Ad Land’s Young Guns: Sana Afreen, CCO & Program Manager, Rizzle

Sana Afreen, CCO & Program Manager, Rizzle, has always strived to make organisations successful by translating her knowledge of business practices and experiences into pragmatic solutions with lasting impact. Working at Rizzle, her experience says that the app keeps you hooked for creative video content, working on enabling creativity, genres, and growth of the brand all at once.

Afreen has a mixture of skills and her expertise lies in Content Community, Product Marketing Management, Blogging, Social Media Influencing, Startup Consultant, Marketer, Legal Liaison & Speaker. Prior to joining Rizzle, Afreen has worked with GrabOn and has helped the brand in launching new products, Growth Marketing, Retention Marketing, Strategic Partnerships etc. She has also been a consultant to start-ups since 2016.

Find out from Sana Afreen about productive things that you need to work on a daily basis, mantras to succeed in your career, skill sets that one develop on the job and a lot more.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?

I have an extremely multi-dimensional skill set that I bring to the table. But if I have to condense it, I’d say my USPs lie in analytical thinking and strategic partnership management. My professional experiences have ranged from me dabbling in business development, product, program management, content marketing, and of course, legal. I have to say I owe quite a bit of these to my diverse educational background.

How did you join your current organisation?

The social industry is fascinating. I was approached by the team here at Rizzle one day on LinkedIn. Conversations and interviews just happened. I had a very stimulating discussion with our co-founder, Lakshminath Dondetti, where we just didn’t discuss my experience. It was an idea on how to change and revolutionise the short videos space. That was when I knew the future was here. And three days later, the next thing I know is that I’m here.

Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?

Su Hua is one of the biggest icons I respect in the short videos industry. Hailing from a small village, he rose to establish a billion-dollar internet empire with Kuaishou. His vision is something that I admire big time. I also have to say that the people who’ve had a significant influence on my work are Rizzle’s co-founders, Lakshminath Dondetti and Vidya Narayanan. I don’t know anyone else who has analysed the industry at such a scale as them. Plus, their product-oriented approach is something I am trying to imbibe in myself.

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

I do not have the healthiest everyday routine, but I aim at achieving 90% and more efficiency across everything I do. I believe in having a sound and healthy mind, so I try to meditate at least once a day.

I catch up on the industry news every morning. I’ve also taken it upon myself to exercise regularly. It keeps my mind fresh and balances my energy levels too. Another part of my daily routine is organising and handling project priorities with the team. It’s a healthy way for the teams to connect and organise their ideas, thought processes, and to-dos for the day.

Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?

Short videos are the future – especially vertical videos. We live in a world where everyone has a mobile phone, but limited time. We all want an escape and a break from routine life. And this is the answer. So yes, short videos are here to stay forever. There will be evolutions definitely as with every other social platform. Even the most prominent social media have gotten into vertical videos. Tiktok brought about a whole revolution, and the short video space will only grow in the future. So yes, a career in social media and short videos is a viable one in the long run.

What does it take to succeed in a career?

Tenacity and grit. The ability to weather all the storms. You’ll have both good days and bad days – you just have to push forward, work hard, and never give up.

Team spirit and the ability to grow with the feedback you’ve received. And a bit of luck!

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?

You need to be a creator. Only when you experience the creator’s life will you understand the gaps, their dilemmas, and how trends catch on. Think like a creator. Learn everything you can about video creation, dive deep into the world of social media and short videos. Try out the video creation experiences that different platforms offer, and think about what you would change. And try being an innovator!

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself growing with my organisation. I want people to remember me as someone who contributed to Rizzle becoming a global leader in design-led innovation and providing world-class creation experiences.

Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?

I am already working in my future organisation, because I see Rizzle growing tremendously in the coming years. The short video space is here to stay. There’s an innovation revolution brewing, and I see myself right in the middle of it.


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