We had the good fortune of connecting with Shivangi Patel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shivangi, how do you think about risk?
At 23 years old, I told off my boss and walked out the door of a big studio job. I had spent the past four years working hard to get a position like that, but I had finally hit a wall with my boss. She took everything out of me, and even at 23, I knew I couldn’t waste my time there any longer. Driving home, I decided my next step would be to move to New York City. It took me one month to sort things out, pack my bags, and book a one way trip to NYC. I crashed on my friend’s couch for a week and took the first job my recruiter found for me. It was an accounting position working for a high end fashion designer right in the middle of NYC. What more could I ask for? From then on, I felt my opportunities were endless. My point is, without risk there would be no reward. If I didn’t walk out of my dead end job, I would still be sitting in that woman’s office wanting to pull my hair out. After four years in NYC, I again quit my job and moved back to Los Angeles without a job. This time I wanted it to be a stepping stone to the next chapter of my life. I ended up at a company that truly challenged me but I needed more. I spent four years at this company before I decided to go to business school and start my own business with zero capital and a partner who lives in India. Many people gave me the “what if you fail” speech but I tuned them out and decided to go for it anyway. There are so many uncertainties and late nail biting nights with starting a business, especially when you barely have money to make it work. Two years later, we have a fully developed digital accounting platform and subscribing customers. Failure means going out of your comfort zone and jumping feet first. It can be incredibly scary but if you are determined to fight your way through it, the outcome is usually what it was intended to be. At times you may think that you failed, but blessings do come in disguises, so watch for those lessons. For any sort of growth in life, risk is necessary. With business, relationships, education whatever it is that means the most to you, risk is necessary in life. I not only learned so much about myself, but this journey instilled in me grit and perseverance. It taught me that to get what you want, you have to step outside that box into a new world.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Cratosys is a B2B digital accounting platform that helps small businesses craft their financial story. We are a global company with offices in Los Angeles and India, which adds a level of complexity when trying to develop a product together. In the past two years, we went from an idea to execution, to completely scratching the product, to a minimum viable product in six months. At Cratosys, our mission is to help all businesses grow by educating them on financial management, streamlining accounting processes, and establishing a community where they can communicate with other business owners on all things accounting and business-related. Businesses need approachable accounting solutions that will not only save them time and money but help them understand their daily expenses and income. Many businesses find it overwhelming to learn basic accounting. As a result, they hand their receipts and other documents to a CPA firm who manages it for them or they hire a bookkeeper. The job gets done and they move on, but in the process they lose visibility to their business. They are unaware of their financial story. Our product learns spending behavior versus how much money is available for use through our built in automation. A robot captures essential data from documents and our built-in AI allocates expenses relieving the business owner from having to understand bookkeeping. For midsize companies, our built in workflow allows team members to discuss and approve invoices through the system, increasing visibility. It also reduces manual input, saving them time and money.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I lived in the Arts District for over two years so I am a little bias towards the neighborhood. We would start off at Groundworks to grab a cappuccino and work our way down the street to scope out all the street art. We stop off at the local boutiques and support small businesses. We grab a bite to eat at Arts District Brewery (their nachos are to die for) and maybe a nice cold glass of crafted beer. Then head down to little Tokyo and walk through the village. We definitely can’t forget to do happy hour at Eat Drink Americano. Their delicious veggie empanadas and chicken tinga tostadas are even better at happy hour prices! Other areas I love are West Hollywood. EP+LP has a great vibe and tons of great restaurants in the area. Santa Monica hiking trails or steps are a great way to work up an appetite or rent some bikes and ride over to Venice for some fun and great food. Hiking up to the Griffith Observatory is another great option and head to Home for a delicious brunch.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband first and foremost. I am a very career oriented woman and there are some really tough days with starting a business. Without his support, I would not make it through those tough moments. Also my parents. They didn’t have much when they moved to America, so stability is a big thing for them. They have had a tough journey, and nevertheless have been extremely supportive of me with all of my aspirations in life; from moving to NYC to jump start my career, to business school, and now starting a business. That support gave me the strength and courage to never give up. It is really encouraging.