Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Q&A with Sanam Siddique, End User Marketing Manager - METAP region @ Signify
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
I was educated as an Electrical Engineer and began my career journey in a multinational architectural firm in Muscat, Oman. I focused on large scale construction projects including a secondment in the UK, with The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG). Although coming from a technical design background, three years into my role I found myself loving the client facing side of projects, and wanted to pursue more opportunities in this field. Back in 2010, I saw the potential growth of the lighting industry and searched the Middle East for my next opportunity in lighting. I then landed a very interesting job with Signify (then Philips Lighting) to grow the Specification Sales efforts in the region. I went on to becoming a trusted advisory in lighting, and currently drive the marketing for Retail & Hospitality segment for METAP region.
What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?
Breaking into a marketing career, with no traditional marketing experience. Growing from an engineer into specification sales, and now into marketing was not an easy task. I am glad & thankful that I work for a company that builds and supports its employees' dreams, but to prove your worth when you move into a new domain was challenging. I think the first step towards any goal is to draft a plan that will be workable for you and those around you. Finding the right support system in mentors and coaches will be a close second. A lot of reading and learning and talking and networking helped me really push my boundaries. Then there is a moment where you might need to work backwards from the goals you want to achieve.
When you get surprised by an unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?
To not be impulsive in replying. Listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. Active listening can be learnt. I am still learning how to make better decisions and respond with composure. In its simplest form – “let me think and get back to you” is very powerful, when used in the right context.
What’s the most important key success factor for you based on your experience?
Networking. People often misunderstand it as a very Sales & marketing skill to possess, which can be easily seen as an opportunistic practice. In my opinion, regardless of your profile, whether an introvert who may find it intimidating or an extrovert, it is a crucial skill for not just career progression but also a lot for your business goals. Abide by the golden rule of networking – give more than you take from your network.
What would be the major pitfall that may undermine the success of a leader?
In my opinion, the most difficult part for a leader in today’s world is to be both – successful & humble, honest & kind, vulnerable & strong, disciplined & relaxed, likable & have boundaries. I think we should stop stereotyping leadership qualities, and let the person in a leader, pave their own path to be the best version of themselves, being assertive and not aggressive, and not the other way around.