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Meet Nandini Singh Sethi, Client Solutions Manager at Google

by Shradha Aswani

How keeping up with ever-changing consumer behaviour is the foundation of her career.

By Shradha Aswani

In the digital age, where our social-media bios are snapshots of our personalities scattered around the virtual universe, it was no surprise that my first introduction to Nandini Singh Sethi was her LinkedIn page. “I bring to the table creativity, working with diligence, attention to detail, and a genuine love for helping others,” her to-the-point description says, and this turned out to be a precise representation of who she was when I met her a couple of weeks later. Her poise and attention to detail were mirrored not only in her responses to my curious streak, but also in the way she ensured that the conversation was an exchange instead of a one-way question-and-answer trail.

It is only when I talked to her further that I realised that her interest in knowing people and what makes them tick is a key pillar of her professional life, as well as her passion. Coming from a business family, demand and
supply had a regular place in the dinner-time conversations she had growing up. Exploring consumer psyche and what influenced their purchase decisions, through a degree in marketing, was a natural progression, and
proximity to her family was ingrained in her value system. Her education at the reputable Thammasat Business School and Chulalongkorn University were therefore strategic choices she made, and these choices have helped her emerge as a leading marketing professional, and assume her current role
as Client Solutions Manager at Google.

Her calm smile when she divulges these details, and how present she is in the moment, would have never let me guess that I am tearing her away from her ten-month-old daughter, even if momentarily. “It is important to ensure that, as a key female figure in her life, I live by example and show her that it is possible to have it all – to be just as involved with family while fulfilling your dreams,” she tells me, setting the tone for this insightful, intriguing and inspiring interaction.

Could you delve a little more into your exact role at Google? What about it do you enjoy most?

As a Client Solutions Manager, I consult my clients on how they can best achieve their marketing objectives via our platforms. I love playing a part in shaping the future of the digital advertising landscape. I essentially help my clients maximise their returns with each dollar spent. Being involved with such cutting-edge solutions in the market is something I thrive on. In helping my clients boost awareness and gain brand loyalty at various touch points of the consumer journey, my journey has come full circle.

Tell us about your educational and professional choices, and how they’ve shaped your career trajectory.

I’m very humbled to have been accepted into two renowned academic institutions in Thailand. I started my career in market research after graduating from Thammasat Business school. My first employment at
The Nielsen Company was where my true passion for consumer behaviour originated. I consulted large
FMCG clients to determine whether their new product developments were ready to be launched in the Thai
market.

What followed was working as a Portfolio Manager at Citi, and identifying credit card spending trends to target consumers with appropriate marketing campaigns. I loved gaining insights into what consumers spent their money on, and exploring the correlation of marketing with these patterns. To explore opportunities within the financial industry, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Finance at Chulalongkorn University.

While completing my Master’s, I developed an interest in technology that aided in my education and was therefore thrilled to have gained employment at Thai Samsung Electronics as the brand manager for their foldable phone launches (Z-Fold & Z-Flip mobile phones). I added value to the role with my newly acquired scenario modelling experience, as well as my prior marketing experience across industries. I had successfully married my love for technology with my professional aspirations when I learned of a great opportunity at Google. My diverse background across multiple industries made me an eligible candidate for the role and I was so grateful to have acquired my dream job!

What are the strengths and skills that have led you to excel in your role?

Regardless of the industry, having a consumer-first mentality has definitely worked in my favour. Putting
yourself in the shoes of the consumer allows one to stay focussed on what their pain points are and seek
solutions to meet those needs.

Both finance and tech fields are stereotypically known to be male-dominated. How would you describe the experience of working in your industry as a Thai-Indian woman?

While that may be so in other countries, the companies that I have been fortunate enough to work at, predominantly have women employees. Gender equality is the core of their corporate culture and has provided me with all the opportunities I have received.

The responsibility to balance personal and professional lives weighs more heavily on women
even today. Is that true in your case? How do you find that balance?

That is true. In my case, I am fortunate in the way that my job provides a hybrid model, allowing me to work
three days a week from the office and the other two days from home. My husband has his own business as well, so between the two of us, we are luckily able to make time to be as involved with our daughter as possible.

What is the one piece of advice that you live by? What is the most important advice you would like
to give to your women who are just starting their professional journeys?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Always do what you are afraid to do.” I think it bears remembering that we
only limit ourselves, and that everything we desire is within reach. All we need to do is continue to persevere
and stay focussed.

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