Sociabble is thrilled to announce that Krusha Sahjwani Malkani, the APAC Regional Business Manager of our Mumbai office, has been named to Indian Agency Reporter’s “Exemplary 6” list, for her excellent leadership in the field of communications in the APAC market, and for serving as a truly “exemplary” role model in her professional arena—for young women, yes, but more generally, for all of us. We had the chance to ask Krusha a few questions about her experiences and her advice for others seeking to excel in this field.
Sociabble: So Krusha, for those who don’t know you as well as we do, tell us a little about your background, where you’ve studied, things like that.
Krusha: I completed my schooling and graduation in Mumbai from Greenlawns High School and HR college (Mumbai University), and then went on to pursue my Masters in International Business from Grenoble Ecole de Management at their Singapore campus. I have always been a bit of a nerd and made an effort to ace my exams all through my academic life. Even today, if you give me a new language or subject to study, chances are I will dive into it with enthusiasm. I absolutely love learning new things!
Sociabble: When did you start your current role at Sociabble and what were the criteria for joining the company?
Krusha: I joined Sociabble right after completing my Masters Degree. Prior to my Masters, I had worked for a few years in Mumbai in the public relations and social media industry. As I was nearing completion of my degree, I was figuring out what I wanted to do next and I vetted hundreds of companies during the last six months of my studies—one of which was Sociabble. I remember I had three rounds of interviews after the initial resume check, the last one being with the CEO, Jean-Louis. Even at that time, the company had very high standards in terms of who they wanted to hire, and I actually had to do a live sales pitch in my second round. The company did not only put emphasis on my degree and skills, but also on my personality and values, to see if they were in line with the company’s own values and vision. Luckily, I made the cut and joined Sociabble on September 5th, 2016. My initial few months were spent in training and working in the European sales market. It was an adventurous time since I was also living all alone in a city where I didn’t even speak the language—another new thing I was able to learn!
Sociabble: In just a few years, you’ve helped Sociabble become a key player in APAC for Internal Comms, Employee Advocacy, and Social Selling. What are the key challenges you have overcome in your professional life to achieve this? How has the company helped you?
Krusha: Bringing Sociabble to the APAC market has been the most challenging and exciting chapter in my career. When we started here, it was only me representing this region, with this dream we saw together as a company. There were so many challenging elements to go against at the time, with limited resources; we were an unknown brand name in this market, and it was an immature market for employee advocacy. We were the first players in India with an employee advocacy product, and that meant we had to educate the market as well, which is always an uphill journey. We had to find the right partners and also the right clients, who would be able to accomplish the vision we had set out for them. I juggled a lot of roles between sales, consultancy, and recruitment, among other functions, until we reached a point where we could grow the team.
“We were the first players in India with an employee advocacy product, and that meant we had to educate the market as well, which is always an uphill journey. We had to find the right partners and also the right clients, who would be able to accomplish the vision we had set out for them.”
The company has helped me in more ways than I can probably list here. Firstly, despite working remotely, the support I received from my international teams was always heart-warming. Secondly, the company showed immense faith in me through every challenge of long sales cycles, and complex processes in different regions, among so many others. They never lost faith that we would make it, and honestly, that is probably the reason we did make it. The company culture especially taught me so much, helping me mirror the same successful techniques while growing our team in the APAC region. There are many precious gems I have learned and kept with me over time, although the one on top of my mind is probably the idea that “Selling is Helping.” It is a motto of our company and it really makes our work so much more meaningful. Lastly, the company has strengthened my belief that hard work and exemplary standards will always win. Our product team is an outstanding example of this. When we brought advocacy to India, we were the best tool in the market, and now that we have expanded our scope to internal communication, it isn’t just an added tag, we have actually created the best tool you could have for internal communication as well. And our general road map is enough of an indication of how things are only going to get better on all fronts.
We have definitely come a long way from where we started in the APAC region, and we still have a much longer and even more exciting road ahead of us!
