April 3, 2024

That Small-Town Girl Who Made It Big: Siddhika’s Story 

Siddhika Jain

Manager, S2Labs

Have you ever wondered what it feels like when the stakes are high and you only have a few chances to prove yourself!? That gut-wrenching feeling!!! Yet topping it all with the most beautiful smile in the room! Meet Siddhika, the girl from the small town who made it big! This is her story of battling all odds and standing tall despite having immense hurdles along the way!

Siddhika hails from a small town in Rajasthan and comes from a business family where most of the girls get trained to be good and obedient housewives and nothing else. But contrary to the norm back then, her mother was supportive and considerate. She wanted Siddhika to do everything she wished to do in life without worrying about other people’s judgment. She even got Siddhika trained professionally in dancing to the best of her capabilities and available resources. However, she couldn’t pursue it professionally due to the narrow mindset of the people back home. But just learning that skill, performing it, and excelling in it was a huge deal, and unknowingly, Siddhika’s first step towards breaking the stereotypes around the “Girls Can’t Do It” mindset.

Remembering her school days, she recalls being that teacher’s favorite student who was always proper in her behavior. Though she was an above-average student with her demeanor and consistently good grades, she was considered an academically oriented girl. While she was doing well in her studies at her school, she made a few friends who significantly impacted her and her life decisions. Since she was such an impressionable teenager, she wanted to take the same college course that her friends planned to pursue. She tried to move out of her hometown, which had no opportunities or scope for her future.

Siddhika knew that convincing everyone to let her go out to study would be a huge task! But she wasn’t ready to sit back at home and let her future go for a toss, as this could be her golden ticket to the freedom and opportunities she always craved. After many convincing sessions at home, her family finally agreed to send her to Jaipur for studies. But all this came with caution and the condition that she could complete her graduation but wouldn’t be allowed to do a JOB! She agreed with a heavy heart but with a lot of hope and set out on her way from the town to the city for college.

Siddhika enrolled herself at an engineering college. It was a whole new world for her. She was overwhelmed with her life’s activities and attention shift. But as they say, if you get everything too soon, you get carried away easily. The same was the case with Siddhika. Somewhere, she knew she wouldn’t be allowed to leave her native place to do a job after graduation, so why not make the most of college life with the utmost fun? So the once shy and hesitant Siddhika had become carefree and bold in a flash. She just studied enough to pass her exams and not to gain anything from them in any shape or form.

While college was nearing its end, Siddhika had lost most of her interest in coding and other aspects of engineering. And since it was time to go back home, it almost felt like the end of the world for her. This was when her college seniors and well-wishers stepped in to help her identify her skills and motivate her to go for digital marketing, as it was one of the most booming careers back in the day.

Siddhika didn’t want to stay at home. She wanted to make the most of any chance to start her career, so she became really interested in digital marketing. Plus, she thought that she was a better fit as a marketer than a coder. So, she gave it a shot and took the first steps. She applied for multiple virtual internships as her father wouldn’t allow her to go out for work, but as they say, where there’s will, there’s a way. She got shortlisted for a few, which paved the way for her to explore a career in digital marketing.

While Siddhika was interning as a digital marketer, the world had hit the global COVID pandemic. This allowed her to explore as many virtual internship opportunities as she could. She clearly remembers that in those months of virtual internships, she didn’t even step out of her bed or, in fact, her room, as she had to dedicate herself to making the most of that opportunity. Siddhika was skeptical about whether or not her father would allow her to work once the virtual internships were over, but she kept working hard with the slightest hope in her eyes to go work in the real world and experience it!

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She also remembered seeing her work so dedicatedly; her father’s perspective about not sending girls out to work had a shift! Somewhere, it opened doors for her and gave her a little hope to go out and work in the real world!

Meanwhile, she had heard that many of her acquaintances and college mates were getting placed at Cyntexa. She thought of applying for the post of Digital Marketing Executive at Cyntexa. She recalls her interview episode as being tough, as she was underconfident, less prepared, and had a tough time communicating in English. But the management at Cyntexa had spotted her zeal to learn and grow, which is why she was offered a job. This was the most amazing real-world opportunity for someone who had only been doing virtual internships. When she told her father she had cleared the job interview, he was on the seventh cloud! Unlike earlier, this time her father wanted to be her support mechanism, as he had now understood that Siddhika wasn’t just meant to waste her caliber; she should go out into the real world and grab this opportunity. The only advice he gave was to be honest and dedicated to her work, because if she is true to her work, it will speak for itself!

Siddhika and her journey at Cyntexa have not been short of a roller coaster ride. There’s a difference between days and nights in the virtual and real worlds. There were many blunders, carelessness, lethargy, and whatnot in the initial phase when she had just joined as a mere college pass-out. Remembering that initial phase, Siddhika recalls that she was very distracted in her corporate life; she was mostly carefree and blunt. All of this was also very much reflected in her work and responsibilities.

