Surya Jaisankar

Driving Transformation with Excellence

Surya Jaisankar

Director, CEO's Office - Strategic Initiatives

MoEngage Inc

I n the realm of business, where change is constant, true leaders rise above the rest, leaving an indelible mark on their organisations and industries. Surya Jaisankar, Director-Strategic Initiatives at MoEngage Inc., a paragon of strategic leadership, embodies this transformative spirit. With exceptional vision and unwavering commitment, he has carved a niche for himself as a trailblazer in strategic initiatives. His remarkable journey exemplifies the power of passion, innovation, and an unwavering determination to create a lasting impact.
Surya recognised the significance of broadening his horizons beyond a single domain. His insatiable curiosity led him to embrace cross-functional challenges, fearlessly delving into new initiatives with a vision to propel his organisation to new heights.
Let’s immerse in TraderFlock’s exclusive interview with Surya and uncover the intricacies of his journey, challenges, opportunities, and strategies. 

Briefly describe your roles and responsibilities as an Director of Strategic Initiatives.

I embrace a multifaceted role that encompasses a broad spectrum of strategic functions. Collaborating on cross-functional initiatives, I tackle complex problem statements and provide vital support to alleviate the bandwidth constraints faced by our leadership team. This entails spearheading groundbreaking endeavours like expanding into new geographies and launching innovative products. Serving as a trusted thought partner to product teams, product marketing, and internal enablement, I contribute invaluable insights on pricing strategies and go-to-market plans. I truly believe that at the heart of organisational growth and transformation, lie strategic initiatives. Hence, my mission revolves around uniting diverse teams and stakeholders, aligning their efforts, and ensuring the seamless execution of strategic plans. Working closely with senior leadership and other key stakeholders, my focus is on identifying opportunities, addressing challenges, formulating actionable strategies, and driving initiatives that yield tangible business outcomes. Through this collaborative approach, we steer the organisation towards continued success and achievement.

What advice would you like to convey to other professionals in the industry?

Cultivate a proactive and open mindset, embracing diverse challenges outside your comfort zone. This fosters personal growth and offers a broader perspective crucial for strategic decision-making. Secondly, effective communication is vital. Clearly articulate your vision to stakeholders and teams, explaining the value and rationale behind your strategies. This builds alignment and support for your initiatives. Furthermore, continuous learning is essential in the evolving business landscape. Stay curious, research market trends, industry developments, and emerging technologies. Engage with thought leaders, join communities, and leverage diverse sources for knowledge and strategic thinking. Lastly, prioritise collaboration and relationship-building. Strategic initiatives often require cross-functional teamwork. Foster a collaborative culture, seek diverse perspectives, and encourage open dialogue. By leveraging collective intelligence, you can make informed decisions and achieve success.

How do you stay current with the latest market trends and changes in the evolving business landscape?

Staying updated on market trends is crucial for strategic planning. I adopt a proactive approach to remain current, conducting regular research on trends, competitors, and industry developments. This involves gathering insights from various sources to identify opportunities and risks that may impact decision-making. Additionally, I dedicate time each week to stay informed about SaaS and MarTech through influential figures, podcasts, and trusted articles. Analysing S1 prospectuses of listed SaaS companies enhances my strategic thinking and equips me to navigate the dynamic business landscape effectively.

One of the biggest challenges of strategic leadership is resistance to change. While drafting corporate strategies, how do you ensure alignment between stakeholders and teams?

Addressing resistance to change is a crucial aspect of strategic leadership. While drafting corporate strategies, I adopt a proactive approach to ensure alignment between stakeholders and teams. Firstly, I believe in clearly communicating the necessity for change and providing an overview of the possible options and the reasoning behind the chosen approach. By presenting a data-driven and objective decision-making process, I establish the validity of the change in the eyes of the stakeholders. Transparency and open communication play a key role in gaining their trust and buy-in. Secondly, I anticipate and prepare for likely objections from stakeholders and develop counterarguments tailored to their roles, objectives, and personality. By empathising with their concerns and addressing them directly, I create a safe space for open dialogue and collaboration. I emphasise the long-term benefits of the change and highlight areas of overlap between the proposed changes and stakeholder goals, thereby fostering alignment and shared purpose. Further, I believe in involving stakeholders and teams in the strategy development process from the early stages. By seeking their input, actively listening to their perspectives, and incorporating their ideas where relevant, I create a sense of ownership and shared responsibility. This collaborative approach helps overcome resistance to change and builds a collective commitment to the strategic direction.