Far and beyond, technology is that boon to the world, which has not only made an impact on civilization and lifestyles but also the mindsets of people. To bring about a revolution today, all we need is one innovation that comes out of technology. Having faith in the “Power of Tech.”, Rumee Singh, CEO & Co. Founder of Hamro Life Bank and Rumsan Group of Companies advocates technology in the best way possible by creating social impacts and saving lives through it.
Coming from a family with everyone having a Science background, with her father being an Aeronautical Engineer and mother Botanist, Rumee claimed to be organically pushed to the “science” environment and was always curious about new things around.
“Every South-Asian family has this prioritized attraction towards Science. I did too, but I was a little rebellious in that I had it on my mind to pursue a career in Arts. As I was more inclined towards the world of communications and creativity, I viewed Engineering as a functional integration to it.”
While still trying to figure out what she wanted to do, Rumee did her Bachelor’s in Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus, and followed her passion for communication after that. She completed her Masters’ Degree in Journalism from Boston, U.S. but she believes that Engineering has always been the integral part of her journey.
“Being a woman in technology not only makes you feel smart, but it also makes you feel confident. Even during my journalism and communication career, I could realize how my background of Engineering helped me stand out.”
Her passion for communication was coming alive as she started working with PepsiCo in the global communication team at New York and then led consumer relations in her strategic Asia, Middle East and North Africa sector role in Dubai. She also has experience in working for digital production agencies in the U.S and has spearheaded the development of digital interactive learning experiences for young kids. Her work portfolio includes Warren Buffett’s Financial Literacy initiative and education projects for NFL, NBA, Intel, FOX and Disney.
Jumping from Engineering to journalism to mass communication to corporate communication and even after having achievements of immense significance, Rumee was still trying to find herself onto a platform where she could use all her ideas to bring about a social change.
Continuing on her journey of self-exploration, Rumee decided to return to Nepal and start from scratch. After spending 13 years abroad, adjusting to Nepal’s work culture and lifestyle was challenging but equally exciting for her. She was looking forward to starting something impactful.
“I had gotten so used to the comfort and standards abroad in day to day life, that when I came back to Nepal, I saw that we have many issues, from accessible health, education to proper roads.With all the problems, I saw many opportunities to make a difference.I took some time to self-reflect and plan where and what I wanted to pursue. However, my focus always tilted towards Health and Education, which were and are still the two key aspects front and center that need a lot of attention in Nepal.”
Rumee spent almost a year researching what could be done to bring about a sustainable change. While she has her knees deep in several other interesting initiatives ranging from Blockchain to storytelling platform for kids, the one thing that bubbled up to the top and remains her priority is the issue of inadequate blood supply and the stress involved in managing blood for patients in Nepal.
“During a conversation with one of my friends, who is also a gynecologist, I came to know that there is a lot of stress in finding blood amid a childbirth process. She shared an incident on how she lost her patient due to lack of blood.”
As a mother of two children, this incident got Rumee thinking about her own experience during her delivery in the U.S. She says that “blood” was the last thing she could have thought about while giving birth to a child.
After studying the whole situation, Rumee realized how Nepal stands near the end globally regarding blood management and availability.
“My colleagues, who are doctors themselves, had to run around to find blood at 2 AM in the morning. I can’t imagine how hard it would be for a regular person. I was privileged that I never faced such a situation during my pregnancy, but it is unfair that women in Nepal have to face it, not to mention so many everyday patients that require blood”
Her research showed a huge gap in blood-related information and data. Being an empathetic person, she then found her cause to utilize the technology and her background of communication to help alleviate this issue and ultimately make an impact on saving the lives of people. To solve this local issue, she started Hamro Life Bank (HLB), an organization that works with blood banks to make their processes efficient, maintain their information, and also recruit, engage and retain donors as per the demand. It operates through a data-centric approach to optimize the current in the process.
The most intriguing part about this organization is the “Vein to Vein” initiative that Rumee started. Vein to Vein notifies the donors when their blood is used to save a life. It not only creates a motivation loop but also promotes humanity.
“We are taking baby steps to digitize the blood banking ecosystem in Nepal, and I can’t wait to run, but I know I need to learn to balance and walk first. There’s still a long way to go for us to be successful. But I would consider myself successful if I can positively impact even a single life.”
Rumee is an epitome of modesty, empathy, grit, and resilience. From spending almost a year in Nepal without knowing her way forward to always being committed to her plans and passion, she has successfully saved many lives.
Besides her career, she is a mother and a wife with a very supportive family. Her idea of gender roles is as inspiring as her journey in life. She believes that with the right opportunity and exposure, gender will never come as an obstacle.
“Everyone is fighting their own battle, and as a human, we can choose what is best for us. Women usually face a lot of societal pressure here, but in the end, if you are a dreamer and if you can build the right support system, nothing can stop you from fighting for yourself to become an achiever.”
After her experience abroad and in Nepal, she proudly says that there are many enthusiastic, talented, and brilliant minds here. We can make a difference by giving these bright minds the right guidance and fostering their talent and skill. Acknowledging this fact, she runs Rumsan Group of companies, an organization committed to supporting promising start-ups and investing in frontier technology and innovation.
All of us have always been saying that even after we live abroad for studies and work, eventually, we all need to come back to our country to utilize our skills for development. Rumee is an example of it. She has proved how a developing country can be considered an opportunity hub to establish oneself as a remarkable person and create social impacts for sustainable development. She is a woman of power and incredible change.
“We all know that women entrepreneurs do not get as much exposure as men. Many women in Nepal who have done amazing jobs in their field. As a woman, it is our responsibility to lift them to be the role models for the younger generation. Let young girls and boys look upon successful women to keep them going.”
Rumee’s journey is an inspiration and we look forward to seeing more of her in future.
This story was written by Ojashwi Sharma, a member of Nepali Women in Computing.