Sales | Priyanka Chandramouli
July Woman to Watch

Priyanka Chandramouli – Partner Sales Director, Freshworks

What led you to pursue a career in tech sales and what challenges have you overcome?

I pursued a career in tech sales because I found sales to be both intimidating and challenging. As someone who enjoys pushing myself, I was drawn to the perceived impossibility of sales. Over time, I developed a passion for helping companies transform their CX and EX strategies.

When I began my career at Oracle, I quickly realised my desire to join a startup where I could make a visible impact. In 2015, I joined Freshworks, then Freshdesk. As a founding member of the Global Partner Sales team, I played a pivotal role in developing our go-to-market strategy, growing from $1M to $160M. Joining as the second hire for APAC, I was tasked to build and scale the region from scratch.

One of my greatest challenges was understanding the product-market fitment, and establishing our presence with no initial brand recognition. Overcoming misconceptions about our company required understanding diverse customer needs, adapting strategies and forging strong partnerships. Today, Freshworks has grown into a $650M+ company with 5,000 employees across 11 offices, and I take pride in contributing to this remarkable journey. This experience underscored the importance of resilience, adaptability, and strategic thinking in achieving sustained growth.

What advice would you give to women considering a career in the tech sales industry? What do you wish you had known?

As a woman who started from humble beginnings and rose to become a regional partnership leader at Freshworks, my advice is to believe in your abilities and be resilient. Tech sales can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Seek mentors, build a strong network, and never hesitate to take on new challenges. What I wish I had known is the importance of self-advocacy—don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go out and create them. Your unique perspective is a valuable asset, so feel free to Stand Up for what you believe in! 🙂

Considering you upscaled your team from 2 to 21 people across 3 locations how do you manage to different cultures and embrace diversity?

To manage different cultures and embrace diversity while growing my team from 2 to 21 people across 3 locations, I focused on recruiting passionate, growth-oriented individuals and ensuring their skills were well-suited to their roles. It might sound unconventional, but I thrive in environments where everyone is smarter than me. It fuels my competitive spirit and drives continuous learning and growth. I fostered an open, non-hierarchical culture that encourages feedback and innovative ideas. Regular workshops, cross-functional activities, and proactive support for team needs have allowed me to build trust and maintain high motivation. As a result, we’ve cultivated a team with strong morale and a unified spirit, consistently achieving ambitious goals together. My team works hard and drinks harder! 🙂

What do you think stops more women from becoming sales leaders in tech?

Many reasons hold back women from reaching sales leadership roles in tech.

There’s often a lack of mentors and role models, plus biases that go unnoticed, and not enough chances to network. Sales jobs demand a lot, and balancing work with life challenges many women, which can steer them away from leadership paths. Taking maternity leave can pause a woman’s career for six months, making it hard to keep up and fight for equal treatment. I’ve had to rate outstanding female leaders lower on my team due to maternity breaks, compared to those who worked consistently. It shows why we need better policies to support all team members equally. Creating inclusive environments, offering mentorship, and ensuring everyone has the same opportunities are crucial steps to breaking down these barriers.

What is the biggest change you’d like to see in the tech industry to support women?

The biggest change I’d like to see in the tech industry to support women is a shift towards more inclusive practices and policies. This includes implementing equitable hiring and promotion practices, offering robust mentorship and sponsorship programs tailored to women’s career advancement, and fostering a culture that values diverse perspectives. Addressing unconscious bias through training and awareness programs is crucial for creating a level playing field.

Additionally, it’s essential to eliminate discriminatory practices such as asking women candidates about their plans regarding marriage or family planning during interviews. These questions perpetuate stereotypes and unfairly place the burden of business continuity risk on women. Instead, companies should focus on providing flexible work arrangements and ensuring equal pay for equal work to support women and promote a more balanced and diverse workforce.



Author’s Note : Thank you so much to Priyanka for joining us this month! To follow Priyanka’s career journey, find her LinkedIn profile here.

If you want to learn from other outstanding women in tech, please check out our interviews with the previous Woman to Watch Honourees here.