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As the newly appointed CFO of agtech start-up Cooks Venture, Ankur Agrawal lists one of his favorite duties as designing menus. Of course, we are referring to the menu of performance measurements featured on the poultry company’s maturing business dashboard.

“One of the beauties that comes with joining a new company is that you get to build from scratch,” explains Agrawal, who says that he’s relied on some of his earlier experiences using dashboards at Pepsico and Blue Apron to help Cooks Venture to build a better one.

According to Agrawal, a successful dashboard begins with understanding what measurements are needed inside a company’s different business functions. At Blue Apron, Agrawal says, the firm’s finance leader improved the company’s dashboard design by first asking functional leaders across the company, “What are the two or three measurements that you are looking at?”

“Once he got that list from everyone, he said, ‘All right, now let’s create our dashboard.’ I’ve tried to take a similar approach in which we talk to people and try to understand what they need to see,” explains Agrawal, whose tour of duty at Blue Apron offered far more than lessons in dashboard design.

As a finance director for the innovative meal-kit company, Agrawal worked closely with Blue Apron’s cofounder and COO, Matt Wadiak, who left the company in 2017 to establish Cooks Venture.  

Says Agrawal: “We had worked closely for four years. We had a great partnership and complemented each other very well. We had been talking for a while, so when he started this company, essentially it became the right time for the business and for me because I had been looking for the right opportunity.” -Jack Sweeney

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