A conversation with THE BASA JUDGES

Sudha Ranganathan

Sudha, a seasoned professional with 18 years of experience at P&G, Nielsen, and PayPal, is the Product Marketing Director at LinkedIn. She has expertise in diverse B2C and B2B categories, including beauty, health care, HR tech, e-commerce, and fintech, but how did she get here?

Sudha has recently joined BASA independent Judging Panel. We spoke to her to learn more about her passion for small businesses.


How can you describe your job in one line?


My mission is to help companies find and develop exceptional talent, elevating teams to greatness.


What one word would you use to describe your industry?


Talent! My industry is all about talent - the aspiring job-seekers and the ambitious employees longing for remarkable careers. I thrive in an industry that empowers companies to hire extraordinary individuals and nurture their growth through upskilling and career development.


Can you identify a “tipping point” in your career when you saw success?


The “tipping point” in my career was when I embraced the idea of wearing a ‘business hat’ alongside my marketing expertise. Instead of solely focusing on my function, I shifted my mindset to prioritize the business’s growth needs. This change made me a strategic marketing partner, not just a service provider. The key takeaway is simple: think like a business strategist first, then align your function to profoundly impact your organization’s success, regardless of your role.


"Throughout my career, I have always asked, what are the levers of growth that will help this business achieve its objectives, and what can my function do to help drive them?"


What do you think would be the one thing you hope people learn from you?


I have a reputation as an exceptional people manager. I codify the essentials of a strong people manager into what I call the 4G framework -- helping your people Grow, Glow, Get things done and Go their own way - to bring out the best in them. I hope this is something people can take away and apply on their own teams.


And what are the qualities you most cherish in a colleague?


One key trait I greatly admire in a colleague is the ability to listen with genuine curiosity. When we engage in discussions with an open mind, we can understand each other better, know the root causes of issues, and effectively solve problems. Good quality listening is a powerful skill that fosters deeper understanding and more effective collaboration.


The BASA is about authentic, independent recognition. Why do you think that's important?


Large companies often have the advantage of hiring PR and communication experts, gaining media placements, and boosting brand visibility. However, small businesses often lack the financial means and expertise for such efforts. That’s where awards like this play a vital role. Recognitions like this elevate small businesses’ visibility, leading to growth, better financials, and the ability to attract top talent. It becomes a powerful substitute for PR resources, offering them the recognition they rightfully deserve.


Anna Stella - Best of America Small Business Awards