#SheLeadsWithGrace: Conversations with women partners of Zoho Marketplace, Part 2

#SheLeadsWithGrace: Conversations with women partners of Zoho Marketplace, Part 2

The tech landscape seems promising for women, as more of them choose to graduate from STEM courses, enter the workforce, and take up leadership roles. In our previous blog post, we explored the role women leaders play in creating a customer-centric workplace that fosters inclusivity, innovation, and diversity. We spoke to two remarkable leaders from the partner organizations we work with.

As a continuation of our #SheLeadsWithGrace series for International Women's Day, we've gathered insights from Madhuleena Medhi, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Payoneer India, and Shivangi Tiwari, Senior Partnerships Manager at CedCommerce. Read what they have to say about the role of women in promoting customer centricity in the decision-making process.

Madhuleena Medhi is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Payoneer India, leading the charge to build partnerships and new business channels in the company's Global Payments Services. She is an accomplished business leader who has spent 18 years building from the ground up and managing successful global growth of new businesses and partnerships in top tier VC-backed, early-stage startups, scale-ups, and established organizations. Her diverse experience spans across SaaS, Fintech, VC, conversational AI, and online media spaces. She has been instrumental in 0 to 1 journeys and has defined the partnership and enterprise GTM of leading startups (i.e., LetsVenture, what3words, Klub). She also mentors pre-seed/seed startups in defining their GTM strategy.

Shivangi Tiwari is a seasoned partnership and strategic alliance leader with experience in SaaS, digital retail, ecommerce, and marketing. She is currently Senior Partnerships Manager at CedCommerce, where she leads partnerships for global marketplaces. Shivangi is deeply committed to helping partners achieve their business growth goals and offering tech-enabling solutions that foster robust relationships with industry partners. Shivangi frequently contributes media articles and opinion pieces on the various facets of ecommerce dynamics within the industry.

What kinds of skills or knowledge do you deem essential for women to succeed in the tech ecosystem?  

Madhuleena:  "Technical proficiency in areas such as programming languages, data analysis, cybersecurity, and machine learning are paramount. It provides a robust foundation for success in technology-related roles. Equally important are soft skills, including communication, problem-solving, and narrative-building to name a few. These skills empower women to effectively collaborate, innovate, and lead teams in the fast-paced tech environment. 

 Throughout my 18-year professional journey, I have consistently prioritized ongoing learning. I actively engage in women-focused networking and leadership platforms to connect, exchange insights, and expand my knowledge base.  

 Additionally, I pursue courses in semi-technical areas such as advanced Excel skills, financial literacy, investment strategies, and cultivating financial independence. I also invest in advanced learning opportunities in leadership and networking.  

 Furthermore, I advocate for senior women leaders to have access to life and executive coaches, recognizing the invaluable support and guidance they can provide." 

Shivangi:  "Facing challenges as a woman in the tech industry is inevitable. As I progressed in my career, it appeared increasingly important to develop people skills, such as cross-functional communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. Not only do these skills enable women in tech to evaluate situations accurately, but they also help us contribute meaningfully. In short, they are crucial to have if one aims to excel. 

 I ensure to be fully involved in every aspect of the work that I am aligned with. I prioritize effective communication with our partners. My eyes are always peeled for details such as the tech stack, business trends, and relevant stats. This results in a smooth functioning of cross-vertical work and helps me better understand the concerns of external stakeholders. I’m glad to share that this approach has greatly shaped my journey while positively impacting industries and individuals." 

In your opinion, what role do women leaders play in shaping a customer-centric culture within organizations?

Madhuleena: "Women leaders play a crucial role in cultivating a customer-centric culture within organizations, resulting in improved collaboration, and overall business success. 

 Payoneer passionately believes in the crucial role of women in leadership. As outlined in the 2022 Payoneer Global Impact Report, 51% of our staff and 45% of our Executive Management positions were held by women.  

 Women leaders, with their empathetic approach and effective communication skills, address diverse customer needs. Prioritizing inclusivity and collaboration, they ensure customer feedback is not just heard but also integrated into decision-making. Their dedication to building long-term relationships fosters heightened customer satisfaction and loyalty. "

Shivangi: "Effective leadership by women results in shaping the cultural tone of the organization by defining its values and encouraging employee well-being. All of this, in turn, ensures long-term success for the organization. It is also reflected in the significant progress in workplace equality. For instance, if you take a look at the Fortune 500 list in America, you'll notice that 15% of leadership positions are held by women. 

What unique opportunities for women have you encountered in our global partnership? 

Madhuleena: "In our global partnership with Zoho, we have identified distinct opportunities for women partners. Zoho's global reach allows women partners to network, collaborate, and highlight their expertise on a broader scale, elevating their visibility and professional growth in the industry. Zoho's commitment to empowerment and equal opportunities ensures that women partners access the resources, support, and mentorship crucial for success in the tech ecosystem. "

Shivangi: "I believe that women from CedCommerce could play an interesting role in Zoho's Marupadi initiative. We could offer these women a helping hand with our perspectives on the latest technological advancements. My perspective here is about instilling hope by showcasing more women in tech than ever before. It's a chance to inspire and train, creating a full-circle moment when they join forces with us. 

 Collaborations in the tech industry often bring unique opportunities for women. Some of these would be to involve women in building technical architectures, preparing product processes, accessing partnership programs, global recognition, or the potential for acquiring new ventures. 

 Women are primed to excel at opportunities that involve more resilience, perseverance, and long-term collaborations.  "

What can businesses do to tap into the strengths and insights of their female workforce to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty?

 Madhuleena: "Empowering women to take on leadership roles and contribute to decision-making processes ensures that their voices are not only heard but also valued.  

 Tailored mentorship and professional development initiatives play a pivotal role in fostering skill development and boosting confidence among women in the workforce. For instance, workshops, and mentorship circles provide guidance and support. 

 Encouraging transparent communication channels is equally essential. When female employees can share valuable insights into customer preferences, businesses can better tailor their offerings to meet diverse needs effectively. "

 Shivangi: "It is essential to understand and address customers' needs and consistently provide solutions to improve overall customer satisfaction. A women-dominated workforce has been seen to drive business growth by establishing and strengthening customer relationships, leading to positive feedback and increased revenue.  

 Mary Dillon, the CEO of Ulta Beauty, is an excellent example of how a workforce dominated by women can fuel business growth. Ulta prioritized diversity under her leadership, to reflect its customer base. This commitment resulted in strong customer relationships, evident in personalized services and a welcoming in-store environment. The positive feedback and increased revenue experienced by Ulta highlight the tangible impact of women-led initiatives on overall business success.  

 Empathy is a crucial factor in creating such an approach. Women, in particular, have proved to be skilled in executing empathetic strategies and communication in the workplace." 

As explored through the voices of Madhuleena and Shivangi, embracing diversity and empowering women in the tech industry leads to innovation, growth, and enhanced customer experiences.

Zoho Marketplace extends International Women's Day wishes to all of its partners, customers, and stakeholders!

(A special shout out to all our women partners, especially Jamee, Sushma, Madhuleena and Shivangi, for being a part of this activity. Thank you for collaborating with us!)


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