Perfect Pitch: Aishwarya Ravindran (Aish)
Founder, Healthcare Leader, Dancer
Current City: Brooklyn, NY.
Current Job and Entrepreneurial Focus: Co-Founder, MyLÚA Health, an intelligent maternal care coordination platform dedicated to reducing maternal morbidity and advancing health equity for birthing people. MyLÚA Health's human-centric and culturally inclusive pregnancy experience drives higher member engagement and collection of rich social risk factor data from difficult-to-reach populations, leading to early detection of complications, cost savings, and improved health outcomes. You can call me Aish 👋🏽 I'm passionate about building and scaling digital solutions that make the world a better place.
Notable Prior Jobs: Ops at Uber, Product at Oscar Health, and Healthcare Banking at JP Morgan. '22 Cornell Tech MBA grad.
When I Started Performing: I've been performing for as long as I can remember. It started small and consistent. I was leading weekly hymns or dancing during religious offerings before the age of 5. That's likely why my first 'real' performance at age 6 in front of 500+ people felt like just another weekend. By middle school, I was performing solo and in productions, accompanying my peers, and competing in venues across the United States and India.
Performing Arts Background: I am a practitioner, performer, and teacher of the Indian Classical Arts, and have been trained in Bharatanatyam (Dance), Carnatic Vocal Music, Mridangam (Percussion), Nattuvangam (Rhythmic Recitation), and Classical Violin. I get it - it's a lot. I've grown up hearing exactly this - countless instances of advice to my parents and myself. "How much will she do! Have her pick one thing and stick to it." Well - I'm so glad I didn't. 🤷🏽♀️ In Bharatanatyam dance performances, the confluence of musicians make up the live music the dancer performs to. I was 10 when I watched my sister dance beautifully to live music, and I was absorbed by the world in front of me. I couldn't decide who I wanted to be more - I wanted to be them all. My mother enrolled me in Dance and Vocal lessons at age 4, and I enrolled myself in Violin and Mridangam lessons as a teenager. The immigrant struggle put a fair share of financial burden on our family, but no matter how tough it got, my parents never denied me an opportunity to learn. They stood hell-bent that their children would get access to the Indian classical arts despite raising them in the United States. This looked like cross-continent Skype lessons at 4 AM, driving hours to the nearest big city to attend performances, and dedicating summers to performing in Chennai. As a kid, arts was kind of my 'thing' - it gave me equity and confidence and fulfillment. I had purpose, and pursuing it came as effortlessly as existing. In hindsight, it also helped form a critical piece of my identity as an Indian-American. When I'm not building our company, my free time is consumed in watching, practicing, or performing the arts. I recognize now the privilege of having the right support system, which enabled me to find my "Ikigai" - my raison d'être - and continue to hold me accountable to giving the nurture and discipline the arts demand. I owe everything to my Gurus who have molded me into who I am: Smt. Janaki Srinivasan, Smt. Shanti Ramesh, Smt. Madhusri Sethuraman, Dr. Venkatraman Subramanian, Dr. Ganesh Devarajan, Dr. Apoorva Jayaraman, my sister and my Mom.
How did your performing arts background supercharge your entrepreneurship? I'm so glad you asked! ✨Superpowers I owe completely to my background as a performing artist✨ ✔️ Rejecting false tradeoffs: Not having the arts in my life was never really an option for me. But, as time stayed finite and life got busier, I got really good at discerning between a false tradeoff versus an inevitable compromise. Skip weekend practice to attend a birthday party? Nah. Instead, I'd wake up 2 hours earlier. I performed in India while prepping for the SAT, had a 2-hour vocal performance during finals week, performed a TEDx Talk while working banking hours, and was up for class at 5 AM this morning before I got to my cluttered inbox. As an entrepreneur building in healthcare, I reject the notion that business results and health outcomes are mutually exclusive - choosing one over the other dilutes the benefits of both, and further misaligns incentives. Instead, our team is challenged to find creative solutions in collective benefit. It takes a little longer and can be inconvenient, but is totally worth it. ✔️ Bombing, and then doing it again: Ask any early-stage founder what the hardest part of their journey is, and I guarantee you most will say that it's conquering the mind and developing enough resilience and creativity to try again and again... and again. I've bombed a lot as an artist. I've tripped, forgotten lyrics, broken my instrument, and even burst out into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, all on stage. But hey - you get back up there and do it again. I suffer from bouts of imposter syndrome, sure. But resilience is a skill best developed through practice, and the decades of practice surely helps as an entrepreneur. ✔️ Getting into the "zone": I don't recall most of my performances. I completely disassociate, let muscle memory take over, and enter into an almost meditation-like flow state, or my "zone". The Indian classical arts have many elements of improvisation, and if you're distracted, you've dropped your thread. When you're locked in, you create magic. I tap into this magic when I'm "performing" as an entrepreneur all the time. Whether it's pitching our company on stage, speaking to birthing parents about their pain points, or ideating about the future of our company, the magic is all the same. ✔️ Achieving harmony: What prevents cacophony on stage and grounds Indian Classical artists is the Talam (beats per measure) and Ragam (scale or progression); but, what is that energy that takes it from "not cacophony" to "harmony? I believe it's empathy, presence of mind, and effective communication. While we need OKRs and project management tools as builders, our team taps into that same energy to channel this performance-like chemistry and function at our highest.
Favorite Performer: I have two: 1. My teacher, Dr. Apoorva Jayaraman! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POlSmAxEbxk. A PhD in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge and Masters in Physics from University of Oxford, she uses Bharatanatyam’s syntax and ancient Sanskrit text from the Rig Veda to explore the origins of our world. In her words: “Through this medium, we are able to invite an audience to ruminate upon the origin of our existence - to touch through art, that which eludes the human intellect.” 2. My husband. When he sings, I cry!
Follow this Performer:
Instagram - @aishwarya.ravin
LinkedIn - /in/aishravin/