“Grow by taking risks”: Chai Break with Vasuta Agarwal, InMobi

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This week for our Chai Break session we caught up with Vasuta Agarwal, VP & GM, India & South Asia at InMobi. She manages the P&L, revenue, strategic partnerships and business functions for these markets and has been with InMobi for 7 years.

What excites you right now in your personal or professional life?

Challenges. In both my personal and professional life, I find a new challenge to be the most exciting. It can be anything from a new role or a new opportunity that is different and pushes me to grow. When I started my current role, the India business in InMobi, I was definitely out of my comfort zone which both excited and scared me. However, I think we often reach a stagnation point, and challenges make sure that we leave our comfort zone and learn and grow more.

What are you looking forward to this year in terms of career/personal growth?

On the personal front, I’m looking forward to traveling more. I do travel often for work but less for pleasure. I’d like to change that. A few days of travel can change your view of things and rejuvenate you.

Workwise, I’m keen to attend more conferences and forums which give an opportunity to meet clients and partners, apart from one on one meetings. The atmosphere is different and very conducive to sharing and hearing different perspectives and learning from them.

What’s your professional story?

Post my engineering from BITS Pilani, I joined Intel as a chip design engineer. This was back in 2005. I went on to do my MBA because I realized my interests were different from my vocation at that point. Soon after, I got into consulting and worked with McKinsey. I developed a strong foundation in business and strategy while working there. It’s a great place to get exposure to a wide domain of clients and industries. In 2012, I joined InMobi. It was an unconventional move and a leap of faith to join a startup but a great decision in hindsight. Got the opportunity to try different roles from founders’ strategy team to product management to setting up new business units and leading BD for some markets. Since 2016, I have been leading the India market P&L, revenue and partnerships.

What is one of your defining moments in your career/personal space?

The move from consulting to InMobi was a big one for me – to move from an established large company to a startup. It’s a decision I’ve not regretted. I worked in various roles that gave me a deeper understanding of how organizations work, and that my passion lay in the business side of things.

What advice would you give to young people just starting out their careers in your field?

I would also say make the most of the role you are in and go above and beyond the ‘job description’ of the role and success will automatically come. Often times we get hung up by the ‘JD’ and ignore the work culture, team and opportunities around us.

Over the years I’ve learnt that nobody else will speak up for you. You have to make sure you’re heard. I think women often shy away from this and I would advise young women not to do that. Make sure your presence is felt, and don’t let your inhibitions hold you back.

Profile

Vasuta is the VP and General Manager for the India & South Asia business at InMobi and manages the P&L, revenue, strategic partnerships and business functions for these markets. She has been with InMobi, one of the first startups and unicorns to go global from India, for 7 years and has worn many hats in her time there from Founders strategy team to product manager to business roles. Before InMobi she worked with McKinsey as a management consultant for few years and with Intel as a chip design engineer just after her engineering days. She is a graduate from BITS, Pilani and IIM, Bangalore. She was chosen to be in the “Economic Times Women Ahead list for 2018” and also among the “Top 50 Influential women in media and marketing in India”.

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