Harsha Solanki is the Managing Director at Infobip, the world’s leading tech-based communication solutions provider. She currently spearheads India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Harsha has worked with some of the leading IT brands and brings a wealth of experience in tech & cloud communication space. At various national and international events, Harsha has been recognised and honoured with awards and accolades for her influential leadership and outstanding contribution to the field of IT and technology.
As a leader, Harsha believes it is vital to stay true to oneself, which has been one of the key mantras behind her success. This has, therefore, resonated in how Harsha tackles challenges with a problem-solving approach instead of viewing them as roadblocks. She is indeed a pioneering leader and an inspiration to many.
A Successful Career Trajectory
Harsha is a Telecommunication & IT alumnus of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (Pune) and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Fergusson College. She began her career in 2005 as a Sales & Marketing Manager at Starcorp and later held executive positions at Smart Wireless Pvt Ltd and Bsmart Tech Pvt. Ltd (previously owned by Infobip).
In 2017, Harsha joined Infobip as the Managing Director (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka & Nepal) and helped quadruple the company’s turnover (India region) in the first four years of her tenure. In her current role, she aims to build Infobip as an engineering giant with the CPaaS infrastructure as its defining feature and an innovation-centric perspective. Under her administration, the Cloud Communication & IT giant Infobip launched three trailblazing SaaS products in 2021 – chatbot building platform ‘Answers,’ customer engagement solution ‘Moments,’ and omnichannel cloud contact centre solution ‘Conversations.’ Currently, she is working on strengthening the company’s core leadership by channelling the post-pandemic demands into innovative services and solutions that may help businesses and individuals interact more effectively.
Infobip: The Global Communications Platform for Businesses and Developers
Established in 2006, Infobip is a global leader in omnichannel engagement, powering a broad range of messaging channels, tools and solutions for advanced customer engagement, authentication, and security. Moreover, Infobip’s products, such as Moments, Conversations, Answers, People, and Mobile Identity, are not only easy-to-use but also do not involve higher investment in sophisticated hardware. This makes Infobip the preferred choice among customers.
“We forge genuine human connections between companies and their customers, giving us a competitive edge over our peers,” reveals Harsha. Working towards its goal of changing how the world communicates, Infobip offers natively built technology with the capacity to reach over seven billion devices worldwide connected to 700+ direct telecom connections, which means reliable, always-on communication, and 40+ data centres, meaning uninterrupted business. Likewise, the company’s Partner Connect Program allows partners and their customers to leverage its global experience, connectivity, communication solutions, and industry expertise to create innovative client solutions that drive business growth.
Owing to its uniqueness, Infobip has been recognised globally and honoured with numerous prestigious awards. To name a few: Infobip has been named as a Representative Vendor in the September 2022 Gartner Market Guide for Communications Platform as a Service, a ‘Leader in the CCaaS Leaderboard’ by Juniper Research 2022, Leader in the CPaaS Universe 2022 Report by Omdia, ‘the leading service provider in CPaaS’ by Juniper Research in its new Competitor Leaderboard CPaaS Vendors, a ‘Leader in the IDC MarketScape’ (CPaaS) 2021 Vendor Assessment, ‘Best A2P SMS provider’ for the fourth year running by mobile operators and enterprises in ROCCO’s annual Messaging Vendor Benchmarking Report, ‘Best CPaaS Provider of the Year,’ ‘Best RCS Provider of the Year,’ and ‘Mover & Shaker in Telco Innovation’ at the 2021 Juniper Digital Awards.
Onwards & Upwards Growth Over the Years
Infobip has over 70+ offices across six continents, directly connected to 700+ telecom networks and 40+ data centres. The company’s 3700-people-strong team works dedicatedly towards its mission to change how the world communicates. The company acquired five companies including voice solutions firm Peerless Network Inc., mobile messaging systems provider OpenMarket, Shift Conference, Anam Technologies – the world’s leading text message firewall provider, and most recently (in July 2022) Netokracija – one of Europe’s leading business & tech magazines. As a result, Infobip has become the world’s most connected cloud communications platform.
