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Niddhi Shah is CleverTap’s Director of Success Strategy and Operations within the Customer Success team and has led some particularly transformative and impactful initiatives in the organization. In this blog, she talks about her mantra for success, her love for her work, her idol, and how she deals with life head-on.
Niddhi Shah: In Her Own Words
When I was in my tenth standard, I got an opportunity to meet the then-president APJ Abdul Kalam. It was for a presidential classroom and took place in The White House, in the U.S., where around 400 students worldwide had come — and I was honored to have been invited to participate!
Many of us in attendance also got a chance to speak to him. It was years back, but I still recall his message about persistence even in the face of obstacles. He has been my idol ever since I got this chance to meet him. And it was from him that I picked up the mantra “Never Quit” as I have always believed in working through challenges, no matter what.
I had scored 94% in my Diploma, after which I jumped directly into the second year of coursework for a computer engineering degree where I faced some challenges with mathematics. But I worked hard and continued to improve, facing every challenge that came my way, as I had determined to do after meeting President Kalam.
I finished my Computer Engineering and became a bit of a ‘whiz’ at it and then pursued my MBA — since I had acquired a bit of an entrepreneurial streak from my father. I got my MBA from Willamette University, Oregon, in the U.S. I shifted my focus towards business management as I wanted to gain exposure in various cultural aspects and meet people from diversified backgrounds. This, I believe, enhanced my perspectives and my outlook in terms of managing projects. I specialized in Marketing and Project Management.
During my MBA, I worked for a year for the Oregon government’s Department of Transportation. That gave me an opportunity to see how different government entities and agencies function. I also worked on some specialized projects where I learned more about sustainability in the workforce and how to drive and create succession plans. And so, my focus shifted again toward project planning and analysis.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the International Marketing program at Harvard University post my MBA to get international exposure to policies and behavioral marketing tactics. I worked for a couple of organizations post my MBA to get exposure to Project Management and International Marketing domain.
After that job, I moved back to India to be nearer to my family, and I began pursuing a Ph.D. Reading and researching are two of my great passions. My Ph.D. is in customer experience and digital transformation, which is also my current role at CleverTap. I’ve worked in client-facing roles all my life, and my journey with CleverTap has been so fulfilling. I began as a Customer Success Manager, then became a Program Manager, and now my current role is in leading success strategies and operations.
My journey of understanding the customer, different teams, and stakeholders, facing new challenges, and overcoming them has provided me with many opportunities to learn new skills, develop new internal processes, and gain valuable new experiences, both professional and personal.
Professionally, when I took the role of a Program Manager, at CleverTap, we did not have a clear strategy for how to successfully run and optimize operations. I confess that I had many doubts then about the eventual success of the initiatives that I was leading.
For example, my team and I worked on developing and implementing CleverTap University. This project involved developing the concept, the product certifications, and the launch plan. It was a lot of work for our team to undertake, but it has proven to be an invaluable resource for our customers and employees.
My team and I received ample recognition from the leadership and kudos from our co-workers. I am grateful to have been able to do something so impactful and successful, that has been so appreciated both internally and externally.
A few other projects that I am very proud of are the Taproot program for our newest customers, vertical-based use case playbooks, and of course, the day-to-day of leading the strategy and operations for the Customer Success team as a whole.
Each one of us will always face both positive and negative vibes around us. But I believe in focusing on my goals, never being afraid of taking on new challenges and being determined to never quit, despite the obstacles. I would like to sum it up in a famous APJ Abdul Kalam quote: “If you fail, never give up because FAIL means First Attempt in Learning.”
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