narayan, Zum has raised $26.8M, has saved its partner schools more than $10 million in overhead costs and has helped parents save over 100,000 hours.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Services –11 to 2,500 Employees
Nomination Title: Ritu Narayan
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Ritu Narayan made news headlines whenher company, Zum, a leader in child transportation and care services for children raised $26.8Min Series Bfunding in March 2018.
Narayanfirst saw the need for Zumas a parent working at eBay as a group product manager, where she managed a $1Bproduct line and increasedgross merchandise value by $300M - she needed someone reliable to take her kids to and from activities. Narayan was concerned that women often are forced to sacrifice their own careers for their children's opportunities, and she founded Zum to give women and men in the workplace something that hasn’t existed before in a meaningful way: confidence that their children were in good hands, with safe, reliable, consistent and thoroughly vetted transportation.
In 2017-2018, schools caught on and came toZumseeking reliable and flexible transportation for athletes, students with special needs, and many others.Zum grew an exponential 340 percent in 2017 and now serves more than 1,000 schools, providing as-needed transportation for their students. In May 2018, Zum passed a milestone of 2 million miles in rides--equivalent to nearly 700 trips from San Francisco--all safely completed.Zum was recognized with a Gold Stevie® Award in 2018 American Business Awards® for its services.
AsZum closed its series B fund and continuesto expand into Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County, news writers wondered howZum has succeed in a challenging market.A large reason is CEO Narayan, who from the beginning put safety and trust as her first priority, and hired only vetted drivers and experienced childcare professionals who upheld the same values.
Zum investor Nabeel Hyatt with Spark Capital--Board Member and Zum customer said,"As a parent and Zum user, I've seen many new opportunities open up for my children, including a wider variety of school and activity options. Every dollar Zum saves for a school is a dollar that can be spent to educate a child, and every hour we save overwhelmed parents is an hour spent helping to bond and build a family."
Narayan cites her father as herinspiration. When her father was 17, his father passed away and he had to drop out of college. Through persistence and relentless focus Narayan’s father became a leading expert in the areas of power and water, bringing water and electricity to many remote parts of the world and managing thousands of people. As the first woman in her family to go into computer engineering, Ritu was delighted to see younger women in her family empowered to pursue similar dreams of education.
Besides providing peace of mind for families, Zum also provides flexible employment for drivers who earn up to $32 an hour driving and caring for kids.
Narayan strongly believes in enabling others to succeed, both personally and professionally. While getting her masters at Stanford she founded TechX to connect entrepreneurs, and will often share advice and strategy to budding entrepreneurs including at Tie Inflect in May 2018 on the subject "Achieving Startup Success: Creating a Business Model, Raising Funds & Product Development."
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Ritu Narayan is the CEO and founder of Zum, a service that provides rides and childcare for children. Today more than 1,000 schools use Zum's highly-vetted services to transport their students.
Prior to Zum, Narayan worked for IBM, Oracle, Yahoo and eBay as a project manager, responsible for bilions of dollars in online transactions. She foundedZum to meet a need that was close to home--finding someone reliable to drive her kids to their activities without sacrificing her own career.Achieving a series B funding of $26.8M in early 2018, Zum continues to expand.
Narayan has a degree in computer engineering with distinction, as well as a masters in management from Stanford, where she founded TechX to help connect entrepreneurs with businesses.