Women in Mobile. Meet Tarika Maini Soni, One of the Women Game Changers in the Mobile Industry

Tarika Maini Soni, Product Growth Manager at MoPub at Aarki's Women in Mobile series

We might associate mobile tech with male executives and engineers, but there are many women in tech and executive-level roles who are now leading the industry.

Currently, women hold 31% of computing jobs, according to a study by CEB. And the good news is this number is set to continuously increase until the year of 2020.

To acknowledge and give credit to women in the mobile tech industry, we continue our blog series featuring women, game changers in the mobile industry.

Tarika Maini Soni
Product Growth Manager at MoPub

As a Product Growth Manager at MoPub, I focus on encouraging adoption of engaging ad formats such as video, native, MRAID, and data at scale. The Product Growth team stays abreast with the dynamically changing in-app eco-system by keeping a pulse on competitors and following industry trends to innovate accordingly. We find creative ways of growing existing partnerships with programmatic buyers & sellers along with identifying new business opportunities for MoPub to invest in. Prior to joining MoPub, I was heading up the Mobile Customer Success team in EMEA for Twitter & TapCommerce, where I was tasked with growing a portfolio of top 30 grossing mobile app accounts in EMEA. I studied Marketing & International Business from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. You can follow me on Twitter at @maini_t.

  • Can you tell us about the work you and your organization do?
    MoPub is one of the largest in-app mobile exchanges globally; we are the leading monetization platform for mobile app developers and publishers. I specifically manage the growth of video ad products that we offer both to supply publishers and demand buying partners. My role includes collecting performance feedback from the market and help improve our product offering in order to remain the market leader in the mobile ad tech space.

  • How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organization?MoPub has always encouraged innovation and out of the box thinking. If anyone has an idea they are motivated to create a business case for it and present it to the stakeholders in order to it be reviewed critically, approved, and materialized into something meaningful for the business. Each employee is encouraged to bring out the entrepreneur in him/herself because testing new ideas is appreciated internally. MoPub believes in investing in great talent and providing a ripe platform for self-development.

  • What do you see as the biggest challenge for women in tech and how do we overcome it?
    Fortunately MoPub provides a platform where women are respected for their skill set and given the chance to compete fairly for senior positions which has set a great example for other companies in the tech space. Many members MoPub’s leadership team, including the VP of MoPub, are women, and it’s encouraging to have these strong female leaders to look up to. But I have been in challenging situations in male-dominated client meetings where your data and product knowledge is questioned and often not taken seriously because it’s not delivered by a male partner. The way I have personally overcome situations like this in the past is that you are required to be a lot more aggressive to deliver your point across. Your body language should change to one of authority — taking up more space and making eye contact -- so the room takes you seriously as they should.

  • What/who inspired you to pursue this career?
    I was always interested in technology as a child and was inspired to move into mobile from web e-commerce because I knew six years back that mobile in-app is going through the same boom that web went through a few years before. My brother-in-law, who is a veteran in the ad tech space and a serial entrepreneur, inspired me to move into adtech as he felt I was a good fit for this young and dynamic industry with a passion for technology.

  • What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
    Being able to influence strategic product initiatives — especially from a remote office, as I’m based in London — is a big achievement. Typically product folks are required to be based in San Francisco which is a tech company’s nerve centre in order to influence product decisions, but this has been a great change for me and MoPub. 

Tarika Maini Soni, Product Growth Manager at MoPub

  • Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
    I was playing squash and representing India in the National Squash tournament for women <17 years and I still play time to time as a hobby but not nearly as good as I was.

  • What keeps you busy outside work?
    I enjoy Yoga which helps me switch off from work and helps me exercise my mind and body in patient ways. I also spend a lot of time drowned in my books if I’m not traveling as I love to read factual works (instead of fiction).

  • Where’s your favorite place in the world?
    Croatia is definitely one of my favorite places in the world and I’ve been about four times now exploring different parts of the country because I love the history it has gone through and all the different favours of food and culture you get to experience from coast to coast. It also caters to all kinds of people who are looking for a romantic getaway to unwind or outdoor adventure to energising nightlife.

  • Name the top three apps you use daily.
    • Spotify pretty much all day during my commute to work and even during work hours
    • CityMapper to check the status of my commute route
    • TechCrunch to get an update on all things related to my industry.

  • What’s the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
    One of my ex-managers always said “Learn to switch off from work even if it’s highly demanding and your contribution is required in real time, because you are not in the business of saving lives”.

Topics: Women in Mobile