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CTzen Stories: Swadha Sharma – Success Awaits at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Swadha Sharma Swadha Sharma, Regional Director of Customer Success for India South at CleverTap, has over nine years of experience. A plant mom with 70+ plants, she applies patience to her work.
CTzen Stories: Swadha Sharma – Success Awaits at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Everyone has a story waiting to be heard. We’re highlighting some of the amazing stories from within CleverTap — from our very own CTzens — because we believe in the amazing people we work with everyday and want to share the exciting work culture that we’ve built together. Presenting: the CTzens of CleverTap.  
Being from Meerut, I took up Electronics Engineering and graduated in 2014 from Uttar Pradesh Technical University. I was then hired as an associate software developer in an Indian multinational information technology services and consulting company headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. 
But, I was never fond of coding for a living and always wanted to explore further. I came across a company, which was an industry-leading web services provider but also a pioneer in the technology solutions vertical, and it was recruiting for jobs in Mumbai. I applied for an Account Manager position. 

Choosing the Right Path for Me

Family members and relatives suggested that I join the Noida company as I would get a chance to be closer to my home which was the trend at that time. All my peers had the same opinion, especially when it came to picking between a startup and a big IT multinational. Essentially, I knew what was expected of me. I traveled to Mumbai for the first time for interviews and received offer letters from both the IT multinational in Noida and the web services provider in Mumbai on the same day. 
This happy moment turned into a big debate among my family. My grandparents were very supportive of my decision to go to Mumbai, but my mother took some time to come around. We didn’t know anyone in Mumbai and therefore our perception of the city was very different. The decision had to be made within 24 hours, and finally, my mother agreed.

Adventures in Mumbai

I moved to Mumbai in September and found a house through Facebook in Marol. It was a two-bedroom flat occupied by eight people! Often there were extra people coming in, and the house was very crowded. Despite the close quarters, I developed a close bond with my roommates and had an amazing time. As I learned more about the city and its culture, my entire perception of Mumbai changed. I found Mumbai to be an amazing city that felt safe and with friendly, welcoming people. 
I worked at the web services provider company for four incredible years and worked hard. I was so driven to grow — and to move out of the overcrowded house! In my job, I was consistently acknowledged and promoted and received pay increases as well so that I could now afford a decent two-bedroom flat with four people. That was a big growth factor in my life. 

Succeeding in Customer Success

After four amazing years, I began exploring options. Although there was a lot of learning happening, I was extremely underpaid there and my expenses were mounting. I got an opportunity with an Indian cloud web and mobile testing platform company through a friend. I took a role in Customer Success and loved the role. The product was amazing, and the customers were very different, making it an entirely new experience. That is when I realized that Customer Success was my calling, and I could see myself taking it up as a career. 
Within six months in this new organization, I got an offer from an American business, an employment-oriented online service. Although I wasn’t actively looking for any change, it was a dream opportunity that I couldn’t refuse.  
This American organization was a life-changing experience. Right from understanding how organizations work, to culture, helped me to become a seasoned professional. It also gave me an opportunity to travel. My travel goal was Goa then since I hadn’t traveled much at all, but this new organization offered me an opportunity to visit Las Vegas instead, and eventually Goa as well. 

Growth vs. Comfort

I traveled places and grew personally due to the global exposure that I received here. The only problem is this new firm gives you so many perks that you enter a comfort zone you don’t want to leave. You have a cab with a dedicated driver at your doorstep, all your personal expenses are paid by the company. The only expense you would literally have as an employee is clothes. 
I was nominated for the best CSM in the Asia-Pacific region which was one of my best moments. I learned the difference between empathy and sympathy in this organization which helped me immensely in my role in Customer Success. 
For example, I learned of a term called ‘Ubuntu’ there from Jeff Weiner, who was the CEO of the company then. Ubuntu is a term that applies to the entire ecosystem that we work in, and it literally means ‘I am because we are.’ The con was that the growth at this American firm was very very slow, and I realized if I didn’t make a move now, I would slip into a comfort zone that would be hard to give up. 

Expanding My Horizons

During the pandemic, I came across CleverTap through a friend. It had great reviews and I was excited about the product as well. I was interviewed for the enterprise segment, and the customers that CleverTap have are the best in the industry. People questioned my decision, but I knew what I wanted. I loved challenges and was confident in my skills and what I could offer to the company. 
The opportunities that I received here were amazing and the mentors at CleverTap are people who groom you to be leaders. I don’t think you get that opportunity everywhere. 
At CleverTap, I am handling one of the biggest clients, which is a testament to the trust that the team has in me. I handle a pod of three people in Bangalore which is an amazing opportunity. I got some amazing travel opportunities to travel not just to Bangalore, but Jakarta, Istanbul, Noida, and many other places. 
They call CleverTap a rocket ship for a reason: the growth, people, mentors, and projects evolve at an amazing speed. The one piece of advice that I would love to share through my story is to trust your instincts, take calculated risks and get out of your comfort zone. You need to take care of yourself and the world will align around you. 

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