Taking care of sales for the entire South-East Asia region is no easy task. Just ask Neha Swaroop, Senior Sales Planner for AdColony in India. Whether she’s in meetings, collaborating with the creative team, or getting proposals, pitch decks, or other sales materials ready, Neha is constantly on her A game to achieve company goals. She has 10 years of experience in presales, strategy, and marketing in a variety of industries. When she isn’t supporting the sales team to close another successful deal, Neha enjoys traveling, baking, and salsa dancing. Neha, it’s time to get you AdColonized!
What exactly does a Senior Sales Planner do at AdColony? What’s an average day like for you?
As a Senior Sales Planner with AdColony, I take care of the entire South-East Asia region (ID, PH, MY, SG, TH and VN) and cater to their proposals, pitch decks, media plans, inventory, creative ideation requests, or any other kind of sales support. One of my key responsibilities is to ensure that our sales team has all the required ammunition to win the deal.
I don’t need alarms to wake me up. I usually get up by the sound of multiple email notifications. I’ll check and respond to the urgent emails, read Twitter, and then sit for meditation. After this, I’ll make tea for my mom and will have a chit-chat session with her. Then I’ll get ready and leave for the office.
I travel by metro and it takes one and half hours to reach the office, so I usually keep a book to read and my music playlist is always updated with the latest hits. Once I reach the office, I start with replying to the new emails and finishing pending tasks. I prefer delegating work as soon as we start working on any request, so that everyone gets enough time to work on the requests.
Being on calls covers a major portion of the day, as every new proposal or pitch deck request needs a kick-off call. In addition to this, I have various internal calls to coordinate and collaborate with the creative team and other planners.
In the middle of all these tasks, I ensure to go on tea or coffee breaks with my office colleagues. Fortunately, we have our Gurugram office in one of the best locations in Delhi/ NCR which is the DLF Cyberhub. It has all the great spots for eating out and partying.
I always meditate for 10-15 minutes before I sleep. This helps me to get a sound sleep.
Tell us a little about your experiences prior to joining AdColony & how they have prepared you for your role here.
I hold experience of close to 10 years in presales, strategy, and marketing. I started working in 2006 as a Market Research Associate with a start-up firm focusing on pharma and biotech. Working with a start-up has its pros and cons, but since I was the second employee of the company, I got the opportunity to work end-to-end. Starting from generating leads to drive business development campaigns, working on proposals, pitches, case studies, and other marketing collaterals, to researching on the project and delivering as per the client’s expectations. This helped me in realizing my interest areas and so I decided to continue ahead with presales and marketing.
I worked with management consulting firms such as Evalueserve, EmPower Research, and Boston Analytics where I worked on high-end proposals, RFPs, RFIs, and a lot of marketing collaterals for clients based out of the US, UK, Europe, Australia and Middle East. Having worked in pre-sales for almost 6 years, I learned that no matter which industry the client is from, everyone is looking for is the solution/(s) to their problem in a well-crafted package. All clients really appreciate it if we understand their requirements and provide solutions to their key points.
I was approached by Vdopia to head their media planning team for the US. They were impressed with my functional proficiency in pre-sales and offered me the role to lead a team of 6 planners. I learned all the nuances of the advertising industry and was able to add value by drafting proposals, pitch decks, and collaterals that actually focused on clients’ end objectives and brought in great deals.
Prior to joining AdColony (Opera Mediaworks), I was associated with Datawrkz, heading its marketing and presales department. It is a start-up focusing on programmatic buying and I was associated with the launch & marketing of their new products.
My experience has helped me work with people from different geographies. I am working for the SEA region, which was new for me. I have worked on various pitch decks and proposals from scratch and have successfully kept the sales team satisfied. I totally owe this to the knowledge and experience that I have acquired over years.
What made AdColony the right fit for you?
The nature of my job ensures that I get an opportunity to challenge my creative skills on a daily basis. This is the key factor that made AdColony, a perfect fit for me. The sales team has been demanding enough and that helped me keep my creative juices flowing.
Moreover, the senior management at AdColony is very supportive and cooperative. They are open to accept new ideas and have always allowed me to expand my horizons without sticking to templates and traditional methodologies.
One of the other key factor is the evolving nature of business. Many things have changed from the time I have joined AdColony. I like to work in such a dynamic environment where I get the opportunity to work with new technologies, new products, and new kinds of requests on a day-to-day basis. With every new brief from the client, I get an opportunity to challenge myself and think out-of-the-box, which always helps in boosting my inquisitive nature.
How do you keep growing & learning in what you do?
I follow our competitors’ work through their websites and social media channels. I have subscribed to newsletters from companies such as Celtra and JustAd in order to stay updated with the latest additions in their creative suite. I also make sure to see what’s been covered in our internal creative highlights newsletter in order to get inspiration. I get notifications about relevant reports and articles when added to e-marketer, AdWeek, and AdAge, which keep me updated with the latest trends and key points.
What are your hobbies or activities that you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?
I am a travel buff and foodie. I like to explore new restaurants and cafes over weekends. I like to read, write and listen to music. I am highly interested in adventure sports and love to engage in such activities.
Over the weekends, I like to watch movies, plays, stand-up shows, or any music concert – basically if any of these events grab my attention, I’d like to attend them. I am also learning salsa and really enjoy my classes. Recently, I started baking and I feel like this will become one of my favorite hobbies soon.
Which app is keeping you engaged lately? Why?
Apart from Instagram and Snapchat, one app that has always kept me engaged is SoundCloud. I listen to music for almost 3-4 hours a day and this app keeps me updated with all the melodies from new and established artists.
What’s one thing not many people know about you that you’re willing to share?
I like to sing loudly when stressed.
Do you have a nickname at work? If so, is there a story behind it?
What is your favorite moment you’ve had with the AdColony team so far?
There is not one moment that I would call my favorite over here, there are multiple. Life after joining AdColony has been quite happening. All the team lunches, discussions over tea breaks, challenges to climb stairs till the 12th floor, and many more. One of my favorites was my trip to Indonesia. I reached the location a day earlier and was welcomed at the airport with no sign of my luggage. Thankfully, I got it after 2 days. I met the whole team in Indonesia and Mimmie face-to-face. I got to know them better and had a great time. Mimmie took me for the hair spa (Thank You, Mimmie :)), we went shopping and I can’t forget Beard Papa’s cream puffs she recommended. Also, it was my first time travelling with Mitchell and Gajender – I had a wonderful time with both of them and got some real nice memories to cherish.
Each AdColonized feature shines a light on a different member of the AdColony team. From favorite apps and hobbies to dislikes and odd secrets, we cover it all! Who do you want to see on the next AdColonized? Tweet it to @AdColony. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.
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