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Madhu Gulati – The Indian-American Entrepreneur Promoting Empathy as the key to technology innovation

From greatly reducing the amount of time spent on performing complex tasks to providing efficient and optimized solutions or platforms, technology is entirely intended to make our lives easier and as stress-free as possible. Nearly everything can be done today if you have the perfect platform identified based on your needs while sitting in one […]

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From greatly reducing the amount of time spent on performing complex tasks to providing efficient and optimized solutions or platforms, technology is entirely intended to make our lives easier and as stress-free as possible. Nearly everything can be done today if you have the perfect platform identified based on your needs while sitting in one location, and of course, with the internet. Life is a lot simpler, but in reality, it’s not exactly a straightforward path. In many walks of life, technology increases efficiency and productivity. However, in others, and for people who may lack the expertise, it can quickly become a real pain and a source of mental, physical, and emotional stress.

For Indian-American entrepreneur, investor, and speaker, Madhu Gulati, the irony of technology adding stress to anyone’s life shouldn’t be a reality, especially not in the corporate world. Gulati is the co-founder and CEO of Marrina Decisions, a branding agency with a mission to bring the “human touch and human bond” to technology and make promotional campaigns a lot easier. A past employee of globally-renowned firms such as Microsoft, Market2Lead (now Oracle) and Marketo (a subsidiary of Adobe), Gulati has become a top leader in the digital consulting automation industry, a niche concerned with the implementation of platforms to automate repetitive tasks and creation of easy-to-use platforms for efficiency.

Marrina Decisions was established out of a passion to see more B2C and B2B firms happy with the process of promoting their brands and businesses. At the core level, these strategies are a lot more targeted and complicated than people often assume and not everyone can withstand the mental stress. The company’s core goal is to ensure that its smart technology-driven digital consultatns can bring client organizations to the limelight as excitingly as possible. Gulati said in an interview about the inception of her firm: “We all know that the right technology is the perfect solution to most problems. However, technology is only as good as the humans who manage it. Technology does not have to cause headaches – it should take them away. So, in pursuit of happiness, I found a bunch of people who love tech as much as me. You leave the technology to us and get back to what you’re here to do.”

Unplanned directions and great outcomes

Gulati hadn’t always planned a future where she would build and lead a branding agency. Born in India to her very supportive parents, Gulati had been expected to play it safe with her future and take up a desk job and a quiet life somewhere in the country. Gulati’s father was protective of her and wanted her to have a simple life, one where she would get married in her 20’s and settle to raise a family. However, Gulati wanted a life of high-flying visions and bigger challenges. 

She said: “Since my 20’s, I have always been ambitious with big dreams. I was prepared for all the challenges and I also believed that I could shape my life if my intentions were always pure. Thinking positively or being positive can only work if you feel positive as well.”

In the earliest steps toward her dreams, Gulati bagged her first bachelor’s degree in Finance and also joined a cost accounting school. She wanted to start her career somewhere in a big corporation and work her way up to a C-suite position, so she furthered her education by bagging an MBA and a law degree. However, the lawyer career wasn’t exactly where she saw herself thriving. In her words, “It wasn’t my cup of tea”.

After she was introduced to the corporate world as a management trainee working with MNC in India, she quickly realized she was like a sitting duck in a fast-paced pond. The job rewarded her with little satisfaction and it seemed to be running in the opposite direction of her dreams. However, this job played a pivotal role in her overall growth. Working there, Gulati discovered her passion and affinity for digital consulting and technology, and decided to take a chance on herself again.

She said: “I did not plan my career in that direction but it just happened because I never had any issues understanding ERP’s, Saas product, and Martech tools. In fact, to date, I love getting my hands into Martech tools and love the everyday innovation around me.”

Against all odds

Gulati continued setting the bar higher for herself with her newfound passion as she learned, trained, and got better every day. She eventually moved to the United States and took up work in Silicon Valley, exploring the industry with several firms and startups. Over the years, she has worked with several Fortune 100 companies in the tech space including Citrix, Oracle, Google, and Cisco. 

Working her way up to the top was not a journey without its struggles. As a woman of color pushing through the male-dominated field of tech, Gulati has had some unpleasant experiences with people doubting her capabilities based on prejudices.

She said: “Most of the time, I was fortunate to have amazing clients who are now my friends. However, at times, I had some setbacks when few clients refused to work with me because I was a woman of color. It was NOT directly shared with me, but I knew it was hushed and never discussed in the organization.”

Gulati believes that her climb to the top would have been a bit easier if she weren’t an Asian-American woman of color. There were times when she felt helpless in the face of an unfair reality. However, as an ardent lover of mediation and spirituality, she always has all the calming means to find peace and tranquility amid all the corporate chaos. Today, while spearheading a company that has worked with clients and partners as massive as Google and Adobe, Gulati is filled with nothing but gratitude for her remarkable journey so far and is blessed to have a wonderful team that is always there for her.

She said: “I love every day of my life after I discovered that THIS is my passion. I’ve worked with over a thousand customers, understanding their C-Suite CMO’s challenges around Martech, demand generation, sales pipelines, revenue funnels, and helping them to get to the ROI faster with our digital platform. Since then, there has been no looking back.”

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