Sumit Ramchandani, Managing Director APAC of Blueshift, talks to The Ortus Club’s Cameron Locke about the role of the Managing Director as the foreman of the company with a mission to deliver growth strategies in product development, market expansion, and diversification.
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Can you give us a one-sentence description of your company?
Blueshift is a SmartHub CDP (customer data platform) platform that combines the best CDP capabilities with personalisation and AI, and unifies messaging with cross channel orchestration. It’s marketing automation and a CDP tool all rolled into one.
Can you describe the role of a Managing Director in one word? Why?
Growth. The role of a Managing Director is to expand and deliver results. I wear multiple hats to help other business areas. Whether it be sales, business development, hiring clients, people management, or public relations, I can help out in many different ways. As a Managing Director, you learn how to be a client advocate and direct the people towards the company’s goals.
What current challenges are Managing Directors facing right now? Can you identify a solution?
Blueshift is currently facing three major challenges. Firstly, marketing the APAC headquarters and getting our word out there even with a differentiated proposition. Secondly, educating the market on why we have a more effective way of driving growth for marketers. Lastly, attracting the right talent to help us spread our vision and improve our company’s culture.
How do you explain the success you’ve had in your career?
I do not consider myself successful yet. If I perceive myself as successful, that’s probably the start of my downfall. So, I feel fortunate that I’ve done a few things in life that have worked out for me to live a comfortably and provide for my family.
Everything starts and stops with direct relationships. We see this with how we treat a team, stakeholders, clients, and vendor partners. Working with people across different functions, levels, and entities delivers the highest satisfaction. I value people’s relationships the most because they give me the innovation and the courage to create something new.
What excites me is diving into the unknown, where you might hit the ground running. There are parts of the business that you have absolutely no idea about, so you want to jump in and learn new things, which will help your growth. And once you learn to master that, you feel pretty good about yourself.
“If there is one thing that you should be good at, it’s building relationships with people. Managing your circle and your influence on others helps you grow personally and professionally.”
Can you tell us about a time you took a major risk in your career?
My biggest risk was when I first transitioned from Leo Burnett, a reasonably well-known company. At first, I had another job offer from a bigger agency, but I thought hard about which opportunity would be the best for me. So, it wasn’t an easy decision. Still, I took the role. I went into it knowing that things might not work out. But instead, it worked out well, so I do not regret my decision.
How can you see your role evolving in the next two to three years?
I don’t have a crystal ball that I can gaze into and figure out where I will be. All I know is that I like being on the edge of technology. I like what we are doing at Blueshift. Moreover, I want to remain in this marketing technology space, especially in the SaaS space with high-velocity growth attached. So, I see myself handling bigger and different challenges. I want to continue to excel in an area outside of my comfort zone.
What marketing/business trends are you taking advantage of right now?
With the acceleration of digital platforms, many B2B sales and business development sales require in-person visits. Since many have moved onto virtual meetings, they can get things done. Everything can be hosted online at a much faster pace, from conferences to webinars, and it’s super convenient. We also want to have virtual meetings work in our favour. Hopefully, easing us in with more expansion and growth. On that note, I’m enjoying the current set-up we have right now, and we get the best of both worlds, online and in-person meetings.
What career advice would you like to share with other Managing Directors?
I’m not one to give advice, but I can say what has worked for me. If there is one thing that you should be good at, it’s building relationships with people. Managing your circle and your influence on others helps you grow personally and professionally. So, let’s try to push ourselves and see how we can start taking risks to keep our lives balanced.