Position: Chief financial officer of SoundExchange, a District-based independent nonprofit performance rights organization that helps distribute royalties to the recorded music industry.
Anjula Singh started out on a public accounting track at KPMG, working with companies in the health-care and energy industries. She went on to work for a series of companies, including a start-up, helping to organize the financial departments of each before moving to SoundExchange, a nonprofit. There, she helped grow SoundExchange from 20 employees to 150. Now she will lead its financial department.
How did you help maintain the culture at SoundExchange as it grew?
As an executive team, we established our mission and values. We worked through with our departments to make sure they understood them. As new individuals come on we go through that to help them understand our culture and environment. We think collectively on how we maintain that.
What are the challenges to that?
We wear a lot of hats, we’re growing, the industry is changing daily. That keeps us on our toes. We represent the industry on so many different areas. Every day we’re trying to make sure we have the basic theme that we’re here to help the industry. It is challenging but it’s a fun part of the job.
You’ve mentioned that you’re big on people development.
You’re always trying to identify people’s strengths, their background and what they can bring. I spend time with employees individually within my department and help some of the other executives try to understand their employees.
What is your leadership style?
I definitely keep a pulse on everything but I let my team do their thing. I like to be a resource they come to rather than be in the weeds and understand the day-to-day things. They have a clear task and set of goals that they do so I rather they come to me when they run into roadblocks. I’m also one of the folks as an executive to make sure my door is open to not only my department but anyone in the company.
Any connection to the music industry?
My family is Indian. I come from the Bollywood world. There’s always music in the life of an Indian. I’m one of those people who can look at life’s moments and there are songs I can relate to or were there to help me through things. Music is a pretty important part of my life.
What have you been playing on heavy rotation?
I’m all over the place. I could be country one day and U2 another day. It depends on the mood. These days. it’s been Imagine Dragons and Pharrell.
Which books are you reading?
“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.
— Interview with Vanessa Small