Empowering Clients to Enhance their Customer Journeys & Experiences
According to Harsha, digitalisation has taken the world by storm in the post-pandemic world, with industries reshaping their engagement strategies while focusing on building an online presence. She further states, “As a tech-based and an innovative communication company, we are in the right position to enable our clients to enhance their customer journeys and experiences.”
Over the years, Harsha and her team have assisted renowned brands and organisations such as Uber, Brihanmumbai Corporation (BMC), Delhi Government, LankaBangla, etc., in building exceptional solutions for advanced customer engagement, authentication, and security. The company developed a chatbot solution for Uber in India that enables customers to order rides via WhatsApp, making the entire booking experience seamless. “We also developed a chatbot for BMC in partnership with WhatsApp for citizens to find information on nearby amenities, schools, civic services, BEST services, tourist destinations, etc.,” shares Harsha. This chatbot allows users to file complaints and submit applications for festival permissions, license renewal, and payments directly. Furthermore, Infobip developed an intuitive chatbot over WhatsApp in partnership with Delhi Government & Meta to boost awareness about EVs & educate the citizens. Infobip’s CPaaS capabilities empowered LankaBangla to channel the power of SMS and Email via a single communication platform with engagement metrics throughout the customer journey.
Nurturing an Innovation & Empathy Rooted Work Culture
Over the last two years, the workforce dynamics have changed worldwide, putting forth the need for re-evaluating organisational culture. Fostering Infobip’s two important pillars of innovation and empathy, Harsha and her team are making concerted efforts to bring about specific changes in the company in terms of culture, functionalities, strategies, capabilities, etc. They also ensure cross-functional collaboration among the team members for open communication and exchanging of ideas.
“Our focus is on empathising with the team members’ personal and professional lives, which ultimately paves the way for higher morale and greater levels of teamwork,” asserts Harsha. “We also strive to provide a friendly, creative environment, ensuring the workforce has immense opportunities for personal and professional growth.”
Investing in Right Technology while Balancing the ROI
When it comes to investing in the right technology, Infobip is accurately positioned. This is so because Infobip’s team first ensures to understand their customers’ evolving needs. They then create solutions and strategies accordingly. This allows Infobip to invest in the right technologies in demand, generate ROIs, and stay ahead of the game. Moreover, Infobip’s products come with scalability and ease of deployment features, putting lesser financial constraints on customers to avail of its services.
Motivating & Engaging Employees at the Workplace
As a proficient leader, Harsha feels that boosting employees’ morale and ensuring they are motivated is a major challenge. She further shares, “I believe compassion and empathy play an important role in shaping one’s company culture and also help in keeping the workforce motivated and engaged.” Another factor is giving them time to adjust to the new normal and focus on keeping them positive. In addition, leaders must also practise empathy throughout an employee’s journey with the organization. “At Infobip, we follow the people-first approach as we value our team members, and their well-being is our priority,” shares Harsha with pride.
A Day in the Life of a Dynamic Leader
Harsha’s typical day at work is jam-packed with meetings, calls, and brainstorming sessions. She is actively involved in internal team discussions to seek updates on the nearly completed projects and is eager to resolve any challenges her team members face. She considers connecting with industry peers and staying abreast with industry trends important for introducing innovations, which she personally follows.
Apart from this, Harsha continues to meet two employees from the region almost every day (across levels) for a candid conversation to get to know what’s happening in their lives and if they need any help dealing with personal or professional challenges. “When employees can share and voice their opinions, they feel valued,” shares Harsha. “When we as an organisation empathise with them, their faith is strengthened, and their morale is also boosted.”
When it comes to handling stress, Harsha opines that working in a high-pressure industry, having patience, and remaining calm come with the territory of being a leader. During such times, self-motivation plays a key role in handling the pressure and meeting strict deadlines. Harsha’s main stress busters are working out, reading, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
“For India’s rapidly growing digital payment market, we are focusing on enhancing customer experience by working on the end-to-end experience,” reveals Harsha. Going ahead, Infobip will be expanding both vertically and horizontally in this space to give tools to the hands of its clients and customers to build delightful experiences. On a global level, Infobip’s plans include expanding into Conversational Commerce which is at the intersection of eCommerce and messaging apps, WhatsApp, and text messaging. Undoubtedly, Infobip will stand by its commitment to helping businesses improve the lives of their customers.
For More Info: https://www.infobip.com/