She was in her early days handling marketing in terms of YouTube marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. She had also switched her profiles from handling the Social Media part of marketing to the SEO part. But she still lacked the zeal to undergo a complete transformation. Plus, she also experienced immense difficulty managing these aspects of marketing despite having done a handful of virtual internships because she wasn’t aware of the challenges of the real world.

But Siddhika being Siddhika, she took it all fly-by-night and with a little carelessness, for which she had to face the consequences in the form of constant reviews and performance discussions. She also recalls incidents of her negligence, which led to the loss of multiple sales leads for the company. Though this was a non-negotiable mistake that could have been bad for Siddhika’s career, the management stood up for her. It made her understand her errors and negligence so that the girl with so many dreams in her eyes doesn’t go back home defeated just because of a little negligent behavior of hers.

It was only when the first appraisal incident happened that Siddhika was shaken to the core! As this was her first job and though she had made mistakes, she was now on the road to redemption, so she was expecting a much higher increment, which she got. To make it worse, the feedback she received pinched her that she was not dependable at all! She felt like this statement was linked to her personality, her skillset was being questioned, and she had to prove herself worthy enough to be dependable. But once your self-worth is at a toss, the stakes get high, which was the same with Siddhika. She remembers crying and weeping heartbreakingly, as no one could trust her capabilities and potential. 

Soon after her first appraisal, Siddhika was given the opportunity to look after the marketing aspects of S2 Labs (Cyntexa’s sister company).  This was like a watershed moment for her. From here, it was either going to break it or make it a thing for Siddhika, and she chose the latter. She then decided to completely take her life’s reign into her own hands. The first few steps she took towards reinventing herself were distancing herself from distractions, learning everything from scratch, and brushing up her skills. After this phase of hard work and transition, the new Siddhika was confident, dependable, and an avid learner. She was now ready to introspect and reflect on herself and the mistakes that she had made earlier. Now, she was managing all her roles and responsibilities well.

Managing the marketing part of S2Labs was a big learning experience for her, as she was doing everything one could do in terms of marketing from A to Z for S2 Labs. And as they say, without the pressure, there was no diamond made! She did it all, from handling social media accounts, building a brand, and coordinating with the trainers to devising comprehensive modules for the students of S2 Labs.  

Though initially, Siddhika was reluctant to manage the student counseling part of S2 Labs. This was when she again slipped into self-doubt about whether or not she should leverage this role for someone else. But Shrey stepped in as her savior and instilled faith in her to go ahead and give it a shot; even if she fails, it will be a learning experience for her! Upon listening to this and seeing the faith Shrey and the management instilled in her, she decided to give it a shot. 

The first call of her life happened by then. The call was horrendous and bad, as she had expected, but the light at the end of the tunnel was that she already knew what would happen. Siddhika knew her weak points, and unlike how she would previously react to things and challenges life would throw at her, this time she, with immense patience, understood the gravity of the situation and tirelessly worked on her communication, negotiation, and convincing skills, which are musts to handle the sales profile. The student counseling calls became a regular part of her routine. She even lost track of time, sleep, and the count of how many calls she had taken! She wanted to prove herself to everyone who doubted her capabilities and skill sets.

Then came a rewarding yet delimatic time for Siddhika—the time of her second appraisal. Where the first appraisal was an eye-opener for her, the second one was filled with a full bag of dilemmas. Now that Siddhika was doing good at her job, doing well in sales and business development. The company noticed her talent and offered her a full-time position in business development. But Siddhika has other plans. She wanted to explore every aspect of marketing, which she also talked to management about and later got the opportunity to choose between growing her career in marketing as a Manager for S2 Labs or continuing working and learning as a BDE!

Though initially, Siddhika was bowled over and overwhelmed! As she had no idea what to do or where to go for confinement. Will it be a wise move to switch profiles? What if things don’t turn out the way they are supposed to? What if she fails? All of these thoughts surrounded her mind. She didn’t make a hasty decision, she took her time to introspect and patiently understand the thing, and finally, she took the leap of faith! She courageously decided to give it a try and completely look after all the aspects of S2 Labs independently.

Since then, there has been no looking back for Siddhika. She devoted all her time, energy, and skills to skyrocketing the performance and revenue of S2 Labs. She has also had some moments of joy along the way when she was able to crack a corporate deal or when she was able to increase the sales revenue of S2 Labs by 3 times from her consistent efforts and hard work.  Life has come full circle for her; she now handles all the whereabouts of S2 Labs, from responding to leads to allocating the correct resources. So, the once carefree, irresponsible, and naive fresher Siddhika has become one of the most credible and authentic people at Cyntexa. 

In her journey, Siddhika has learned many valuable lessons, which she wishes to pass on as a legacy to the young, bright minds from the small towns of our country. It doesn’t matter if you come from a small place, what matters is that your dreams should be big enough! Siddhika also wishes to open a comprehensive training institute in her hometown so that the brilliant minds there can also get all the best opportunities at their doorsteps. Today, hundreds of girls back in her hometown also admire her and, like her, have big dreams and can’t wait to fulfill them!

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