#HERpower with Riddhi from Exalate

#HERpower with Riddhi from Exalate

The #HERPower campaign spotlights the remarkable women who drive the tech industry forward.

Get inspired by the women who inspire us!

In this edition, meet Riddhi, our Customer Success Manager.

She tells us about her journey, all the way from Mumbai to Exalate, through banking, tech, motherhood and so much more!

Read on to learn her story!


Riddhi Shah comes from the banking industry in India and is currently residing in Belgium.

She’s a wife and mother and heads the customer success team at Exalate. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her family and friends. 

The Conversation

Question: Welcome to Women in Tech, our small question and answer round wherein we try to know you better and talk about your whole journey with Exalate. If you could start by introducing yourself. 

Riddhi: I’m Riddhi and currently, I am the customer success manager at Exalate. I have been with the company for almost four and a half years now.

Question: So how did you get into this role? 

Riddhi: I had a very interesting journey in the company and with the product. Four and a half years back, Exalate was still like a growing baby. When I joined, I think the company was around 35 people. And today we have grown to around 100. It’s tremendous growth. 

Basically, my previous experience was in Citibank and I was doing corporate banking. I was always into sales and people management, and then I started working in a company called Aspen. I wanted to continue there, but Hilde interviewed me to work with Exalate and both our expectations were met in the interview. That’s when I started in the tech industry, which was nowhere close to my background. 

And just like that, I started as the first sales rep for Exalate. 

The sales grew fast, and so did the team. 

Now, during the course of our growth, COVID-19 crept in. But it turned out to be a positive thing for us. 

Question: You were lucky. 

Riddhi: Yeah, I was lucky. And then I also got pregnant. 

So things were happening in the pandemic, and we were really growing professionally as a product. We had to increase the sales team. 

When I rejoined after my pregnancy, I became the manager and the team almost tripled in size.  That was when I started looking into partnerships for Exalate. 

I was getting overwhelmed with a lot of work, and on my personal front, since I had just delivered my baby, it was also too chaotic. Sleepless nights, falling sick regularly. Those things were not adding up to the positiveness that I wanted to work with. 

And that’s when I thought that, you know, I’m missing the relationship with our customers. I missed being involved in people management and customer interaction. 

I got lucky that the customer success manager role was getting vacant, so I applied and I got it.

So, it's a funny thing to say, but I got promoted when I was pregnant. That actually explains the culture here. You’re really known and valued.

Question: What do you do for Exalate in one sentence? 

Riddhi: I’m just taking care of the customers of Exalate. 

Question: What do you like about it? 

Riddhi: I think it’s too early to say because I’ve moved so recently. It’s just been three weeks that I’ve moved into this role. I’m learning to understand what my strategy would be and how I would be tackling customers. 

Exalate is a very complex product. Our customers are also not that simple because if it’s a complex product, it’s a complex customer. Handling these challenges, it’s new for me, but I’m still striving to see how I can do my best. 

Question: As a woman in the tech field, what do you think the challenges are? And how do you think you have overcome them in your years with Exalate? 

Riddhi: Working along with my pregnancy. There were a lot of challenges that I was facing on a personal front. I actually had a lot of support from the company in order to work remotely, and take leave when I needed it. That helped me succeed.

Question: Can you tell us a bit about your project in detail?

Riddhi: Of course. The sales department grew tremendously fast. In the last quarter that I actually was head of sales, we achieved the highest record ever for new sales, which I’m really proud of. 

There’s still work to be done there, and that’s where I think Ruben joins in as the new VP of sales and I’m sure with his expertise he’ll be working to fill those holes. I’m proud of giving Ruben the team in a structured manner.

Question: Where do you think your mentorship skills lie? 

Riddhi: I was focusing more on making sure the team was well-structured, and making sure the team members were clear about what processes there were. 

We had a lot of different changes, we were experimenting with a lot of things.  

The most important thing from a mentorship perspective is listening. 

Question: Listening was one of your strengths. What other strengths do you have? 

Riddhi: I knew how the product was evolving from my time in sales, what kind of customer base we were encountering, and what was needed for that. 

I think I knew the key to how to unlock customer communication, the follow-ups. That really helped me structure the whole thing in a more positive way and today the team is succeeding. That means we’ve done something right. 

I was always getting good numbers, always meeting the quota or maybe even surpassing it sometimes.

Question: Let’s come back to your personal life a little. How do you manage your work-life balance at this point?

Riddhi: There’s a lot of support, not just from Exalate, but from my husband. I believe my baby helped me a lot. I think it’s the family support that I’ve also got.

Question: How do you stay motivated to keep learning?

Riddhi: I get bored if the things are too monotonous. I always want something different, that’s why I like customer-facing roles. Every day there’s a new person with whom you interact, there’s a new approach, there’s a new thought, that’s what excites me. Also, the product itself is evolving so fast, you have to keep up with the pace. 

Question: How has being part of Exalate’s culture impacted your experience as a woman in tech? 

Riddhi: Having remote working as an option helped me a lot, as well as the flexibility. It’s so flexible, it’s not just a one-off thing. 

Question: What are your favorite aspects of working in the tech field?

Riddhi: It’s an industry that is evolving all the time. Even now, we have this new AI hype. There is new innovation, there is a new trend coming. 

That is something I like about the tech industry which was not the case when I was working for a banking industry. The tech industry is really fun.

Question: If you had to switch jobs for a day, what position would you choose?

Riddhi: I think if I had to switch back, I would go back to my previous role because again it’s sales and that’s something I love. I like people-facing roles and I love to be somewhere where I am making an impact on the company.`

When I look at India, it’s just one country, but still, with so much diversity, so much to learn and so much to do.

Question: Could you also share some interesting facts about your home country and culture?

Riddhi: I come from the busiest city, Mumbai! India is known for its food and religion. We have so many gods and so many cultures and so many languages spoken all over the country, it’s very diverse. When I came to Europe, it felt a bit centralized.

In India, there are different foods, different languages spoken, different attire worn you know. You have to weigh their personal values, traditions, and culture. It’s really interesting for me because I like knowing new things, I like learning new things so I think that’s what differentiates us. I’m also a foodie, so that’s unusual. You are an unusual Indian because normally Indians are known for spice levels.

Question: Thank you for sharing your story with us! 

Riddhi: Thank you!

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