Inside aytm: Meet Manasi Deshpande, Senior Director, Client Operations

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Posted Apr 11, 2024
Trevor Brown

Manasi is the Senior Director, Client Operations at aytm and plays an integral role in making our Customer Success and Support teams the best in the business. We were absolutely thrilled to have an opportunity to chat with her and find out a bit more about what she does both inside and outside of aytm. Have a read!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do here at aytm?

I wear a couple of hats here at aytm. I lead our Customer Success team which includes support. I am also responsible for any large automations, integrations, and cross functional operational projects across the client teams.

How did you decide to get into your field?

Quite deliberately. I didn’t just fall into market research. It was a well thought out decision for me to be in a role that was quantitative, data oriented and objective. It was an organic progression for me from there. I spent 3 years as a researcher before getting hired in a Senior Project Manager role in Market Research Operations and my journey in client facing leadership roles continued there on. 

What’s something you’re professionally passionate about?

A few things actually. I love simplifying what people think is complex. It’s a natural inclination that has provided me with most of the problem solving experience which is key to my role. Other than that, I find purpose in building high performing teams and new areas of the business. It helps me provide people with opportunities and help them uncover skills that they might not have known they had. Last but not the least, I love building revenue for high growth companies. I value the excitement and challenges of starting something from scratch and seeing it multiply over time. I have learnt so much from it.

What’s something you’re personally passionate about?

Travel! Travel really opens up my mind. I’m not much of a beach person. I’m more of a “get up and look around” kind of a traveler. I like to soak myself in with the local cuisine and famous places. And while I love to hike—and the mountains in the summer are so attractive to me—so is the hustle and bustle of a large city. I love going to San Francisco or New York, walking around, and indulging in popular restaurants, or finding the perfect “hole in the wall” place.

A beautiful image looing across a lake at the snowy peek of a mountain
A snapshot from Manasi's travel in Yukon
A rainbow in the distance as seen between palm trees blowing in the wind
Manasi's photo of a perfect rainbow in Hawaii

I also love to cook. Well, not much in the “what we are having for dinner today” kind of way, but more like getting a new recipe, going grocery shopping for the ingredients, and getting it right—that makes me happy. I also have a spicy tooth (if that’s a thing) which makes its way into my cooking…a lot! I think both food and travel internally connect to my passion for long term health and fitness. I also enjoy working out on my Peloton whether that’s spin, running, or strength. 

A delicious looking bowl of hummus with an olive oil swirl
Manasi's attempt to make the perfect Hummus

What’s a fun fact about you that might surprise people?

I have really good handwriting and I do think that I also write much more than an average person. I take a lot of notes. It helps me focus. I am also really good at art that involves drawing symmetrical shapes or geometric designs. I think my love for organized writing and symmetry might be interrelated. 

How do you balance your career and personal life at aytm?

aytm has provided me with work-life integration I once only dreamed of having. I start work early because I don’t have a commute. It also means that I can get off at a reasonable hour to spend time with my daughter—whether it is picking her up from school or taking her to activities. She's really at an age where we love doing things together. The transparent culture at aytm also gives me a chance to take a break and  spend 20–30 mins to exercise everyday. It's truly invaluable to find time to invest in my personal health and well being.

Manasi flexes her art skills with the help of her daughter

How has aytm helped you in your career development?

The biggest value-add to my career at aytm has been the experiential learning. In 2021 I moved over to lead Customer Success at aytm and it was a muscle I hadn't moved before. In the last 2.5 years, I have enriched myself with the learning that comes on the job. I have had a lot  of success milestones but I have also learnt through the ups and downs. When you normalize the trial and error process, you take away the fear of failure. It makes you action oriented, you give your ideas a chance and you might fail but you also grow.

Which aytm Core Value is your favorite and why?

Organic growth absolutely! We iterate on our iterations—you don't have to be perfect the first time and can get your goal through incremental change. It makes the journey towards the goal as enjoyable as getting to the goal post  itself. 

What advice would you give someone just starting out at aytm?

For those who are new to the industry, I would advise them to come in with an open mind. There is so much to learn, not just at aytm but within the market research industry in general. For those who are experienced, drop the baggage, get ready to unlearn old ways and learn new things and most of all reset the clock for yourself. There is nothing like doing away with the pressure of knowing everything and just taking it in during the first 3 months here.

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