Welcome back to the Share Your Story series. Last time Dana spoke honestly about her experience of breastfeeding. Today I have Umair from Ranking Pursuits sharing his story on how he picked a career that he has come to love, over to you Umair…
From setting up network routers for a global MNC in a remote village of barely 200 people to avoiding getting sucked into an airplane engine to almost becoming a feature film music composer to writing gadget reviews to receiving awards as a digital marketer, it couldn’t have gotten crazier.
I’m Umair Ansari and this is my story.
The Wonder Years.
Born in a middle class Indian family, I was always fascinated by & attracted to creative & unique things from my childhood. No wonder music & arts always attracted me.
I grew up in a house where education was priority but all round individual growth was equally important. My parents (father a retired govt. servant, mom a housewife) always gave me & my elder brother the freedom to grow up as an individual.
My brother is a doctor and I’m an engineering graduate B.Tech (Computer Science).
I love instrumental music. Composing my own songs, writing short stories & poems.
Seeing my interest in music, my parents gifted me Yamaha DGX 520 as a gift for completing my graduation.
One of the few good things about my engineering days was forming a music band and meeting some awesome folks who became friends for life. It wasn’t until I wasted a few years working as a network engineer that I realised that it is not my cup of tea. The company for which I worked paid peanuts for the profile I was in and also drained out the last drop of sweat from its employees. Frustrated, I resigned, came back to my hometown and considered starting my own business. But it wasn’t meant to be due to reasons beyond my control.
Meanwhile, one day while browsing online I came across a requirement for music composer for a movie by a production house in Mumbai. I sent my composition, they liked it and sent a contract!
Again, I couldn’t take it up and had to let it go.
It was around April 2011, I decided to move to Mumbai (some thought I was going there to become a movie star given my inclination towards arts & creativity). The city is incredible and if you have talent, you will find work.
It took some time, but I eventually landed a job with one of the most popular airlines in India. I worked as a ground crew on air-strip side as a part of flight turn around team. It was chaotic to say the least. I worked for some time with them, realised it is something I didn’t fancy as a long-term career option. Resigned (again!) and decided to look for another job where I could use my creativity and love for technology.
And then one day.. The Game-Changer:
While going through online job portals, I came across an Ad for a start-up looking for a content writer. It required someone who was comfortable writing in English, has a decent command over the language & also some creativity.
That’s it. Deep down I knew this is the kind of work I wanted to do.
I was wrong. It turned out to be more than what I had imagined. I applied. Got selected. I imagined the work would involve writing applications, letters and official communications. There was none of that. Instead I was entrusted with responsibility to write gadget reviews.
It is here that I discovered Digital Marketing.
I’m thankful to my owner/boss who introduced me to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
My parents were worried as they thought I was doing some book-keeping for a small business (which is what a computer engineer should not be doing). I tried to explain, but it didn’t help much.
I was fascinated by the whole online marketing thing, decided to learn more about it and eventually decided to become a digital marketer. Worked for 1 and a half years & made a job switch to a media company called Network 18. I worked as a web producer for their tech portal; my first glimpse into a corporate work culture.
The Turning Point:
I got married in January 2014.
My mom became seriously ill few months later. I resigned and came back home to take care of her with my wife being a pillar of strength in that phase. Barely few weeks later my mom passed away in 2014.
It wasn’t until 5 months later that I landed a job with a website development company in my hometown as a digital marketing executive.
I later moved to Pune (the educational and I.T hub) for better career growth. Landed a job with a start-up where I worked for almost a year as a digital marketing executive. On the last day at work, their site ended up ranking number 1 for their target audience.
Talk about signing off with style!
The start-up eventually made it to the industry top ten list in its domain. Then came probably the biggest career break; an opportunity to work as a Social Media Manager with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC); Pune’s local government organisation.
The best part was seeing how every marketing activity impacted the organisation’s interaction with citizens. It was gratifying to say the least.
On top of that I had an incredibly supporting Head of Department and a talented team of 3 under me.
Oh! Did I mention one of the biggest perks of the job? It was being able to meet and interact with the Municipal Commissioner as well as the Mayor without any hassles.
I worked with PMC for 2 years and during this period won 3 awards. One of which was awarded by Indian government’s ministry for Clean India. Meanwhile I was blessed with two daughters named Yusra & Sidra. They are a blessing from Allah (SWT) to me and my wife. The elder one, Yusra, is quite tech-savvy (unsurprisingly).
I moved back along with my wife & two beautiful daughters to my hometown to be with my father.
I’m currently working with IHM Aurangabad- one of the best hospitality and culinary schools in India as a Digital Marketing Manager.
I love being a Digital Marketer.
I’d love to mentor and guide those who want to take up Digital Marketing as a career. I strongly believe that Digital Marketing is not just a career skill; it is a life skill.
My father now knows what Digital Marketing is and with all those awards and job profiles, he is really happy that I’m one.
Whatever I decide to do, digital marketing will be a part of it in some way or the other.
Thank you Umair for sharing your story. Quite a story, I’m glad to see that you finally found a job that you love!
If you would like to follow Umair some more you should head over to his socials;