Balancing the Grind with Sarica Malhotra, Head of Global Marketing for Swann

Sarica Malhotra has been working as the Marketing and Communications Director – Global Marketing at Swann for almost 5 years. She now leads the implementation and development of Swann’s comprehensive global marketing strategy.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to? 

Ha! Now this would make a fantastic story if this was a movie. I was a class clown, dyslexic, ADHD ridden youngling with dreams of becoming a surgeon. But life had other plans; I had to drop out of med school due to family reasons- a real downer.

But the universe seemed to always have a special touch for me. I stumbled upon an opportunity to do medical drawings for a publisher in dire need, which helped me make a quick buck. While some might’ve seen this as a dead-end, I saw it as a stepping stone to a great career and the rest is history! 

Over the next ten years, with sheer determination and the refusal to back down from failures, I built a thriving Advertising and Publishing business called “Glow-Worms” from scratch. Since then, in 2000 I was given a young achiever’s award (Y2K, baby!), had my picture printed alongside Mel C (Spice girls fame) and even had the chance to meet notable movers and shakers and President Clinton during a book launch developed by my business. 

And then, I entered the ‘Crikey’! Since moving to Australia 18 years ago and having to start again from scratch, I built two more successful ventures in the food and merchandising industries. While keeping my entrepreneurial spirit alive, my high energy propelled me into the corporate world. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing; getting a job without Australian experience was a challenge, especially with an ethnic sounding name.

Nevertheless, I persevered and worked my way up from creative to sales to marketing, building quality brands, and effective marketing campaigns for leading companies. Grateful to my manager and Swann who recognised my evil genius and leadership qualities and kept promoting me.

Now, as the Marketing Communications Director at Swann, I’m leveraging my extensive global marketing, business development and people leadership experience to contribute to the success of this global CE Security leader.

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

A typical workday begins with a 20-minute meditation session setting the zen vibes for the day ahead. Then, armed with coffee, I embrace Swann’s fantastic hybrid work model and head to the office to join my lovely colleagues. On the way, I’m already on calls, collaborating with our US and AU teams, ensuring we’re all in sync with our top priority – promoting Swann! 

As the afternoon rolls in, the creativity kicks into high gear for me. With my team, I dive into crafting awesome global marketing communications, PR, and social initiatives to showcase our incredible and affordable line of DIY CCTV solutions and services. I also work closely with our services, development, and product teams, bringing Swann’s latest affordable innovations to the forefront.

I wrap up the day by teaming up with our Hong Kong and UK counterparts, working together to align with Swann’s global marketing plans. Most of my days at Swann are busy and very fulfilling.

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it? 

Work-life balance for me is all about embracing the ebb and flow of life while staying true to myself and enjoying what I do. I’ve come to realise that as much as I’d love to be everywhere at once, I’m just a human after all.

So, I’ve learnt to compartmentalise and prioritise. My approach is a blend of embracing flexibility and being fully present both at work and in personal pursuits. Valuing my time and that of others makes me cherish meaningful interactions with my colleagues at work, fostering a positive and productive atmosphere to get things moving harmoniously.

But once the workday is done, it’s home sweet home for me! I believe in leaving work behind and focusing on personal life and cherished moments with loved ones. By drawing clear boundaries, I ensure that I recharge and make the most of my precious days.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

One of the most poignant lessons I learnt early while reading Heraclitus is that change is the only constant in one’s life, so I made best friends with it. The past few years have been a wild ride for everyone, myself included with COVID barging in like a tsunami, shaking things up like never before.

Amidst all the chaos within and outside, the beauty of small routines has kept me going, even though I strive to break out of it daily. Routines like regular coffee runs with my partner doubling up as morning walks, afternoon yoga sessions, catching smiles and encouraging conversations with my colleagues at Swann and long evening walks make my life a little bit happier and more fulfilled.

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance? 

Resources are like clothes and not one size fits all! But if you’re looking for recommendations, Trello or OneNote help keep my priorities in check. However, the secret sauce of resourcefulness is always yourself. Your flexibility and ability to cater to every individual’s needs bring out the best in people you engage or work with. It’s a unique ability all resourceful managers share. 

On books, some of the gems I recommend are the The World’s Greatest Salesman by Og Mandino, Autobiography of a Yogi, Atomic Habits, Conversations with God, and How to Win Friends and Influence People are a few of my top picks to any individual on the journey of finding their better selves. On podcasts I wouldn’t go past Joe Rogan Experience and Stuff you Should Know. They cover so many unique topics to keep anyone entertained and informed. 

What’s worked for me in finding that elusive ‘balance’ in today’s polarised world is keeping my social feed well rounded! I subscribe to both left and right-leaning information sources because the truth and knowledge is often somewhere in the middle. By staying open-minded and embracing diverse perspectives, you gain a broader understanding of the world.

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Embrace the changes and failures, my friend! They will be your best teachers on this wild ride we call life. I see my special abilities ‘Dyslexia’ and ‘ADHD’ as superpowers now because they give me a unique perspective to problems that others don’t see, and the boundless energy when channelled takes me to new heights! So, I’d say don’t let others define or limit you with their words or assumptions, your life is yours to make. 

Once, I was a fresh-faced migrant trying to carve my niche in the corporate world. And guess what? Taking the road less travelled led to some truly great things! Remember as a learned master once said – “If Yan can cook, so can you!” So, go ahead and conquer the world with your unique abilities and unstoppable spirit! 

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.