Top News

It was meeting of two disinterested people that set my career rolling

As a part of
the series of conversations with some of the leading women achievers of the
Indian digital media industry, we present to you Debadutta Upadhyaya, vice
president, India, Vdopia Inc. Vdopia is an online video advertising firm
Debadutta looks after P&L management, development of business plan and
sales strategy, market expansion.

As a part of
the series of conversations with some of the leading women achievers of the
Indian digital media industry, we present to you Debadutta Upadhyaya, vice
president, India, Vdopia Inc. Vdopia is an online video advertising firm
Debadutta looks after P&L management, development of business plan and
sales strategy, market expansion.

Prior to
joining Vdopia, Debadutta worked with Yahoo India where she joined as the regional
sales manager in January 2006 and was elevated to the post of head of sales
strategy in October 2009. Debadutta started her career with BCCL (The Times of
India Group). In a conversation with AlooTechie, Debadutta Upadhyaya shares
some glimpses of her personal and professional realities.

You started with a marketing career in
offline media companies and then shifted to online publishing houses, and now
you are leading a company which operates in new form of online content —
video. How did the shifts happen?

It was
meeting of two disinterested people – Neville Taraporewalla, the then director
and country general manager, Yahoo India and me that set the ball rolling. I
wasn’t keen to switch jobs from TOI and he wasn’t keen to take people from TOI
because of some not so endearing incidents in recent past. But the meeting did
happen and I got sucked into the digital world via Yahoo India. From then on,
it has been a long and eventful journey – starting with frustrations of dealing
with very small revenues to building a strong ecosystem around digital revenue,
building a dream team that always egged you to outperform them to partnering
with industry experts to drive optimum results for advertisers.

All three
were destined to happen is how I would put it. I was a student of mass
communication, educating and training myself to be a journalist when TOI
happened – surprisingly not on the editorial front but response cell. And just
when I had thought that things were perfect, the opportunity at Yahoo opened up
a completely different world which was mesmerizing. And after working with the
leaders in their own field for 14 years, the opportunity at Vdopia attracted me
as it meant an ownership to establish a new leader. Every time the challenge
was to get into a completely new territory and excel.

How has the journey been so far in Vdopia
India? What were the initial challenges of leading a stratup? What is the
single thing that you keeps you motivated while facing challenges?

The last one
year has been on a roller coaster ride. The challenges were not so much around
leading a start-up. Thanks to Saurabh (CBO, Vdopia Inc.) who had built the
foundation in a way that it was hardly considered a start up by the time I
joined, atleast in terms of expectations from business partners, as it was
around harnessing an overtly enthusiastic and extremely energetic team to
prioritise and build systems for long term growth. As far as I am concerned the
“I am the CEO kind of zeal” that I see in each and every Vdopian motivates me immensely.

Looking back, any regrets in your life and
career?

No regrets.
But wish I can go back to writing some day.

One ‘WOW’ moment in your career.

In a career
spanning 14 years, there are several of them. But the three that stand out are
– a comment from Bhaskar Das, executive president, BCCL, that “I see so much of
me in you”. Coming from him, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment as it is
laden with a responsibility that you haven’t let your mentor down. Second would
undoubtedly be the second quarter of 2007 when the dream team at Yahoo India
established themselves as the number one display leaders piping the incumbent,
which has been reigning that spot right from the day digital as a medium
established it in India. And third would be the recent accomplishment of Vdopia
team around World Cup monetization. The product and offering that we could
offering to brands partnering with ESS team brought across “WOW” remarks from
most of the participating clients. For the first time, Vdopia as a company was
the most sought after partner in digital plans and the high that the team got
was immense.

Any role model whom you would have wanted
to be?

I don’t
believe in role models as much I believe in imbibing the best from every
interaction that you get into.

What do you regard as the biggest
achievement of your life?

At a
personal level, my son who challenges me to question some of the management
concepts around negotiation and customer satisfaction every day of the year and
weaving dream teams on a professional level.

If not an online industry professional,
what else would you have been?

Coming to
think of it, I wasn’t trained to be a media-sales professional to begin with,
forget about being an online industry professional. If wishes were horses, I
would have loved to write fiction, travel extensively for pleasure, not work,
and manage an eatery that doles out “Dash’s specialities” – some ingenious
recipes that me and my husband have invented over the years.

A wish that you would want to fulfil by the
end of this year.

Going on a
world tour.

Two years down the line, where do you see
yourself?

Retired from
corporate world.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close