Empowering Futures: Ramya Parashar’s Journey to Inclusive Leadership

Ramya Parashar, the Chief Operating Officer at MiQ Bangalore, a pioneering force in the realm of programmatic media solutions. Ramya stands at the helm of the Center of Excellence (CoE), steering the operations with an unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence. Ramya is not just a corporate leader; she is the driving force behind MiQ’s transformative journey in the digital marketing landscape. Armed with a degree in Electronics and certifications as a Digital Business Strategist and Organizational Performance expert from IIM Bangalore, she embodies the spirit of continuous learning and growth.

At MiQ, Ramya leads the charge in operationalizing the company’s vision. She masterfully crafts strategies that encompass the creation of vision, strategy, and people-first initiatives at scale. Her role extends to overseeing business operations, managing budgets and resources, establishing policies that promote company culture, driving growth and innovation, and managing risks. As a representative of MiQ’s global executive board and the voice of India, she empowers teams to envision a broader perspective, enabling them to deploy MiQ solutions that drive competitive advantage.

MiQ, under Ramya’s leadership, has emerged as the go-to programmatic media partner for advertisers and agencies worldwide. Through their innovative approach, MiQ identifies the right data sources, connects them seamlessly, and extracts insights for more effective targeting. This interconnected approach, known as ‘Connected Marketing,’ is powered by the expertise of strategic partnerships, cutting-edge technology, and a dedicated team of professionals.

In Bangalore, MiQ’s Programmatic CoE for Technology Analytics Hub thrives under Ramya’s guidance. The team focuses on local product development, local customization, and solutions, enabling MiQ to deliver exceptional results for its clients. Their data model is agnostic, allowing them to work with diverse data sources, DSPs, publishers, and exchanges to drive optimal outcomes. MiQ’s technology model consolidates various programmatic capabilities, making them accessible in one place through their three solution offerings: Connect – Analytics Studio, Discover – Intelligence Hub, and Activate – Trading Lab.

Ramya’s professional journey is a testament to her courage and determination. She dared to step out of her comfort zone, transitioning from a non-technical background to becoming a technical specialist. Her career choices were driven by her passion for learning and her willingness to take risks. These choices, including a shift from front desk sales to technical expertise and investments in self-development while holding leadership roles, reflect her unwavering commitment to growth and excellence.

Ramya’s passion for turning vision into reality is rooted in her profound understanding of people and the vectors of business growth. She believes in actively engaging with employees, mobilizing the organization in a unified direction for a common cause, and empowering individuals to contribute meaningfully. Ramya’s mantra echoes the words of Paulo Coelho: “You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”

Ramya Parashar’s journey as a leader is not just a narrative of overcoming challenges but a testament to her resilience, strategic acumen, and unwavering commitment to her vision. In a corporate world where gender-related obstacles persist, Ramya has risen above societal norms and organizational barriers, breaking the proverbial glass ceiling with determination and grace.

Navigating the intricacies of networking, Ramya understood the vital importance of connections. While juggling the demands of a leadership role, she realized that networking was not a distraction but a fundamental aspect of her responsibilities. Operational, personal, and strategic networking became her tools for managing internal responsibilities, personal development, and exploring new business directions. Her self-awareness and ability to discern the right path allowed her to build a network that was not just extensive but impactful, aiding her journey into leadership.

Overcoming gender-related challenges demanded more than just personal fortitude; it required a shift in societal perceptions. Ramya recognized the need for sensitizing a larger male population, challenging stereotypes, and proving that leadership knows no gender. Leading complex initiatives like the ‘Real-time Analytics Dashboard’ for Business Applications required not only technical expertise but also strategic vision. Transparent conversations, documenting project goals, and building alliances were her strategies to foster understanding and garner support. The result? A project that not only succeeded but also delivered substantial cost savings, a testament to her tenacity and leadership.

Ramya’s success as a leader can be attributed to her ability to manage change, her trust in her team, and her knack for staying ahead of the curve. Embracing change and viewing it as an opportunity rather than a challenge has been her mantra. Trusting her team to do their jobs allowed her to adopt a hands-off leadership style, empowering her team members and fostering a culture of mutual trust. Additionally, Ramya emphasized the six essential roles of a leader: strategist, ambassador, coach, inventor, investor, and student. By embodying these roles, she ensured that her leadership style was dynamic, adaptable, and geared towards continuous improvement.

As Ramya Parashar continues to lead MiQ Bangalore into a future defined by innovation, inclusivity, and excellence, her insights provide a profound understanding of the complexities of leadership and the evolving landscape of the business world.

Fostering Diversity and Inclusion:

At MiQ, inclusivity is not just a buzzword but a fundamental principle. Ramya champions diversity through policies that support employees’ well-being, including a robust Engagement & Inclusion survey and progressive family leave policies. Furthermore, her commitment extends to community engagement, encouraging employees to contribute to society through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. In her view, fostering diversity and inclusion is not just a corporate responsibility; it’s a societal imperative, enriching workplaces and communities alike.

