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Spotlight on Rania Parousi

Rania Parousi

How did you get into partnerships?

Transitioning into partnerships was somehow a natural evolution for me. While in a sales role, I consistently integrated partnership strategies into our processes, recognising the value they added in every engagement. During this time, my manager observed my ability to forge relationships and suggested I explore a dedicated partnership role. Eager to embrace this opportunity, I delved deeper into the world of partnerships and soon became fully immersed in the role.

What do you love the most about it?

What I love most about my role is the daily interactions with diverse individuals from our partner network. Engaging with these dynamic personalities, each bringing innovative ideas, fuels my passion for the power of collaborative ecosystems. Seeing the collective impact we can achieve through our combined efforts and shared visions is inspiring.

What are the biggest challenges?

One of the biggest challenges in partnerships is managing diverse stakeholders and aligning priorities. It requires effective communication, negotiation, and finding common ground. Additionally, navigating complex organisational structures and ensuring all parties are on the same page can be challenging.

What attributes make you good at your job as head of partnerships?

Trust and genuine passion for constant communication would be my strongest attributes. Then also, proactively investing a lot of time for brainstorming and value creation workshops with the partners.

How important is networking and face-to-face in your role?

Networking and face-to-face interactions are invaluable in my role as they foster a unique vibe, connection, and trust. However, I've adapted to remote work and continue to prioritise building meaningful connections through virtual channels. This flexibility ensures I can maintain strong partnerships and drive collaboration regardless of physical distance.

How important do you think partnerships will be in the next five years?

I firmly believe that partnerships will continue to be increasingly critical in the next five years. The business landscape is evolving at such a fast pace that organisations need to leverage their complementary strengths to be able to accelerate innovation. That would lead to delivering greater value to the customers. I am glad to be in this role today and be part of the change we can bring through partnering.  

How do you see the number of women in partnerships increasing or decreasing?

I already collaborate with many talented women from partner organisations, as one of three partners I speak to has a woman leader representing the team. That is encouraging, but I am certain we can do much more!

What are you personally planning to do to help raise the profile of women in partnerships?

I am already trying to join networking opportunities and platforms for women to connect, share experiences, and build relationships. A great example is this forum, Women in Alliances, and I am thankful to Zhenya Winter for the opportunity to feature in this interview. I am looking forward to many more events and opportunities, and I would be keen to support and inspire women in partnerships through mentorship programs.

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