Rasika Mathur working as a Senior Director (Consumer Insights) shares her journey with Snapdeal.
As I sit back and reflect on my 12 years at Snapdeal, I recall many moments of pride and tremendous anticipation both at the same time.
Snapdeal for me has been an amazing melting pot of experiences, endeavours, and accomplishments. Since my early days at Snapdeal, I have had the privilege of working with really motivated founders in Kunal and Rohit. I have shouldered responsibilities to manage and motivate large teams of relatively inexperienced, albeit talented individuals, at a time when the start-up ecosystem was new and only the bravest souls ventured here.
I was one of the first few senior team members who joined Jasper Infotech (the then parent company of Snapdeal) in early 2010. On my first day at work, I was introduced to a team of project managers (fondly called ‘Tigresses’) who were to report to me – except that they were not yet apprised of this! I was told that this was so that I could establish my leadership on my merit and thought process rather than having it thrust upon them. Building effective teams of talented, hard-charging colleagues has been an abiding practice at Snapdeal. This first challenge of winning the trust of my team and also quickly delivering on the targets was my first introduction to Snapdeal’s “go get it” attitude – something that has energised me everyday to carve my own story and pave my way to success.
Snapdeal has given me opportunities to punch at challenges far above my weight, and win! And what a high this is every time! I have led and been a part of such diverse teams and initiatives at Snapdeal, that no two years have ever been the same. This for me has been the most enriching experience of being a part of the Snapdeal family. Right from signing partnerships with global luxury retail brands, restaurant chains, fashion and beauty brands, my team was instrumental in attracting and nurturing these relationships for many first of its kinds campaigns launched by national and international banks and telecom companies.
When we transitioned into products from services and daily deals, our entire toolbox and skillset changed. From managing partnerships and vendors, we transitioned to creating scalable processes for digitizing and promoting products and services for online consumers. Infact, for the initial months of product photoshoots, our team were the models and we even did our own makeup!
As a company, we have always kept a keen eye on how the business scene was changing and were agile enough to steer in that direction quickly. There have been various defining moments in Snapdeal’s trajectory and the team was always charged and bold to make the seemingly impossible changes swiftly. I recall one such evening when I met the founders and we had decided to change our business model. I had just the night to revise my team structure as the announcement had to be made the next morning when the team came back to work. The ability to make bold decisions and move fast is in Snapdeal’s DNA and all through these years of growth we have retained the ability and the will to embrace change with open arms. This in my view comes from a mindset of decisiveness, commitment and humility.
While we always had the confidence and agility to evolve, the values, ethics and principles that had laid the strong foundation of the company are deeply and intentionally woven into our ecosystem. The virtues of mutual respect, holding oneself and others accountable, never giving up, always doing the right thing have stood strong through the years. Such was the manifestation of these values, and the clarity with which they were lived out, that early in my career, as a girl who was never allowed to stay out after dark, I travelled extensively on work, and even had my first solo trips abroad, all under the sensitive, watchful and protective eye of ‘The Firm’. Even my parents, who had only experienced SD through my eyes, were convinced of the values of the workplace enough to allow this to happen! It is then that I truly understood the meaning of corporate culture and values, and vowed to define, fine tune and uphold these throughout my tenure here.
As we grew, it became important to showcase the impact our business was having on the lives of the people of Bharat. I was fortunate to record many inspiring stories of our sellers, who found a business partner in Snapdeal who not only gave them a platform to build and grow, but also positively impacted their lives and that of their families. I worked closely with these partners to capture their experiences, nurture their relationships with us and inspire scores of first generation entrepreneurs to associate with us and create this virtuous circle. While e-commerce is more mainstream now, recounting the early seller stories of success still gives me goosebumps.
As we grew , there came the imperative that all our stakeholders – customers and sellers and internal teams – speak the same language across the board. Ensuring a transparent and all encompassing growth was no mean feat, and I am proud to have shouldered the responsibility to drive the teams through a culture of transparent and open communication, celebrating the meaningful and purposeful work we were doing as an organization. It was interesting when the top global Business schools like Harvard, Kellogg, Stanford, ISB approached us to be a part of their Global Immersion programs as their students showed keen interest to learn and experience Snapdeal’s growth story and culture real time. It was humbling to see that the work we had done as a team sparked the interest of global academia, and served as case studies to the best universities in the world.
Life at Snapdeal is an entrepreneurial ride. The ownership to ideate, conceptualize and execute in a supersonic speed growth environment has always worked like an adrenaline rush for me. The philosophy of embracing failures as a stepping stone to build something bigger and better extended an energy and positivity to look ahead. For me, personally, it is an incredible and rather unbelievable journey. I gave this company my all, whenever it was needed, and received opportunities to grow in equal measure.
The workplace afforded me the work life balance necessary to have not only a fulfilling career, but also to have a wholesome life outside of the workplace. I have learned every day. Some from hands-on experience, some from working with the best minds and a whole lot from simply having the liberty to think, imagine, execute and repeat.
In this seen-it-all, done-most-of-it and lots-more-to-do scheme of things, the depth and scope of my learnings is unparalleled. As all of us at Snapdeal move to our next phase of growth, there is so much more to weave into this tapestry of experiences and learnings.
12 years and counting!
And loving it!