“The company has strengthened my belief that hard work and exemplary standards will always win. Our product team is an outstanding example of this. When we brought advocacy to India, we were the best tool in the market, and now that we have expanded our scope to internal communication, it isn’t just an added tag, we have actually created the best tool you could have for internal communication as well.”
Sociabble: You also write novels, can you tell us more about this?
Krusha: I love writing and I have loved it ever since I was a child. I usually wrote for myself, and it is also very therapeutic for me. I feel like we often underestimate the impact words can have on the world. I actually started putting my writing out in the world at the same time as I started working with Sociabble. Maybe the cliché does hold true about Paris igniting the artistic sides in people. I contributed a few blogs with sites such as “Thought Catalog,” and only at the beginning of this year did I also start an Instagram page called @write_the_world_pink. I believe social media isn’t going anywhere, and there is often a lot of negativity or fakeness we get to see in it—so this is my way of spreading a little positivity. I also contributed with a few short stories in some anthologies this year, and just last week, released my first e-book on Amazon Kindle called “A Steaming Cup of Tea,” a heart-warming story about an Indian mother. Again, I want to be able to tell stories that need to be told, but unfortunately aren’t told enough. I have a dream to #WriteTheWorldPink.
Sociabble: What are the 3 pieces of advice you can give to women in India who want to not only be successful, but also have a well-balanced life?
Krusha: I feel very humbled to be looked at as someone capable of giving advice on the subject so early on in my career, but here is my honest advice to the girls in India. I want to put a disclaimer here that I had the privilege of living in Mumbai with my family and being able to study abroad because of my family, which I know isn’t accessible to everyone.
#1. There has never been a better time to be an urban woman in India, take advantage of that!
Yes, we have a lot of progress still to make, but this is the best it has ever been, and that in itself is a great opportunity. We owe it to our mothers and grandmothers who made so many sacrifices so that we could have the platforms we have today, and to the next generations so that they wake up in a world that doesn’t even have to discuss subjects such as feminism or gender equality. We must remember that you won’t always have opportunities served to you on a platter, so go find them, as many as you can, and work for it—there is truly nothing you cannot achieve. And if I may add, don’t be cynical. You may have good reason to be, but make the choice not to, and see how your world transforms. I have met incredible people, both men and women, along my journey. Perspective is everything. And when you do reach a position of any influence whatsoever, please use it well. Be kind.
#2. Balance your days and you will balance your life!
I believe that what you do every day is what your life will eventually become. So if you only work every day, that’s what your life will be, and if you only take care of the house every day, then that’s what your life will be—so whatever you want your life to be, do it today. Work with everything you have for the right hours, make time to exercise if that’s important to you, have dinner with your family today and take that vacation this year. Whatever you want to do, do it today. Don’t say I will spend time with my family after I achieve this or that, the list will never end. Similarly, don’t say I will concentrate on work after my first year of marriage, or after this or that milestone. Do it today. It won’t always be easy, nor will it always be equal. Some days one aspect of your life will overpower the others, and that’s okay as long as you maintain a balance as a general rule of thumb.
“I believe that what you do every day is what your life will eventually become.”
#3. Share your life with the right person!
I know we often, as humans, like to think that we can achieve everything ourselves, but truth is that if you want a well-balanced life, you need a supportive partner. If your partner doesn’t back your dreams just like you back theirs, it makes it very difficult to achieve success “happily.” I can do what I do because I have a husband who celebrates my success and fiercely protects me during my failures. I can do what I do today because I have in-laws who see my career in the same eyes that they see their son’s, as did my parents with my brother and I. If I had to manage a household alone, I don’t think I would be able to pursue my dreams with the same enthusiasm. Especially, I don’t think I could go through the journey happily, which of course is as important as success itself. So, choose your support system wisely. This is of course, if what you want is a marriage and a family. Even if not, find the right support system nonetheless, because everyone needs love in any form for true happiness. Never underestimate the value real relationships can bring to your career and life as a whole!
Sociabble: Thanks for the tips, Krusha, and congratulations again!