This talk was given by Anneka Gupta, President of LiveRamp at SaaS Connect 2019 in San Francisco, March 26-27, 2019. Get the slides

As companies grow and change, so do the roles of its employees.

Anneka Gupta knows this firsthand. At Saas Connect, she gave the audience details on her eight-year journey at LiveRamp, where she is now president.

Her journey from engineering to head of the company is an inspiring one, one that many SaaS professionals should become familiar with.

What’s it like to join a company during a pivot?

Anneka started with LiveRamp in 2010, right after graduating college. She wanted to find a company that met with her values, and LiveRamp fit the bill.

Because she started with LiveRamp so early, she was able to be there when its first successful product gained traction.

As LiveRamp started seeing success, Anneka was offered a product management role. She was hesitant because she liked designing products, but excited by the opportunity.

Concurrently, LiveRamp made a decision to go all-in on its successful product and pause the company’s side products, which were less successful. The company experienced high turnover because experimentation in the engineering field was no longer an option. That left a lean, committed team that truly believed in the product.

What’s it like to be responsible for a product during an acquisition?

In 2013 Anneka was made head of product after a stint on the marketing team.

Then, LiveRamp got acquired, and customers needed to be migrated. Migration featured a lot of trial and error, she says. A big lesson she learned: In-person meetings could solve far more than emails or phone calls during tough times.

By committing to in-person meetings, LiveRamp was able to migrate its customers over in six months, and the company in turn saw its highest growth yet.

With that growth came channel partnerships.

How did LiveRamp and Anneka enter the partner space?

At first, these partners were resellers. But over time, LiveRamp started to build products with partners. Anneka says one of the main mistakes she made during this time were not trusting her intuition and simply trusting what the account team said.

In 2017, LiveRamp’s CEO left, and Anneka became co-CEO. Six months after, the company decided to split from the acquiring company. Negotiating that deal was complex, but Anneka was able to use her experience to do so. She focused on creating value, not the baggage leftover from the acquisition.

What has Anneka learned about leading a growing company?

Today, Gupta is president of LiveRamp. What is the lesson she’d like everyone to take away from her journey? “Assume that every day is your first day and walk in without carrying any baggage into what you’re doing.”