Asia, Interviews

Shubhi Agarwal – Co-Founder at LocoBuzz

Shubhi Agarwal is the Co-Founder at LocoBuzz, a complete customer experience platform, and hailing from Mumbai. With a strong background in business development, alliances and having worked closely with the technology team to build and deliver solutions she is an excellent relationship builder, successful in driving and achieving business objectives, collaborating with regional and global leaders and has strong communication skills. Read about her story that, bit by bit, led her from an engineer to an entrepreneur. 

In a Nutshell: Tell us a bit about your job and what role technology plays in it?

Locobuzz is a complete customer experience platform. We play with technologies like BIG data, AI, ML, and automation to create our SaaS technology suite which has benefitted brands across the globe to streamline their customer journeys and increase the lifetime value of a customer for brands.

As a co-founder, my job requires me to be involved in creating visibility for our platform, educating clients and partners on benefits of using such an integrated platform, generating business and be involved in product development, whilst keeping an eye on our long term vision and how the incremental changes will enable growth and gear our company up for the future. 

We compete with the big boys in this domain and it definitely keeps us on our toes 24×7 but we derive huge satisfaction knowing that we are headed in the right direction.

Where did your professional journey start and how did you get to where you are now?

From an overseas college student to a Texas girl my journey has always begun from bits. I started my career in TATA motors which is a leading automobile firm in India where I was exposed to Automotive-tech. The journey from being an Engineer to an Entrepreneur has been very rewarding.

My journey has always begun from bits.

Locobuzz started as a curiosity project, but we realized that there is a glaring need for an integrated marketing automation suite in India. We developed a Mar-Tech solution on the sole basis of the emerging inquisitiveness to track customer conversations and analyzing the Digital Space. The client onboarding started pretty much in the beta development stage itself, where we actively engaged our clients to understand their challenges and help them address those using our technology suite. 

As we exposed and introduced our clients with AI and ML, we put in personal effort towards showcasing the benefits of Big Data. This created a win-win situation for brands that we work with and for us to keep developing new features and add capabilities to our platform.

Today, we work with more than 60 of most premium brands across sectors worldwide.

Let’s say this in a poem: I have failed in …. and these were my learnings…?

Keeping it fun and taking a stab at the Poem. ☺

I have failed as a Type A Housewife, 
But I balance homemaking & Working. 

In an Individual Space, 
I have fought the worst-case, 
In motivation and self-praise. 

Now the control is mine, 
And my kids are absolutely fine, 
With my goals fulfilled at prime. 

I’m driven with Agility and Creativity, 
Successful at work, 
Having a happy self and Family.

We always hear there are not enough women working in Tech. What needs to happen to change that?

Technology has always been a male-driven space and with the changing times, its imperative to communicate the stance that if the ‘person’ is capable of the job then that ‘person’ should be given a chance regardless of their gender.

Don’t wait for invitation and opportunities to come your way. Believe in yourself and take the leap! You will find a way forward!

To achieve that, the first thing we need to do as a society is to break the historic fallacy of women being more abstract in nature, who are mostly interested in the fields of art and other soft professions. Today more than 40% of my team is led by women and I would have it no other way.

Women need to be more confident and assertive and at the same time challenge the pre-set notions of society by their capabilities. Don’t wait for invitation and opportunities to come your way. Believe in yourself and take a leap! You will find way forward!

Thankfully there is enough awareness and mentors to guide and seek direction in a time of need. Various associations are recognizing that gap and are working relentlessly to recognize the work done by women in the space of technology.

When you think about ‘women’ and ‘technology’ what comes to your mind first?

First and foremost, I personally believe that there are no gender barriers. Today, there is an overarching increase of women employees in tech firms and a few of them are even driving technology and innovation. Women are intuitive and are champions at multi-tasking. So, I will end this with a statement, “the sky is never the limit, the drive is” and as an individual, there is no time, thought, or intimidation that can stop them.

Which skills do you need for a career in tech (aside from the actual tech skills)?

We have realized that to have a successful career in tech, one needs to be curious and have a problem-solving bent of mind. Technology is an ever-evolving field which requires people to be on top of their game by constantly learning about the new technologies. Today its IoT, blockchain, AI, ML but tomorrow it will be something else. One needs to be passionate about the work they are doing else it just becomes a catch-up game.

To be empathetic, respectful, have great communication skills, and understanding customer expectations are a must.

Teamwork is another aspect which is mandatory for a great career path. Especially in tech, this becomes a priority as the development teams are large and tasks are broken down into smaller modules developed by different teams. To work towards a common goal with a group of people needs you to be humble, patient and an encouraging at the same time. 

Engineers are usually perceived to be loners, who are happy coding by themselves, who are great in their intellect but suffer in their communication skills. To be empathetic, respectful, have great communication skills, and understanding customer expectations, are a must.

What and who were the influencers of who you are today?

Strong women have been the guiding star for me since the very beginning. The two women who have always inspired me are Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. Both of them have taught me to have a voice of my own and be unapologetically myself regardless of the circumstances. 

Michelle Obama is a complete woman –smart, classy, sassy, loving, intelligent and inspirational. One can really learn from her in so many ways. In her biography ‘Becoming’ she has candidly shared her experiences and life-stories which are so relatable.

If you could host a dinner party with 3 influential people in tech, who would you invite and why?

I would like to invite Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. 

Elon Musk – from Tesla to SpaceX, he has proven time and again that when you combine passion with technology, you can bring about transformational changes that the world will notice.  

Bill Gates – for his breakthrough innovation capability to deliver technology to every person’s doorstep and be an integral part of their life.

Jeff Bezos – he is visionary and a master at deploying ‘customer first’ approach – knowing your customer, their buying patterns, their browsing patterns have made it possible for Amazon to be a leader in times where everyone was still grappling with the customer profiling itself.

Shubhi Agarwal is the Co-Founder at LocoBuzz, a complete customer experience platform. With a strong background in business development, alliances and having worked closely with the Technology team to build and deliver solutions she is an excellent relationship builder, successful in driving and achieving business objectives, collaborating with regional and global leaders and has strong communication skills. Her specialties range from Strategic alliances, new media, corporate planning, fundraising to research and market analysis as well as content ideation.

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