Sneha Lundia Agrawal, Founder & CEO of Step2Growth, is a well-known industry leader who is regarded as a marketing genius and is capable of reviving any dormant business. With her real-time work experience, Sneha has single-handedly turned the tables for several startups that had no idea why they were failing or how to change the tide in their favour. From a simple girl born in India to launching her business in Silicon Valley, Sneha has demonstrated to the world what wonders a single strong decision can create. Two of the startups she supported were acquired by large publicly traded corporations. She was recognized as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “Women of Influence 2021.” She is a contributor at Forbes, a part of Forbes Business Council, advisor at multiple startups and a board member for a nonprofit.
In an interview with Aspioneer, Sneha discusses her thoughts on the marketing industry, her path to success, and her ambition for the organization. Below are the highlights.
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “We are Step2Growth. We have been in business for more than four years. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have employees in the US, Canada, and India. To describe what we do, we are a growth accelerator, helping early-stage startups in their growth journey my providing coaching, resources, and services.”
Becoming the face of change
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “Before entering the world of marketing, I was working as a software engineer and then a business analyst. My first job as a marketing lead was with a startup. Like most early-stage startups, I was the only marketing juggernaut in this company. Looking at my background and work with this startup, a few other early-stage startups reached out to me to support them with their marketing infrastructure and foundation. The common thing I observed with all of these startups was the fact that they tried to create a marketing infrastructure and foundation, but something wasn’t right there and they hired me to redo everything. This bothered me because, at an early stage, startups already have limited resources and spending the time and effort to try to do marketing and then getting it wrong and hiring somebody to redo it just did not make sense to me. Since I saw this happen multiple times, I knew that this was the problem I wanted to solve. I want to reduce the number of startups that fail because of not having the right marketing foundation. I also wanted to focus on the early-stage startups because nobody would want to spend a lot of time with them because they did not have the money, but they needed the most help.
42% of startups fail today due to lack of product market fit and many more die out eventually due to poor marketing—I want to change that. The problem is that marketing can be overwhelming for early-stage founders, especially if they do not have relevant prior experience. I aim to provide structure and clarity when founders think about marketing. At an early stage, marketing should not be about trial and error but about being intentional about the time, money, and resources spent on marketing to reach the target audience and convert them into customers.”
"the best way to move forward is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. Cut off from people who bring in negative energy. Always be open to learning. You can learn from anyone and everyone if you are open to it."
Turning barriers into opportunities
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “Like most Indians, I had an arranged marriage. First, let me clarify that an arranged marriage is when your parents set you up on a date with the intention of getting married. Like most Indian girls, I had to make the move to live with my husband. For me, this was a really big move since I was moving from India to the US. With the difficulty of getting a work visa, I had to take a break of over a year from my career since there was no other option. While getting married to my husband has been the best decision of my life, it did create a temporary but significant barrier to my career growth. I used my time off to volunteer and upskill myself, and I made a lot of connections who have aided me in my entrepreneur journey. The most important skills I have that have helped me in my career are empathy and determination.
Empowering women. Breaking the stereotypes
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “I totally believe in equality, but at the same time, we need to realize that women are physically very different from men. Most women have a painful menstrual cycle every month, and they take on the responsibility of giving birth. For centuries, our world has been led by men, and this has kind of normalized general thinking. Women, even today, want to prove that they can do things just like or better than men, and I think this needs to change. I think there should be no comparison since we are so different from men. Women should not victimize themselves but know their value.
There is little representation. I have been in rooms where I was the only woman. This can be daunting at times if the people in the room do not allow you to share your point of view. By nature, women have a softer voice than men, and, in a room, full of men, it can be tough to be heard. Equality should be a priority because it is the right thing to do. Women bring in empathy and emotions, which the world really needs today.
To bring a real change, we have our Growth4Good initiative, where we support women entrepreneurs, non-profits, B Corps, and other purpose-driven organizations to increase their opportunities through efficient and strategic digital marketing.”
A refreshing retreat
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “I love nature and traveling. If I’m not working, I’m probably at a National Park hiking or camping. I love listening to music and dancing too! A few of my favorite books are: Think like a Monk by Jay Shetty; The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel; and The Startup Playbook by Rajat Bhargava and Will Herman.”
A legacy worth remembering
Sneha Lundia Agrawal: “Determination and self-belief are a must in anyone’s journey, but you always need an army of supporters. To aspiring female leaders, I would recommend that the best way to move forward is to surround yourself with people who believe in you. Cut off from people who bring in negative energy. Always be open to learning. You can learn from anyone and everyone if you are open to it.
My current focus is to exponentially grow Step2Growth to support startups and create more opportunities for women. I am constantly learning to add value to my company, team, and customers and to be a better leader. I hope my legacy will be – To be honest and kind. Grab every opportunity to give back. Be extremely grateful for all I have and will have. To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.