Mitika Kulshreshtha is a young and dynamic marketing professional in India. She grew up the corporate ranks really quick, and today heads marketing for VeriSign in India. Mitika answers all the questions in a crisp manner, and is very clear about who she is and what she wants. Let us find out more about her story.Edited excerpts:
St Stephen’s introduced me to holistic education
I was born and brought up in Delhi. My parents belonged to Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. I studied at a good private school called Springdales. My mother was a scientist and my father was a statistician, so education was always priority. My father has eight siblings, and my mother has five siblings. My parents always focussed on giving me and my elder brother the best they could do. I had a very humble middle class upbringing. I went to college at Stephens in Delhi, I studied Physics. Later I did my Masters in Information Technology from Delhi University.I graduated in 2001. It was only at Stephens I started thinking about what are the things I really wanted to do. Also college was about holistic education and growth. It was not just about studies, but also participating as much in everything that is happening around you. Stephens groomed me that way.
My upbringing taught me that even though things might look cloudy in the beginning, it all makes sense in retrospect. So stay focussed and positive.
First job at a startup and its advantages
I joined a startup soon after completing my Masters. I soon realized my interest in marketing and the business side of things. The founder really encouraged me, helped me take on many challenges and gave me a confidence boost. In fact, he pushed me to do my MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB, Hyderabad) after spending a couple of years at my first job.
ISB was a fantastic experience. The faculty is amazing. Peers are great. ISB offers Western style education in India and the experience helps you polish your business skill-sets.
Joining Airtel, getting married, shifting jobs
After ISB, I joined Airtel in Delhi. I was there for about 18 months. I decided to get married at that time, and moved to Bangalore. I joined Richcore Lifesciences as a part of their core team in Bangalore. I joined the Business Development team which grew from 3 to 30 by the time I left them after two years. The experience of drawing up a plan on a whiteboard and then getting to execute it independently is a great thrill that startups offer. After two years, I decided to move back to Delhi as we wanted to be with our parents. I joined Airtel again and was there for two years, this time as part of their data and broadband business acquisition team.
Getting the big job at VeriSign
The first years in your career are always about figuring out what you like to do, and what kind of work environment you like, and what kind of peers you want to work with. I always kept that quest on. For me, I realized that creating an impact is extremely important, working in an organization that offers flexibility as long as you delivered on your targets is extremely important, working with smart and driven colleagues is important. Given all of that, I landed a perfect offer as the Head of Marketing at VeriSign in India.
I found this job through a friend who introduced me to the opportunity. Relationships and people have always been very important to me. Opportunities come your way through people. Work on your relationships and invest quality time in them. All good things happen through relationships. I believe in this.
Success as a marketer
Your success in marketing depends on how close you stay to your customer. Listen to them, and your find what you need to do. That is my mantra.
My drive is to keep growing, keep learning and not being stagnant.
Women at workplace
As I grow older, I see the differences between how men and women bring them to workplaces. I never noticed any of it before. I see that many women self-impose limitations on themselves thinking about marriage or having children in future. These things are not even very obvious. It is something inbuilt in our societal structure. We need to change this.
As someone who grew very quickly up the corporate ladder, Mitika advises women to be confident of their choices and not feel guilty about any of the choices you make. Mitika says your success really depends on how confident you are about your the choices you make
We wish Mitika many more successes in her career and wish her the best.