Women Who’re Rocking the Tech Industry in India

Here’s a list of 12 women who’re creating wow experiences in the tech industry in India. Enjoy the read and stay inspired. Also, a very happy #BusinessWomen’sDay. 

1) Aruna Jayanthi, CEO India Capgemini 

Since 2011, Jayanthi has been heading Capgemini in India. She has also been the Chairperson of Board of Governors of National Institute of Technology Calicut since November 2014. She refuses to believe that the IT industry discriminates against women. Here’s what she said.

I have worked in the IT industry for the last 27 years, and I know it doesn’t exist. Our growth rates are so high, our industry is so hungry for talent, why would there be any discrimination? Get over this.

2) Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India Private Limited

Having joined IBM in the U.S. back in 1987, Vanitha Narayanan has been in the tech industry for more than 26 years. Appointed the MD of IBM India Private Limited in 2013, Narayanan is responsible for managing sales of IBM in India, as well as Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Prior to this, she has also served as the Vice President of IBM’s Communications sector in the Asia Pacific region, as well as the Global Vice President for telecom solutions department of the brand. She’s also the chairperson of American Chamber of Commerce in India. 

Here’s one of her shareworthy quotes – 

Sometimes, tremendous innovation can come in small packages. 

3) Debjani Ghosh, South Asia Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, Intel Corporation

The Vice President in Sales and Marketing Group and Managing Director for South Asia at Intel Corporation, Ghosh has been in the IT industry since she joined the company in 1996. Initially tasked with developing a consumer marketing program for Intel India, she later proved to be instrumental in education programs organised by Intel across the entire Asia-Pacific region. In 2013, she was ranked amongst the 25 Most Powerful Women in Fortune India. She’s also the president of Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT)

Here’re her thoughts on perfect woman 

You have to accept that the definition of a perfect woman is a moving target. Yesterday, maybe, the perfect woman was a domestic goddess, but today maybe it is a great professional, a leader, a CEO, and your perfect woman may not be my perfect woman. 

4) Kirthiga Reddy, Director of Online Operations and Head of India Office at Facebook

The first employee of Facebook India, Reddy actually had to open the office shutters on her first day at the job, back in 2010. Since then, she has worked towards developing Facebook India as one of the company’s centres of excellence across the globe.

Here’re her thoughts on working for Facebook –

There isn’t any other company that is touching lives in such a fundamental way-fulfilling the basic human need to connect, share and be part of a larger community. I am humbled to have had the opportunity to work for a company that is changing the world, making it more open and connected.

5) Neelam Dhawan, MD, Hewlett-Packard India

 As the Managing Director of all of HP’s operations in India, Dhawan is responsible for ensuring profitability for the brand’s businesses in the region. Prior to this, she has held the position of Managing Director at Microsoft India for 3 years, where she focused on improving the company’s operating efficiency and financial performance. In 90s, Dhawan was with IBM and she set up India’s first channel network for Tier-II towns, to sell IBM machines. 

Here’s what she thinks about work-life balance

 The moment you tell yourself that your family and career are equal, you will make time for both.

6) Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India 

An economics graduate from the Calcutta University, Srinivasan is presently responsible for managing Intel’s operations across India. Her tasks include overall business strategy development, engineering, and innovation for market development. She’s the first woman president of Intel in India. 

Her advice to young women looking to build shining careers –

“Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing”.

7) Roshni Nadar, Executive Director and CEO, HCL Corporation

 The only child of HCL founder Shiv Nadar, Roshni presently holds the positions of both the CEO and Executive Director of the Company. Apart from this, she is also a trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, which operates the Chennai-based, not-for-profit Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering. Always interested in helping people in need and improving the condition of the society in general, Roshni received the NDTV Young philanthropist of the Year in 2014.

Here’s what she thinks about being daughter of Shiv Nadar – 

Being the daughter of a billionaire is unimportant; being the daughter of parents who are superlative in their achievements is truly the best part. To live with, learn from and have access to parents who are role models to many is a blessing.

