Whole LOTA Love

Nandita Chugh

I was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. From a very early stage, I knew I wanted to move on and see the world. At that point in time, my world, or the world outside my world meant going to a different city or state in India which I did for both my undergraduate degree and jobs in engineering.

What I really loved about my jobs in India was understanding how different worlds meet. I realized that anything I built in India would impact the client somewhere else in the world. My first client was Volkswagen and I was involved in the development of their after-sales systems that helped support their dealers globally. My direct counterpart used to work out of Wolfsburg, Germany and it was him who helped me get my first insight into how our strategy and development impacted dealers and dealerships around the network, and ultimately how customers perceived Volkswagen as  a brand. That's when I knew that I didn't want to stay in one field.

I decided to get my Master's in a combination of Technology and Management in the United States. So, I moved to the East Coast to attend school in New York. I did a lot of internships along the way, and particularly enjoyed seeing how decisions made in a boardroom (months earlier) translated into technology or solution that eventually impacted customers, business partners, and centers around the world.

When I started my job with Deloitte, a new layer was added to my repertoire; marketing. I thought, "Oh, this is how ideas are envisioned.” This was  fascinating for me,and I also loved trying out new places, new cultures, and new kinds of things that came with this job. Today, I'm still working in tech and I'm still building things, but now here at OTA, it's more directly related to marketing.

I love the story of OTA’s owner, Eyal Shahar; how he came from another country, how he rebuilt his career after he lost everything, and how it was nothing related to what he had done before. It just kind of resonated with me. What I was doing five years ago is minimally related to the marketing automation work I am doing now, although all of it is built on the same foundation.

I love the cultural diversity at OTA! Just within the marketing team, not only do we share spaces, but we also share our ideas, our cultures, and also our food recipes. It helps us stay connected in more ways than just being colleagues and I personally feel like I have an extended family right here with me.  

Both of my parents are back in India. It is hard not being able to see them; leaving your nest and going out in the world. My parents for years now have been asking, ''Why did you have to move? You had such a better life here.'' But it’s not about better, it's just different. I admit I am in constant conflict. I ask myself, ''Have you gotten what you came here for?'' The answer still continues to be ''Yes”, even though my “'why'' keeps changing.

Initially, I came for an education, then I stayed for the experience, then for my husband. Now I stay for something else. You can find good in anything and everything. I think every single place I travel to, opens more and more things for me in terms of how people live, what they do, why they do certain things, what they eat and whatnot. I hope in the long run, when my husband and I look back, we'll all laugh about our journey and feel fulfilled.