The first time Sneha K. thought about working at Meta was after hearing her sister speak passionately about the work she was doing. “It was clear that she and her team were making a meaningful impact at the company,” Sneha remembers. “I thought that was so incredible, and I set my sights on wanting to achieve the same for myself in my career.”
Sneha applied for several roles with the company before finding one she knew was especially well-suited for her experience and aligned with her goals. “I wasn’t a match for the first few roles I applied for, but I didn’t let that discourage me,” she says. “I was willing to try again to find the right fit.”
Ultimately, it was her perseverance that led her to her role at Meta, where she became the first member of the WhatsApp Global Market Operations Team in early 2021. Now a Market Specialist based in Hyderabad, Sneha plays a critical role in representing India on the world stage.
Fostering deep connections across India with WhatsApp
The Market Operations team in India serves as the local “eyes and ears of WhatsApp”. As a co-lead of the WhatsApp Business insights program, Sneha is focused on empowering businesses.
“Our program gathers rapid qualitative feedback from small and medium-sized businesses around the world and provides these insights to our Product teams. This enables them to make important decisions including go/no-go decisions, validating feature concepts, and testing designs/prototypes," she explains. "All of these efforts ultimately empower businesses to use the WhatsApp Business app to its full potential, leading to meaningful connections with their customers."
Sneha and her fellow market specialists also collaborate with a multitude of cross-functional teams, from Content and Localization and Privacy to Vendor Outsourcing, to provide the best possible support for people using WhatsApp in India. “We deep dive into feedback and sentiments across various channels to understand how people use WhatsApp,” she shares. “These insights are incredibly valuable for the teams we work with because they reflect our deep understanding of sentiment, user behavior, and the cultural nuances each market specialist has in their specific market.”
A passionate and diverse team
Sneha describes her team as “transparent, nurturing, and fun” and notes that the people she works with inspire and drive her every day. When asked about what sets Meta apart from other companies, she says, “Everyone has visibility into important updates and can take part in conversations with leadership or stakeholders. We have our conversations within our internal Workplace platform, which is incredibly inclusive.”
“At Meta, diversity of thought and openness—which trickles down from leadership— encourages dialogue, innovation and growth.”
Having a supportive, diverse community at work is another reason why Sneha loves being part of the WhatsApp team. “Having joined the team amidst the pandemic as the first person brought on as a market specialist in India, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But, within the first few weeks, I felt like I had a strong support system. Despite not being together in person, people made themselves available to answer my questions. We also come together for team activities, such as peer circles, to talk about a range of topics and share personal challenges.”
The Women@ WhatsApp Resource Group holds a special place in Sneha’s heart and it has helped her connect with others across the company. “It’s been so refreshing to engage with like-minded people and to have a space for important conversations,” she shares. “We talk about everything from finding work-life flexibility and not shying away from saying ‘no’ to how we can best navigate other challenges, like experiencing feelings of imposter syndrome.”
“Though I’m based in India, I’ve been able to develop close relationships with my colleagues in California and Ireland. Our global team is incredibly diverse, which helps us gather valuable perspectives. Coming together to share our experiences and knowledge helps us build a better product and experience, ultimately serving our customers.”
What’s next for the Market Operations team
Having been with Meta for nearly a year, Sneha is embracing new challenges—such as helping grow the Market Operations team. “I didn’t have previous experience with hiring, and I’ve really enjoyed learning how to interview people and evaluating different skill sets,” she shares.
“Though a person’s background is important in a market specialist position, we place a strong emphasis on having empathy. In this role, we’re constantly advocating for our customers in India and having the ability to understand and care for them is paramount to our success. We also look for creativity and critical thinking skills when it comes to solving problems. We address new challenges everyday and need to think outside of the box to come up with solutions.”
With providing the best possible experience top of mind, Sneha says having a deep understanding of the local market is key as well. “It’s helpful to live in the market you represent, or at least have lived there for a substantial amount of time,” Sneha says. “This kind of expertise helps us understand, empathize with, and serve specific customers by addressing their unique needs.”
The future is bright for the WhatsApp team in India. “I’m excited to continue building our team and solving new challenges together,” she beams. “We celebrate all our wins—both big and small—and know there’s so much more we can do to champion the businesses and people who use and love WhatsApp across India. Each day is a new adventure for us.”
The WhatsApp India team is growing!