8) Srimathi Shivashankar, Associate Vice President of Diversity & Sustainability, HCL Technologies

Here’s how Shivashankar explains her journey to one of the top positions at HCL from her humble background as a village girl from Tamil Nadu.

You don’t wait for choices to appear, but you move on by making your own way.

In an interview with YourStory she describes her determination to learn English when she was a kid. Here’s an excerpt from the interview – 

She was enrolled in a Tamil medium school in her village, and would be embarrassed whenever her English-speaking cousins visited. At that young age, Srimathi understood the importance of speaking in English. “I somehow knew that speaking in English would make me more assertive. Initially I used to cry because I could not keep up with my cousins. But later, I decided that I would instead learn English.”

Before joining HCL, Shivashankar worked at Infosys and had also helped in setting up one of India’s first BPOs. 

9) Frenny Bawa, Former Managing Director, RIM India

She increased the footprint of RIM from 0 points of presence to 4800 in India over just 3 years. Here’s  how she did it. Prior to joining RIM she held several senior—level positions at TELUS, a leading national telecommunications company based in Canada. In 2011, she was named one of the 10 most powerful women in India by Forbes magazine.

In the Techovation Challenge launch hosted by the Aga Khan Education Board for Canada she said –

She had turned her “restlessness and inability to sit still” into a personal commitment to seek out new opportunities – often in new fields – which have taken her on professional adventures across the globe. 

10) Rekha Menon, Chairperson, Accenture India

A gold medallist from the XLRI School of Business, Rekha Menon is Accenture’s first woman head in India. She started her career at Eicher ( tractor-manufacturer) in 1983. In an interview she recalls her first day at Eicher 

Everyone stopped working and stared at me- they were surprised to see a young woman walk into the factory full of men. “That was the place I used to take my manager’s jeep to use the washroom at his house,” she recalls, because there weren’t any for women in the factory.

She loves building things from scratch which is why she was at two start-ups in Bangalore – Talisma and Aditi Technologies. She’s also helped start up two not-for-profit organisations – Pratham Books and Akshara Foundation.

 Being an entrepreneur requires a different DNA, it requires a lot of self belief, and ability to take risk. 

11) Sangita Singh, CEO, Healthcare & Lifesciences, Wipro

She’s spent 21 years of her career at Wipro. Her perseverance and determination has helped Wipro expand its healthcare and Lifesciences vertical in a competitive environment. She was recognized as the Young Global Leader 2010 by the World Economic Forum.  The Time magazine called her “Outsourcing Wunderkid”. She is also the recipient of Stevie Award for “Best Asian Woman Executive”. 

There’s always a woman behind a successful man. We’ve heard this many times. But with Sangita it was her husband who was behind her career ambition. Here’s an excerpt from her interview with Yourstory –

I was lucky. I give all the credit for my career growth to my husband. I was married to be a devout wife and be happy raising many children as a part of that. Ours was a very hard-core arranged marriage. Within 4-5 days of our wedding, my husband said, “What do you want to do with your life”. I thought it was a strange question! And he said, “Listen I don’t want a working woman, I want a career woman. We both need to do really well and work hard to excel in our careers”. Those seeds were sown by my husband.

Her biggest university is 

But I have only learnt from my failures — that has been my biggest university. When things don’t go well, I sit back and think how I could have done it better. And then I go out and seek anybody and everybody who can coach me on the facets that I’m not good at, or even if I’m good, how to make them sharper. I also observe people who are good role models, and these could even be my subordinates, or outsiders like Vinita Bali (MD of Britannia).

12) Chiki Sarkar – Founder Juggernaut, A Mobile-first Publishing Firm

Earlier a publisher with Penguin Random House India, Chiki Sarkar has now gone electronic with her new publishing venture Juggernaut. She along with Durga Raghunath, former vice president (growth) at Zomato have founded Juggernaut with the help of investors like Nandan Nilekani, Fab India’s William Bissell, and Boston Consulting Group’s India managing director Neeraj Aggarwal. Daughter of Aveek Sarkar, of the media group ABP, she consciously chose not to join her family business. 

Want to add something more to the story? Drop in a comment and let us know. 


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