It all started in 2018 when a bunch of us were tasked to lead business expansion efforts in different geographies.
Fast forward to Jan’20, I landed in Sydney with not much awareness of the ecosystem, industry, customers, competition, etc. However, I had heaps of confidence and fire to make it work. I wanted to establish STL in the ANZ market.
My journey of 4 years in STL has been quite exciting. I started as a Management Trainee in the Business Strategy team for Large Govt. Projects, moved to Marketing after 6 months, was escalated quickly to lead global marketing efforts for one of the Business Units, and then moved to Australia to establish the business from scratch. It’s always been action packed, with heaps of uncertainty.
But this challenge was different. Business development was a slightly unknown territory (something I had done way back in 2015/16 in India), and it was out of my comfort zone- new country, remote working, no office colleagues. And to add to the complexity – 2020 was the COVID year. The country went into a lockdown, and we could not meet anybody face to face. By the time I gained an understanding of the ecosystem, we were forced to limit our interactions to video calls only.
While it may seem that the situation was more challenging than ever, and it actually was, we managed to build a strong pipeline in one year to grow our business in the region by more than 300%. During this journey, I came to know how STL is different from others.
I’ve always believed that STL is a well funded startup: Enough risk taking appetite, super agile, and fairly flat structured. Three things that made it work for me – enablement, empowerment and recognition. The entire company came together to upskil us to thrive in the new. The leadership team showed they believed in you by providing enough empowerment, and authority to take high impact strategic decisions on the fly. And with each small step, the team was recognised for their efforts that gave them the confidence to keep going.
Come 2021, we now have a permanent setup in Australia with a cash positive subsidiary. We have built a strong local ecosystem with additional team members (still growing…), and extensive fulfilment capabilities to better service our customers’ demands. We have partnered with leading utility companies to support major infrastructure projects in New South Wales and Victoria, and are working with 3 of the 5 major Tier-1 Telecom companies in Australia. Currently, we are in active discussions with the other two to understand how best our capabilities can be leveraged to add value to their business.
I’d be ever grateful to the STL family – the engineering team, the product team, the leadership team etc. to support us at every step and make it happen anyhow. The excitement, and enthusiasm is infectious. And it comes from within because I love my work. Only onwards and upwards from here.. Cheers!!