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Women in Tech: Balance – Always Been Our Game!

The current world female population as of now is 49.6 %, the record is just 0.4 % higher for men. The era we live in is different. If on one hand, women are protesting for their rights, on the other, there are women who are here to prove that they are capable of doing greater things.

There’s no stopping a woman with a vision. They are here to make decisions, be it on the chair inside the cubicle at work or simply, the kitchen table. Especially, in the tech field where many still consider it as a man’s playground. Women are making progress. A survey* revealed that many tech firms consider employing women to be twice productive for their company. Women leaders in these firms were also able to make profits and also bring change in the conventional work environment. Taking all these in the picture, who would have thought once when women were deprived from the right to vote, would see a present wherein many of them are spearheading the industry and making histories.

The theme for Women’s Day 2019 is ‘Balance for Better’. Honestly, we believe that, maintaining balance has always been a women’s game. BIS Infotech in this special story honors women all around the world, whose stories will further inspire many. They are a proof that gender roles can be re-written. An example of how the achievers will achieve, with determination and hard work.  It gives us immense pride that we have so many inspirational women to look up to. Therefore, here it is- an ode to those empowering female figures and their stories.

Daphne Tien

Daphne Tien Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, APAC, Mouser Electronics

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

Daphne Tien, Vice President of Mouser Electronics’ Marketing-APAC, leads the growing team and directs the day-to-day marketing and business development for the APAC region.Over the past eight years, Tien’s vision has helped grow Mouser’s APAC revenue and customer base to new levels. This growth has also brought Mouser more than 30 recognition awards and prizes from publications and manufacturers across APAC. Tien has over 25 years of experience in business development and strategic marketing in the electronics industry. As a challenge taker with strategic thinking, Tien began her career as a sales assistant in Yageo Corporation, a global leading provider of passive components, and was promoted to Country Manager. She managed to turn losses into profits at the branch in just one year, and created 10 times revenue increase in the next year. Increasing her leadership role, she developed Yageo’s business around the globe to become the Global Head of Distribution.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Always love what you do and keep a young mind. The technologies are evolving and changing rapidly. With a young open eye and mind, I usually find new opportunities along with the change. To be the leader in this industry you need to always think ahead, which keeps me fresh, It’s important to know what your target audiences are thinking and caring about. When people ask me why I haven’t aged too much, I think this is one of the reasons.

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Achievements

In 2011, Tien joined Mouser Electronics to build the APAC marketing team from scratch. She acts as Mouser’s spokesperson in APAC to deliver the company’s brand value and differentiation in China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and other APAC countries.
She has established proven ability to foster relationships with manufacturers, partners and editors, which substantially increased Mouser’s engagement and partnership in the industry, and continues to raise Mouser’s brand awareness throughout APAC. Tien works closely with Mouser’s senior management team to meet the global company’s business objectives and strategic marketing goals for the APAC region.
Tien also devotes herself to promoting the value of authorized distribution in China, which has become an important driving force for the industry transformation from manufacturing in China to Design Wins in China. Her performances paved the way for her 2013 nomination for “Pioneer of the Industry in China”,  “Best Marketer of the Year” in 2016, and “Chinese Brand Influencer of the Year “ in 2017, “Top 10 Innovators in Chinese industry” in 2017 & 2018, and “2018 Top 10 Model of Innovation in China”.
Tien distinguishes herself by constantly pushing boundaries in combination with excellent execution.

Sravanti Vullikanti

Ms. Sravanti Vullikanti, Design Verification Lead, Texas Instruments India

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

I have received my M.Sc. degree with a specialization in Integrated Circuit design from a joint program of TUM, Germany and NTU, Singapore in 2007. I have started my career as Analog Designer in OKI Techno center in Singapore and then relocated to Bangalore and joined Texas Instruments, in 2011. Currently, I am working as Design Verification Lead for the past 7 years. In this role, I conceptualize and implement design verification methodologies with high quality and efficiency across different TI product portfolios.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

I focus on design verification which is an important role in most of the semiconductor companies to help meet requirements of getting high quality silicon and be the first to market. In my journey, I have come across different challenges with every project that I have worked on. For example, due to the competitive and dynamic market scenario, there were instances where some of the specifications of the projects had to dramatically change making the designs complex. Thereby it is required, that I have to keep updating the design verification flow and catch bugs before the fabrication. Another example is where hundreds of variants of same part are planned to release to market at the same time then I have to come up with the strategy of smarter DV planned to verify them. It also includes adding automation to verification process and avoid any human errors. One more example is where the project is revamping the older parts. For that, I have created a design verification platform where they can be thoroughly verified such that they can be exactly a pin to pin replacement to the customer. Over all, for those who are interested at cutting edge devices, design verification will be a niche place to look at. For a successful career, one must have a constant focus and an urge to learn and compete.

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Achievements

In 2019, I was elected in the Texas Instruments tech ladder as MGTS (Member Group of Technical Staff). Texas Instrument’s tech ladder recognises excellence in technical contributions and also provides an alternative career path for tech-enthusiasts like myself.

