27 October 2021
This month we introduce to you Sital Shah, a member of our Product Marketing team.
Hi Sital! Can you tell us about your role at iProov?
I’m part of the product marketing team here at iProov, which involves explaining what our technology does and how it can help organizations around the world. Our mission at iProov is to make it really easy for people to securely enroll or log in to their bank or other online services, but there’s complexity in how we make that happen. Our job is to explain the details of how it works, and make that complexity simple. We also spend a lot of time researching what is happening in particular markets or regions. Once we understand the specific challenges in each region, we can show how iProov can help.
Every day is different at iProov. A lot of my role involves reading new regulations, going to conferences, going to events, speaking to our customers, partners, and industry analysts, and then also internally collaborating with different teams as well. We ask: what are the burning challenges that our customers and prospects are facing? And how do our customers benefit from our technology and the new products that we’re releasing? As we’re constantly innovating at iProov, the Product Marketing team is always working to create the right language to share those innovations with the industry.
What attracted you to this role at iProov?
I’ve worked at a variety of technology companies that have focused on sectors such as financial service, government, healthcare. I started off very much as a techie myself and actually did my degree in business computing! First I was a pre-sales technical consultant at a company called Unisys, compiling technical configurations that a salesperson would use to generate the sales order to meet a specific customer requirement. But my passion was more in explaining the technology to other people, so over time I transitioned into marketing.
I still find the tech fascinating. Like most of us, I took it for granted that when you pick up your phone and use the internet it just works. Working at a communications company for a while gave me an opportunity to learn about the underlying technology and what actually happens. There’s a tangible process: cables go between countries under the seas and they actually break over time. So you have to send deep sea divers down to fix things like that.
What really drew me to iProov is the idea of “tech for good”. The thought of protecting innocent people from the terrors of financial crime is something that really drives me. People underestimate the impact of fraud and other online crime. They often think that identity theft, money-laundering, and other criminal activities are inevitable and that they don’t impact us much on a day-to-day basis. But they do. Whether it’s you individually losing money or criminal gangs stealing from others to fund illegal activity, the social impact is really significant. So I feel like by being part of this industry, working at iProov to make the internet a safer place, I’m doing my bit for the good of society.
And finally: I just like the people here. We have some really, really clever people at iProov and yet they’re so humble—they’re all focused on using their skills to solve the problem of keeping the internet safe. I enjoy working with such gifted people and learning from them every day.
Tell us about your career in counter-financial crime. How did you end up working in that sector and what do you enjoy about it? And how does it fit into your work at iProov?
I joined a marketing team at BAE Systems, where I was marketing solutions that detect and prevent financial crime. Fraudsters are often very clever and we need technology and people that are just as clever as them. At BAE Systems that meant technology such as social network analysis, whereas here at iProov it’s all about the genuine presence of humans. It’s something that’s never been done before and is incredibly important.
I wanted a change and knew my counter-financial crime solutions background would be useful for iProov. When I told a couple of people I was joining iProov, they said “you’ve hit gold”, because it’s an area that’s growing massively and constantly shifting. And they were right—I’ve definitely found the right place.
And what is it about product marketing that you enjoy? Would you recommend it as a career? And what does it take to be a successful product marketer?
I love the variety of product marketing. One day you’ll be writing material and messaging. Another day you’ll be reading up on the product and saying, OK, how do we best train our teams to convey this particular story? Or what are we doing about this new change in regulation? We’re always researching new opportunities in new markets and new regions too.
Product marketing is really a unique profession, and it has come into its own in the last few years. That’s why it’s so important to have a collaborative team, as we do at iProov. Biometrics is still relatively new. There are no laurels for us to rest on, because it’s all still being written and in motion. That can be quite daunting , but it’s also really interesting and challenging.
What does it take to be a successful product marketer? I think the key thing is if you enjoy technology and you enjoy explaining what it does in the way that people will understand, but also will see the value in what you’re talking about, then you’re absolutely the right sort of person to go into product marketing. It’s an incredibly diverse career: you can be more technical or more on the marketing side, but ultimately you get the best of both worlds.
What do you like about working at iProov more generally?
Until I arrived at iProov, I’d only worked at very big companies. I decided I wanted to work in a startup/scale-up environment because that was something I’d never done. I was able to use my previous skills but the big difference at iProov is that the buck often stops with you. There isn’t a massive team of 40 or 50 marketers all working on similar things to you. And so here I have the ability to do a lot more than I did when I was at the bigger companies. At iProov I can be far more agile and proactive.
I like the lack of bureaucracy. The structure is quite flat and you have the autonomy to get stuff done yourself. This can also mean you get time with the senior leadership team, which I’ve never really had before to this extent.
There’s also the cross-collaboration. In a big organization, you tend to just talk to your immediate team. At iProov, you get the opportunity to talk to compliance teams, the research team, the tech teams, everyone—and that makes a big difference to helping you understand what’s going on across the company.
Then there’s our weekly company standup meeting. Every week you get to hear what’s going on across the business, which allows you to appreciate how everyone is contributing.
What does iProov offer to its employees?
iProov offers the flexibility to decide whether you work in the office or remotely but if you do like office-working, then you couldn’t ask for a better one than iProov’s! It’s a great environment to work in. I can’t go in without getting my oat latte from the barista—that’s my guilty pleasure! (You can read all about iProov’s HQ here.)
I once brought my niece to the office for the day and she said something along the lines of: “if this is what workplaces are like, this is going to be brilliant!”. I laughed, and tried my best not to crumple her expectations by saying that this isn’t what all office workplaces are like… but it was great to hear that from her!
Because we’re a fast-growing company at the forefront of things in a shifting industry, it means you need to personally grow and learn really quickly as well. Over the last two years, I can really see the significance of that personal development.
iProov can give you a great springboard for your career, as there are so many opportunities to get involved in different projects. And because we’re a scale-up and the teams are growing so fast, there’s plenty of opportunity to move into other areas and move upwards too.
Does a career at iProov sound interesting to you? Apply to work at iProov today.
And meet more of the iProov team below!