Advice to Aspiring Women Leaders:

To the young women aspiring to leadership roles, Ramya Parashar’s advice resonates with wisdom and experience. She emphasizes the power of self-belief, urging them to have confidence in their abilities and remain resolute in their goals. Developing leadership skills, staying resilient in the face of challenges, and embracing change are the stepping stones toward successful leadership. Her journey serves as a testament to the fact that with determination, skills, and unwavering self-confidence, any goal can be achieved.

Balancing Work and Life:

The concept of work-life balance, according to Ramya, is unique to each individual. She acknowledges the necessity of sacrifices on the path to success and advocates for wisely choosing these sacrifices. Planning, scheduling, and occasional disconnection from the outside world are her tools for maintaining equilibrium. For her, balance is not a fixed state but a dynamic harmony achieved by aligning personal and professional commitments in a way that suits one’s lifestyle.

Navigating Leadership Challenges:

In the data-driven digital landscape, attention to detail while retaining a strategic vision is paramount. Ramya faced challenges where resistance and uncertainty clouded the path forward. Her approach? Focusing on the long-term mission, making decisions grounded in data, and staying true to the company’s vision. In a world where criticism and challenges are commonplace, her advice is clear: stay focused, ignore the naysayers, and trust the vision.

Impactful Trends for Women Leaders:

The dynamic business environment continually evolves, presenting new opportunities and challenges. Ramya recognizes the significance of diversity and inclusion initiatives, the growing importance of sustainability and ESG considerations, the rise of women in global leadership positions, and the pivotal role of women in technology and AI sectors. Actively engaging in initiatives that promote gender equality and staying abreast of these trends are her strategies for ensuring women’s leadership thrives amid change.

Approach to Decision-Making:

For Ramya, effective decision-making is a structured process. It begins by defining the problem or opportunity clearly, gathering information, and identifying specific issues. Generating diverse alternatives and ranking them based on assessment forms a critical part of the process. Some decisions demand difficult trade-offs, requiring a keen understanding of priorities and objectives.

Ramya Parashar’s commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces and promoting women’s leadership and empowerment is not just a mission but a living reality at MiQ. Under her stewardship, MiQ has implemented a myriad of initiatives aimed at breaking barriers and creating environments where women can thrive and lead. These initiatives are a testament to her dedication to inclusivity and the empowerment of women:

Promoting Women’s Leadership and Empowerment:

At MiQ, inclusivity is not just a concept but a practice embedded in the company’s ethos. WiQ India ERG, a forum open to all employees, spearheads MiQ’s efforts in promoting women’s leadership. Through this initiative, Ramya and her team focus on fostering networking, continuous learning, and creating a sense of belonging. Their approach includes mentoring emerging leaders, normalizing women-specific issues through open conversations, and emphasizing equity over equality. Initiatives like “Embrace,” designed to reintegrate women who took a career break back into the workforce, showcase MiQ’s commitment to inclusivity.

Role of Mentorship and Sponsorship:

Mentorship and sponsorship have played pivotal roles in Ramya’s career journey. Mentors have provided her with confidence, validation, and encouragement, crucial elements that have fueled her growth as a leader. Witnessing successful women in leadership positions has served as inspiration, demonstrating the heights that determination and hard work can achieve. Sponsorship, on the other hand, has been about active advocacy, opening doors, and championing the advancement of junior professionals. These two forces, combined, have not only shaped Ramya’s career but have also become foundational in advancing the cause of women in leadership at MiQ.

Strategies for Personal and Professional Development:

Ramya’s approach to personal and professional development mirrors her leadership style: continuous learning and adaptability. She prioritizes networking, engages in leadership development programs, embraces technology, and most importantly, manages her time effectively. By staying abreast of industry trends and developments, she ensures that her leadership remains innovative and relevant.

Envisioning the Future of Women in Leadership:

Looking ahead, Ramya envisions a future where women in leadership roles are not the exception but the norm. She advocates for equal pay, equal opportunities, and diverse and inclusive leadership styles. To support this progression, organizations must be proactive. They must implement gender-neutral policies, be transparent about their diversity efforts, and cultivate a workplace culture that champions equality and inclusion. By harnessing the full spectrum of talent and perspectives, organizations can pave the way for a future where women in leadership roles are not only welcomed but celebrated.

In summary, Ramya Parashar’s leadership journey is a testament to the transformative power of inclusivity, mentorship, and continuous learning. Her vision, dedication, and strategic approach serve as guiding lights, illuminating the path toward a future where women in leadership roles shine brightly and pave the way for generations to come. Through her resilience, strategic thinking, and supportive network, she has not only broken barriers but redefined what leadership means, inspiring aspiring leaders, especially women, to overcome obstacles and achieve remarkable outcomes in their respective fields. Ramya Parashar stands as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for future leaders, embodying the qualities of a true visionary in the world of business and leadership.