Saasha is the Co-Founder & COO of OLIO, a free app which harnesses the power of mobile technology and the sharing economy to provide a revolutionary new solution to the problem of food waste. OLIO does this by connecting neighbours with each other, and with local businesses so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. Prior to founding OLIO, Saasha spent 13 years in finance, strategy and business development roles at Morgan Stanley, McKinsey & American Express, and also founded My Creche, London’s first PAYG provider offering flexible childcare for busy parents. Saasha has an MBA from Stanford and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago. She is the mother to a 7 year old boy named Nolan, and the proud daughter of hippy entrepreneurs.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given
Several years ago one of my yoga teachers said after practice that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This really resonated with me because at that point in my life I was spending too much energy comparing myself to others or to societal benchmarks. I’ve been much happier since I’ve realised I’m the only one that can define my own self-worth, and that validation comes from inside.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given
I don’t know if anyone ever told me this, but for a long time I believed that money mattered more than meaning in one’s career. I pursued financial security for the first 13 years of my professional life, but I never felt a fraction of the fulfillment I have known in working on OLIO and the small business I started before OLIO. A lot of people say they’re trying to make the world a better place with their work, but when you’re actually doing it, work is pure pleasure.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Not to take life so seriously! I was always so competitive, and focussed on my A game. I could have afforded to get some B’s along the way, even a C. Also, to freeze my eggs! It was very difficult for me to conceive in my mid-30s, but freezing my eggs wasn’t something I had ever considered. I wish I had explored that option earlier in my life.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
The potential to completely redefine consumption, at a global scale, by putting the ‘secondary’ marketplace of ‘sourcing used’ in front of the ‘primary’ marketplace of ‘buying new,’ which is the status quo today. And, the impact that will have on making the most of the Earth’s precious, scarce resources.
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
I’m inspired by everyone who gets up every day with a smile on their face, and puts one foot in front of the other to work towards a better future for us all, in whatever way is uniquely theirs.