Monday Guest Parul Vij Chopra-Y3-W21

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Get to know Parul Vij Chopra

By: Mohammed Alqaq   |  May 20, 2024   |  Year 3  –  Week 21/2024

Thank you for inviting me as a guest for Customer Success Middle East. It’s an honor to be featured amongst the seasoned CS professionals from around the world.

My name is Parul and I am an Indian living in the US and navigating career, motherhood, and life in what I believe is one of the most exciting eras for tech developments and evolution.  With nearly 15 years of work experience spanning across various industries such as Pharma, Healthcare, and Tech, I’ve held roles encompassing global customer success, strategic alliances, and partnerships, all while managing revenue and P&L responsibilities.


Outside of my professional endeavors, I devote the majority of my time to my two young daughters, immersing ourselves in the joy of reading books with animated voices and dancing to Taylor Swift’s music. Additionally, I occasionally engage in consulting work for budding startups and find fulfillment in mentoring young women as they navigate career challenges, particularly within the Women in CS Community.

We asked Parul to take us through a journey telling us about her career path, how she spends her workday, what advice she can share with someone starting as a customer success manager, and many other questions.

Enjoy reading this interview  

Table of Contents

Tell us about your career path?

After completing my MBA, I began my career in Pharma with Refarmed Chemicals (Acquired by DKSH), where I spent the first 9 years of my career where I managed strategic alliances with raw material manufacturers for major pharmaceutical formulations manufacturers across the globe learned and practiced comprehensive approach to value exchange and delivery.  Principally, I credit my understanding of Customer Success to my 9 years of tenure at Refarmed providing me invaluable insights into managing the intricate dynamics of partner relationships across the supply chain, strategically engaging stakeholders, and driving revenue growth.

Following my tenure at Refarmed, I briefly served as a founding Account Manager (post-sales) at PPO Profits (acquired by Benco Dental), a Revenue Cycle Management Consulting firm in the healthcare sector. In this role, I primarily catered to small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients, gaining firsthand experience in modern Customer Success practices and their impact.

Residing in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of technological innovation, I was drawn to explore opportunities in the tech industry. As a result, I’ve spent the last three-plus years spearheading Customer Success at Avatour, a young startup. At Avatour, we are pioneering a new category in immersive remote collaboration technology, utilizing 360° cameras on-site, accessible through virtual reality (VR) or web platforms.

How did you join Customer Success?

As I navigated through career changes, I directed my attention to identifying and analyzing the transferable skills that I could bring to a new industry, and Customer Success emerged as the answer in my case.

Customer Success can often take different forms across various organizations with who owns retention, expansion, and cross-selling. In my view, Customer Success should take on revenue responsibility and tackle their role somewhat like farming – understanding the customer, their business, the users of the product, and how it contributes value. With this understanding, CSMs can strategize to boost adoption in accounts, ultimately driving revenue growth in the long run.

How would you describe the ideal CSM candidate?

In my opinion, an ideal CSM should be someone who is naturally curious, organized, and adept at using objective data, while also possessing intuitive skills.

They need to successfully manage engagements with multiple customers, navigating people, hierarchies, diverse stakeholders, and their expectations. It’s a delicate balance of art and science, not without its challenges, but definitely manageable with the right approach!

What one piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out as a Customer Success Manager?

For anyone starting out in Customer Success (CS), it’s crucial to grasp the fundamentals of the discipline. There’s a wealth of resources available, from online blogs and books to networking with seasoned CS professionals.

Once you secure a position in CS, invest time in understanding the product, your customers, their challenges, their journey, and, importantly, the reasons for churn and strategies to mitigate them. This foundational knowledge will set you up for success in the field.


Invest time in understanding the product, your customers, their challenges, their journey, and, importantly, the reasons for churn and strategies to mitigate them

Can you take us on a journey describing what your workday looks like?

I usually kick off the day by promptly addressing any urgent customer concerns, ensuring that our client’s immediate needs are met and their experiences are positive.

As we are a remote company, my day is typically filled with Avatour meetings with customers and colleagues.

Additionally, as a CS leader, I prefer to continuously evaluate strategic initiatives for any potential expansion opportunities as well as track the renewal pipeline two quarters in advance.

What makes you feel inspired or motivated?

What inspires and motivates me is the achievement of desired outcomes. As a Customer Success leader for a young startup pioneering a new category, I’ve come to understand that success isn’t solely defined by renewals, revenue expansion, or usage metrics.

At Avatour, a technology company navigating the early market, Customer Success plays a crucial role in helping businesses comprehend and define their Total Addressable Market (TAM), identify pain points, and establish value expectations. This information is then leveraged by the product team in furthering development and is used by the Marketing team to communicate value and generate leads and opportunities. Subsequently, the sales team reinforces the value proposition to close leads. 

This holistic- Customer-Centric approach to achieving desired outcomes is what truly motivates and inspires me in my role. 

What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?

One aspect that often catches people by surprise, particularly within the Customer Success community, is the realization that I transitioned relatively recently into a CS role within the tech industry. Nevertheless, I have embraced this new challenge with enthusiasm and have demonstrated a rapid ability to learn and adapt.

My journey underscores the significance of transferable skills and their ability to make a substantial impact, which I have demonstrated not only within my role at Avatour but also across the broader CS community. With a proactive attitude, one can confidently navigate new ventures and achieve success.

Who do you look up to the most? 

When it comes to who I look up to, there are quite a few people who come to mind. In my personal life, my hardworking and ambitious parents take the top spot. They recently retired from their impressive careers and I am deeply inspired by their accomplishments. At home, I always look up to my partner, who has always shown incredible persistence and grit no matter what life throws our way.

Professionally, I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing folks over the years. Every colleague, manager, and even customer has taught me something valuable, inspiring me to always give my best and own up to my vulnerabilities along the way. They’ve had a big impact on how I approach both work and life in general.

What are your top 3 priorities now?

Right now, my main focus is on three key priorities:

  • Investing in both my professional and personal growth.

  • Cultivating healthy habits and maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

  • Nurturing and raising my beautiful daughters to be strong and resilient women but also kind individuals.

What advice would you give to Customer Success Managers to grow and develop their careers?

My advice to CSMs

  • Continually educate yourself on how different CS professionals are approaching CS and the different challenges.

  • Seek out mentors beyond your workplace who can guide you in navigating both your career and life journey.

What’s your favorite book, and why?

I find great pleasure in delving into fiction and mythology. I believe that fiction helps in the development of empathy and EQ by providing insights into diverse people and cultures.

For Customer Success professionals, if I were to recommend just one book, it would be “Startups Guide to Customer Successby Jennifer Chiang. I admire how this book simplifies the pursuit of Customer Success, making it both logical and commonsensical, rather than a maze of jargons.

» Check out the 10 Books a CSM should read to advance and improve their skills.

Have you had your “I’ve made it” moment yet?

Not really. I am still very early in my career

What should I have asked you but didn’t? 

I think you have a great list of questions.

Where can people go to find out more about you?

I’d be happy to connect on Linkedin, feel free to reach out:

Thank you, Parul, for sharing your knowledge and for the opportunity to know you more.

Do you have a Customer Success Leader, Expert, or Influencer you would like to know more about?