#CrayonYearbook2021: Looking back with gratitude

Published December 24, 2021   |   

It’s time for the #CrayonYearbook! Thanks to our amazing Crayons, we’ve seen achievements aplenty in 2021. As the year winds down, we count down our top 10 moments.

#10 Around the world with maya.ai

Despite several borders still being shut, Crayon managed to go places around the world – even if it was virtually. Some of our highlights included

  • Top 10 start-up of FinTech Accelerator Program 2021 by FinTech Saudi
  • Presenting maya.ai at #FinovateAsia Digital and Plug and Play APAC
  • Partnering with Falcorp to enter the South African market
  • An e-business mission to Latin America

#9 Leadership in the spotlight

“[Building a team] is a strange mix of trying to give them rational things that combat their fears and this inspirational thing of saying, “You know what? You can fly, I can help you fly,” say founder and CEO of Crayon Data Suresh Shankar. Our founding team is always focused on bringing the best out of every Crayon. And for their excellence, they’ve received several recognitions in the press and industry. Swipe through for some of the highlights in the past year!


#8 Slaves to the Algo Season 2

Our obsession with algos continued with the second season of Suresh V Shankar’s Slaves to the Algo podcast. And what a variety of guests we had! We talked about everything from company culture being an algorithm to banking for the next generation. Plus, insights on how AI is being used in medical care, whisky manufacturing and romance!


#7 When borders opened

One of the hardest parts of the pandemic was not being able to meet our family, friends and colleagues. So it was very special when international and state borders reopened! And we were able to meet our Crayons from Singapore (and across India) in the Chennai Box.

It also gave us a chance to revive our traditional welcome for new Crayons: walking down the corridor and ringing a bell! It signifies auspicious beginnings. Click here to see how our first bell-ringing session in over a year went.

#6 Sharing Crayon’s Values 2.0 with the world

If you know Crayon, you know we’re passionate about our values! Earlier this year, we shared our Crayon Box of Values 2.0 with the world.

Co-founder and COO Aarti Ramakrishnan wrote this piece detailing our journey and the evolution of our culture as the Box continues to grow.


#5 Understanding the magic of maya.ai

The #ExploremayaDotAI series of blogs is a great way to get under the hood of our flagship platform. We shared how users can

  • Navigate a data-driven world with Engage Studio
  • Add the missing ingredient to customer data with Taste Studio
  • Focus on merchant acquisition and customer engagement with Commerce Studio
  • Monetize native platforms with Engage App

Check out the series here.

#4 Recognized by industry analysts

From an endorsement from Ecosystm Insights to being included in the HFS Hot Vendors Compendium… We are so grateful for the recognition that industry analysts gave us this year!

#3 Multiple mentions in Forbes India

Yes, please! Our flagship platform, maya.ai, was featured in their AI special edition. Founder and CEO Suresh Shankar shared his entrepreneurship story on the ‘Startup Fridays’ Instagram Live and podcast. Plus, Vidhyashankar Sriram and Priyanshu Mishra caught up with Harichandan Arakali on the Daily Tech Brief Podcast to share how we simplify the world’s choices and encourage enterprises to #StayRelevant.

#2 Celebrating women and diversity

What does diversity mean at Crayon? Co-founder and COO Aarti Ramakrishnan says, “It’s about creating a stage for equal opportunity at every turn. For the hiring team, it’s about actively searching for women engineers, so that in a final shortlist, we have as many of them to evaluate as men. And once they come in, how do we mentor them? Not just for leadership roles, but for challenges in life.”

She also adds, “it’s not just about the women at Crayon. It has always been about how we can support women in our extended circle. By speaking to the men in our company – the ones who are getting married, raising families. [We] hope that our approach is a ripple that influences fathers, husbands, brothers to support their daughters, wives, sisters.”

In 2021, Crayon truly celebrated women and diversity.

  • We marked International Women’s Day with the #ChooseToChallenge initiative
  • We vowed to increase the ratio of women in the company from 30% to 40% – and it’s a work in progress.
  • We have forums like a women-only townhall, to focus on the issues they’re facing, and how we can solve them.

And in the coming year, we hope to share some of these stories with you.

#1 The one where Crayon turned 9

Our top moment has to be our 9th anniversary celebrations on June 10! While we were reeling from the after-shocks of the Covid-19 second wave, there was one overwhelming emotion: gratitude. As our founders wrote in a heartfelt note, “Gratitude is an exemplary force in good times, and may have even more positive power in tough ones. Robert Emmons, psychologist and author of Gratitude Works!, says, “Being grateful is a choice… it provides a perspective from which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances.”” This compilation of our achievements from 2020-2021 never fails to put a smile on our faces. What better way to end the year!