Portrait of Asha Sharma sitting on couch.

Executive Spotlight: Instacart COO Asha Sharma

Friday, October 14, 2022

Asha Sharma

Asha Sharma '11 BSB

Official Title

Chief Operating Officer at Instacart


Racine, Wisconsin

Time at Instacart

18 months

Activities Outside of Work

Cross-country drives, running while listening (yes, listening) to Netflix, spiritual poetry, and most board games

By Wade Rupard


When Asha Sharma, ’11 BSB, believes in something, she acts on it. That’s true in all facets of her life, including work.


Currently the chief operations officer at Instacart, Sharma oversees the company’s Marketplace, which includes the Instacart app, Instacart logistics, growth, and marketing.

She spoke to the Carlson School about her career and what advice she would give to graduates entering today’s workforce.

Why have you wanted to work for large technology companies?

I have a fundamental belief that technology can solve some of society’s most difficult challenges and create economic opportunity in the process. That was true of the first consumer packaged products I worked on at SC Johnson that were essentials for personal care and households. It was true of Porch Group, where we focused on solving pain points around the home and across the moving industry. It was true of working on private communication for billions of people around the world at Meta. And now definitely true at Instacart, where we’re focused on creating technology to invent the future of grocery alongside our retail partners. Since these are lifetime challenges, it’s really important to take a long-term view on the work and when you do that, it brings clarity and focus for the people and teams with whom you’re building.


What is your favorite part of your job?

I love getting to solve tough customer problems that haven’t been solved before and getting to do it with an amazing team. The opportunities to do this at Instacart are endless, whether it’s our expansion of EBT SNAP to nearly 30 million people experiencing food insecurity or acquiring new technologies like Caper AI that fundamentally redefine the in-store operation. Customer problems don’t have silver bullet answers, so I’ve fallen in love with the journey each day to making progress against our mission.


For Carlson School graduates who are entering the workforce today, what advice would you give them?

I think that it’s too simple to reduce your goals to what you want to be. Instead, focus on what you want to do and be the best at that. Pick a problem worth solving with people you’ll never forget. I also encourage everyone to take a medium-term view. The people that I look up to most—who are happy and have successfully solved important problems for the world—have been patient and often took roads less traveled.
Fall 2022 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2022 alumni magazine

Transitions present a time for celebration and reflection.

The Carlson School looks at past and present initiatives with an eye toward the future.

Fall 2022 table of contents