Shourjo Dasgupta, Customer Success Manager at Ambit
Dreams of studying medicine or opening his own restaurant were thwarted by what now looks like a lifelong career in tech. We caught up with Shourjo Dasgupta, Customer Success Manager at Ambit to learn more about his career journey in tech.
Matchstiq is proud to have played a small part in Shourjo's career journey and love hearing about his enthusiasm for what he does at Ambit. He also has some great advice for others that might want to consider tech as a career path. Thanks for sharing your story, Shourjo.
“I teach computers how to think and talk like a real person.”
Firstly, how would you explain to a five year old what it is you do?
I have the coolest job at Ambit!
I teach computers how to think and talk like a real person. It hears me answer a lot of questions and later on, it can quickly answer the same questions, and also talk to lots of people at the same time.
I also teach people how to get the best out of their computers and then they become my friends..forever!
And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?
Ambit is an AI-powered conversational Platform as a Service company. Our technology enables enterprises and medium businesses to build smart chatbots rapidly, cost-effectively, and simply (no code required).
At Ambit, I manage customer engagement, retention, and growth whilst ensuring Ambit’s customers meet their short and long-term desired business outcomes.
Currently, I am heavily involved in creating a Customer 360° program, an objective Health Score(s) Dashboard, and an awesome new tool (shhh…) to collaborate and engage with our customers proactively.
What are some of the common misconceptions about working in Customer Success?
Great question! Customer Success is still pretty new in New Zealand and most recruiters do a pretty good job of packaging customer support & account management roles as customer success roles.
Support is mostly transactional, focused on break/fix interactions, and is almost always reactive. 80% of my day-to-day as a customer success manager is proactive, strategic, data-driven, customer-focused activity.
CS is also not traditional account management or sales. Customer Success doesn’t end when the customer signs the paperwork, our work begins then and the CSM has to foster the relationship throughout the customer’s journey.
We facilitate an ongoing engagement model, which includes planning for increased adoption and new use cases, as well as a regular cadence of meetings to cover other strategic and tactical topics.
This includes a yearly kick-off, quarterly business reviews, monthly check-in calls, product feedback sessions, and more.
Customer success is not a department or business unit; it’s a top-down, company-wide commitment/mindset/philosophy that ensures that your customers achieve massive success using your product or platform.
When done right and when the whole organisation gets involved, customer success activities lead to the trifecta (renewals, expansions & referrals).
“But fate had other plans, I moved to New Zealand with dreams of starting a restaurant”
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
My Dad bought me a computer pretty early on, I think I was 10 (just to clarify, it was 1995!).
I played the odd game, unleashed my creativity with MS Paint & played visualisations in Winamp but it never occurred to me that there was a paradigm shift coming.
I always wanted to study medicine as a kid and do something with a sense of purpose and have a positive impact on the world.
My Grandfather was a famous paediatrician in India in the 70s’ and there are people who remember him till this day for saving their kid’s life.
But fate had other plans, I moved to New Zealand with dreams of starting a restaurant..
Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at Ambit?
The year was 2017. I had just started a new role as a ‘trainee’ financial advisor after working in Banking contact centres and hospitality roles. You could compare it to the role of a SDR in tech terms.
I cold-called people asking them for their private information for life insurance applications like income, medical history, etc and it was super frustrating for both parties.
I knew there had to be a better way to generate leads and create an awesome customer experience. Chatbots were really taking off at the time and I started attending weekly meetups that focussed on chatbots disrupting the insurance industry.
That’s when I first (indirectly) heard about Amit. I was super impressed by the brand and the disruptive technology behind it. I even convinced my wife to apply for a role there. This is when I knew that tech is where I wanted to be.
Next, I worked at Uber New Zealand onboarding driver and delivery partners in regional cities like Dunedin, Hamilton & Queenstown and supply-constrained cities in Australia.
I really enjoyed my time with Uber as it gave me the opportunity to work for a global company that still behaved like a startup.
I especially loved the autonomy, the exceptional colleagues, and the impact of changing the way the world moves. Sadly, this was a contract role that couldn't be extended any longer and I bid adieu to my life-long friends at Uber.
My next adventure was at Zilch - New Zealand’s only pure electric car-sharing service.
Zilch offers an alternative to car ownership for Kiwi businesses and everyday kiwis who want to do their bit to reduce their carbon footprint, improve air quality and free our city streets of congestion.
This was by far the most challenging and equally rewarding role I’ve had till now. It was the true definition of a home-grown startup and I had the pleasure of wearing many hats (thanks Covid!) and developing key relationships in the EV and sustainability sectors.
Fast forward to late 2020 and I was looking for a B2B customer success role. I spent countless hours looking for Customer Success roles using the usual channels like Seek & Linkedin.
The whole process seemed so disconnected. I desperately needed to find organizational fit but had no means to connect with founders to understand their vision and align on expectations.
Enter Matchstiq, a resource dedicated to non-technical people looking to break into tech. I attended an AMA(ask me anything) call with Bion Behdin (CRO & Co-Founder at First AML) & Greg Denton. It was on this call that I realised that I had what it takes to succeed in tech.
I consumed lots of books, blogs, podcasts, and medium articles in preparation for the CS roles in 20 companies (most of which were listed on Matchstiq), had 9 first-round interviews and 5 face-to-face interviews.
The CSM role at Ambit hadn’t been advertised when I reached out via their careers page and DM’d our CEO, Tim on Linkedin.
I got a call from our COO, Pete the same day, and less than a month later, I got an offer letter from Ambit! One can argue that it's been 4 years in the making.
“I attended an AMA(ask me anything) call with Bion Behdin (CRO & Co-Founder at First AML) & Greg Denton. It was on this call that I realised that I had what it takes to succeed in tech.”
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
I have two.
My Dad has always said, “Treat the business like it’s your own” and everything will work out! Our CEO, Tim said the same thing on my first day at Ambit. I have always tried to incorporate this into my work ethic.
I once read this quote in someone’s email signature: “Not all those who wander are lost.” I have wandered heaps but I know my experience is richer for it. Thanks, Mr. Tolkien!
What do you love about working at Ambit?
I like the fact that everyone at Ambit is different, yet they are focused on a common goal, to create a company and a culture that’s second to none.
I also love how our leadership team has created a high-context culture where our values #berealbekind #makeithappen & #nextlevel get dropped into each and every conversation and the employees just know what it means! Very refreshing to see.
The collective experience within the company is massive! For e.g. Our COO has been in the New Zealand tech industry since the 80s’!! He’s been there, done that, and more.
What I love is their genuine interest in developing my career in Customer Success and the LT are super generous with their time.
I am always encouraged to attend industry events, as they recognize that it will help develop my domain and category knowledge.
The CSM role is such a greenfields opportunity. I get to work with an exciting mix of customers spanning so many different verticals, top that off with their appetite for innovation. There’s no place I’d rather be.
Lastly, Ambit continues to grow and evolve, what are the key traits and characteristics of people that will be well placed to work there?
I think people who are values-driven and are looking for organizational fit, will especially enjoy working here. I don’t think there’s a specific mould you need to fit in. Think about how you would complement the team and how you can make the organization #nextlevel.