Unlocking Success: Navigating Challenges and Strategies in Modern Leadership and Organizational Growth
Smarter GTM 11.07.2023

Unlocking Success: Navigating Challenges and Strategies in Modern Leadership and Organizational Growth

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In this episode of Sunny Side Up, Rory Costello interviews Prashant Bhatia, a seasoned professional with over 25 years in enterprise software, on navigating modern leadership hurdles and fostering organisational expansion. From starting in product management to transitioning into product marketing and eventually embracing executive leadership roles, Prashant highlights the importance of adaptability and continuous learning. He discusses the challenges of moving from a smaller company to a global enterprise, emphasising trust, transparency, and accountability as keys to professional networking. As he outlines his current role at SpendHQ, Prashant’s vision for the high-growth SaaS company’s future shines through. 


About the Guest

Prashant Bhatia has been in the enterprise software industry for 25+ years, most recently joining SpendHQ as Chief Marketing Officer responsible for global go-to-market strategy. Prior to SpendHQ, he was CMO at Blue Ridge Global, and prior to that, he was with Radial as SVP of Technology Services.

Throughout Prashant’s career, he has been focused on value selling and value creation, whether that be via Product Management, Product Marketing, or serving as an executive leader focused on go-to-market functions.

Connect with Prashant Bhatia

Key Takeaways

  • Career paths are often nonlinear, and early decisions can lead to unexpected opportunities.
  • Leadership in higher roles is not just about guiding company direction but also about nurturing and shaping individual careers.
  • Continuous learning and adaptability are crucial to navigating the evolving demands of the professional world.
  • In a remote-working world, building trust requires proactive effort and clear communication.
  • When inheriting or creating a new team, trust, transparency, vision, and accountability form the foundation of strong team dynamics.
  • Consistency in core values, whether working with customers, peers, or teams, ensures uniformity in approach and results.
  • Scaling up should be adaptive, considering both the growth of the company and the evolving needs of the market.
  • Building and nurturing direct and indirect teams is crucial for driving organisational value.
  • It’s essential to have a clear vision and strategy, especially in growth-oriented roles, to steer the company in the right direction.


“Be open to change and be willing to embrace it.” – Prashant Bhatia

Highlights from the Episode

How has your diverse career journey, spanning product management, product marketing, and leadership roles, along with experiences in supply chain and data analytics over 25 years, influenced your professional growth and expertise?

Over 25 years, Prashant’s career in enterprise software has spanned three phases. Initially, he worked in product management, especially as a supply chain expert. He then transitioned to product marketing, diving deep into go-to-market strategies and holding leadership roles. Currently, in his executive phase, Prashant serves as either the chief product officer or the chief marketing officer, focusing on leadership and career development.

What motivated your shift from product-focused sales to product marketing, and what lessons did you learn from both experiences?

Navigating one’s career often presents moments of uncertainty and introspection. Many of us start with roles straight out of education, only to face crucial decisions about our professional direction soon after. It’s common to grapple with choices. However, embracing challenges, even when the path ahead isn’t clear, can lead to game-changing opportunities in our careers. Taking on roles not defined or explored before requires adaptability and a knack for change management. The crux of progressing in any field is about being open to change and ensuring that your decisions benefit both the organization and the people you serve.

Could you share some hurdles you encountered at different points in your career? This includes your time as a product manager supporting sales and marketing, your role within the marketing organization, and your experiences as a C-level executive.

Prashant spoke about his significant career shift from a smaller company, where he was the 40th employee and was deeply networked, to a much larger global firm with 50,000 employees. This move highlighted the challenges of creating a network in a vast organisation. He emphasised the importance of trust-building in professional relationships. For Prashant, transparency, accountability, and delivery are the cornerstones of trust. Whether with customers, peers, or his team, his focus remains consistent: communicate clearly about actions and intentions and then deliver quality. 

Is your emphasis on collaboration, transparency, and trust influenced by your product background, and what aspects of that background have shaped your role as a CMO today?

Navigating your career requires a steadfast commitment to trust, transparency, and accountability. Although specific roles might offer unique lessons, these core principles are universal and serve as foundational pillars for success. As you progress in your profession, remember the importance of building a solid network. The relationships you cultivate can be transformative, regardless of your role or industry.

Can you talk about your current role at SpendHQ and share what’s exciting you about the future?

The primary objective of SpendHQ is to analyse customers’ spending patterns and identify savings opportunities in procurement. Initially emerging as a software tool from a consulting firm, SpendHQ matured into a standalone entity. It now offers services extending beyond spend analytics, including procurement performance management. Having joined SpendHQ about six to seven months prior, Prashant is keen on scaling the marketing needs of this high-growth SaaS company. Drawing from his past experiences, he aims to lead the company to new heights.

Regarding leaving an impact, what advice would you offer to budding leaders, especially those stepping into significant leadership or C-level roles for the first time?

Entering a leadership role demands more than just confidence; it requires adaptability, active listening, and a genuine understanding of the diverse needs of different stakeholders within an organisation. As you transition into leadership, it’s vital to remain humble, prioritise trust-building, and be receptive to feedback, ensuring that you address both internal and external requirements effectively.

Good reads: Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, video, or any resources that you would recommend to our listeners?

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