I took a trip to San Francisco earlier this week to learn more about one of Uber’s employee resource groups, Asian Heritage, and I left feeling so empowered! The Asian Heritage employee resource group was established in 2015 and is meant to empower Asians at Uber and celebrate Asian ideas and culture. Basically, they work hard to make sure that Asians at Uber succeed and feel supported. I had the opportunity to interview Anurag Agarwalla at Uber HQ who has been an Asian Heritage member since 2017. Conversing with Anurag was such a breeze because he has such a huge personality and is so kind and social to everyone he meets. Since with Uber, he’s done so much to expand and explore diversity within the company. He shared an amazing story with me that I knew I had to pass on with you because you’re going to love it (especially my fellow Indian food lovers!!).
THE STORY + 1 on 1 Interview
Anurag is a firm believer of talking about ideas versus people. He came up with an idea to have his mom come in the office, share some of her Indian recipes with the chef’s at Uber and have them scale it to provide lunch for all of Uber! That inspiring idea actually came to life and everyone at the office enjoyed Indian food for lunch which I thought was such a fun way for others to experience Indian culture and food. After that experience, Uber continued the “You Are What You Eat” series and did an ongoing restaurant tour! They’re also planning something similar for Diwali which is coming up soon! It’s so clear to see from just this one example that Anurag strives to inspire others at Uber in celebrating other cultures and fully promoting being your true, authentic self. That’s the most important takeaway I took with my interview with him: there’s simply so much power of being your authentic self and he’s right.
Another great thing I learned is that in normal work places, you follow some sort of hierarchy and go up the work structure when reaching out to individuals, right? With Uber, you can talk to anyone and share your ideas with anyone in the company! It’s such a free flow and creative environment that really draws you in and promotes positive brainstorming.
DRIVING THE BUSINESS BY BORROWING UNIQUE ASPECTS OF ASIAN CULTURE
Another thing I learned from Anurag is how much a business can flourish when a business encourages culture and unique ideas from Asia. It’s so important for one to be really good at listening to diverse perspectives. ERGs offer one of the mechanisms to do that because all of a sudden you see leaders and other people in the limelight and there’s a lot of value there. For example, Anurag told me that he made a pitch deck for Uber around this model for innovation where he spent about 8 weeks launching this idea. Later he found out that his voice was heard and implemented! Through hard work and dedication, Asian ideas are helping grow and drive the business at Uber! Anurag (along with many others in the Asian Heritage) are not only helping Uber grow culturally from within but are also actively helping the business thrive which is why diversity + inclusion are so important.
My 1 on 1 experience with Anurag was so inspiring and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to work with Uber on this project as spreading diversity is so dear to my heart. Anurag and I had so many similarities growing up in an Indian household and it was so great to chat with someone that culturally knew where I was coming from! After visiting Uber’s HQ, we all went on a boba run to talk more about Asian Heritage and the importance of diversity at work! We took most of our photos there as you can see! 🙂
Overall, I’m so impressed and excited about Uber’s efforts to give Asians and other minorities a voice in the community. There is so much inclusiveness within Uber’s HQ that you could truly feel the cultural energy while in the office. Massive thank you to Uber for having me at their HQ and allowing me to share some ERG stories!
Chat soon, xo!
This post is sponsored by Uber. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for always supporting me as partnerships like these make Next With Nita possible.