Roshana Atmaram

Roshana Atmaram | Director and HoD of Digital Security solutions at Infineon, Bangalore

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

My name is Roshana Atmaram and I am an IT professional working and living in Bangalore with my family. Over the past two decades of being in the field of software development for multiple products, I have had the privilege of working in different organizations and have been a part of diverse teams.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

My journey started with being a developer for Consumer electronics products and it has taken me through experiences that helped me grow professionally into a lead role and personally into a confident individual. Today, I lead a team of 120+ engineers that build some of the best in class security solutions for our customers.

Quotes or sayings that encourage me:

  • In the journey to perfection there is no finish line – Mercedes
  • Pay it forward … Kindness does not cost you anything
  • Be the change you want to see – Mahatma Gandhi

In the words of a poem I recall….

Beauty is a steadfast mind, Gentle thoughts, and calm desires, without which a shallow heart, lips and eyes would be despised.

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Achievements

I am most proud of being able to mentor young women who need guidance and encouragement to enter professional careers or business ventures. Sharing my experiences and struggles and how I have overcome many of them helps many colleagues facing these challenges to understand that there is always a solution that can be found. As an optimist, I see an opportunity in every problem and a chance to be creative in finding the right solution. I am a person who believes in the value of experiences and that every opportunity brings with it a learning to help you grow as an individual.

Vesper Hu

Vesper Hu | Marketing & Corporate Communications Manager, APAC | Heilind Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Limited

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

Holding the Master degree of Corporate Communication from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Vesper Hu had joined Heilind Electronics Inc. for more than 6 years as the Marketing & Corporate Communications Manager APAC. Besides online and offline marketing promotions, her team also take care of company branding.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Generally speaking, brand is the definition customer made from overall perception of our business, and brand building is a long process getting our target audience to know who we are and what they could expect from us. Brand building is quite influential for developing business. According to Nielsen’s Global New Product Innovation Survey, nearly six-in-ten global consumers (59%) prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them, and 21% say they purchased a new product because it was from a brand they like. A reputable brand could be one of the most valuable wealth a company owns.
Brand building is not a one-step project and it doesn’t happen in a few days or even in a few months, which is a long term relationship management with stakeholders and the public. It has to be consistent in image, communication and experience, thus, it would be always on-going and transitional which moves forward in everyday operation details.
Being a ‘Women in Tech’, from my perspective there are 2 main challenges in my marketing and brand building career:-
Although we are the largest interconnect distributor in North America for more than four decades history, and had been awarded the Best Distributor for 6 consecutive years by Bishop and Associates, when we first launched Heilind Asia in 2012 we were practically unknown to the market which was already crowded with competitors.
The other main challenge is Asia Pacific covers many countries/regions, in which the market situation & culture is quite different and hard to figure out the most suitable promotion ways/platforms in a limited time. For example, some countries have strict restricts on media and customs policy, or smaller consumer group, in such cases the promotion plans could be varied from one region to another.
However, with a lot market research, we integrated Heilind branding into as many aspects as possible of our business year by year, flied to varied regions visiting and carried out tradeshows, seminars & workshops, actively tried rising promotion methods and tripled the news amount in just two years… Over time, our perseverance pays off and we are today recognized as a creditable channel partner in Asia market, with a well-defined business model and the capacity to take calculated risks to improve our business offering.

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Achievements

Having received more than 20 awards from media, suppliers and customers all over Asia, Vesper and her team will continue to work on enhancing these good relationships. Below is a glance of the media awards they received on behalf of Heilind Asia Pacific in recent years:-

2014

Top 3 Rising Star Distributor Award China

2015

Best Supply Capacity Distributor China

2016

Top 10 Value-Added Distributor Award China

Top 20 Electronic Supplier Award China

2017

Excellent CEDA Member

Top 10 Brands of Electronic Components Industry China

Top 10 Value-Added Distributor Award China

Distribution Innovation and Excellence Award India

2018

Excellent CEDA Member 2017

Top 20 Huaqiang Electronics Supplier China 2017

Fast Growing Industrial and IOT Authorized Distributor China

Best Connectors & Electromechanical Products Distributor Award India

IOT Tech Innovation Award China

Hong Kong Business Executive of the Year – Electronics

Asian Social Caring Leadership Award

Cheryl George

Cheryl George, Technical Marketing Engineer, NetApp India

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

I work as a Technical Marketing Engineer at NetApp, with over 16 years of experience in everything application, database, data protection and storage. Being in Product Management, I aid in building state-of-the-art products and enterprise solutions which help solve real-world customer and business problems. Customer engagements is what I enjoy the most.

On the personal front, married for 12 years with 2 rambunctious children. I’m a music enthusiast, maintain my Zen through yoga and mindful walking. I love to travel but the irony is that it mostly happens in the head.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

I call myself an “accidental techie”. Why? Because getting into deep technology wasn’t really a career choice I made in my childhood. In fact, it took me a long while to accept that I was good with technology and its language. My journey of being a woman in tech has been about questioning myself and contemplating on my career decisions to finally embracing my choices and truly believing that I belong here.

During my school I was elected for economics as my stream, but my teacher stepped in, apparently understanding my potential right then, and changed my subjects to suit an engineering background. I got a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering, again – because my sister believed in me and thought that it was a good fit for me. When I started working, I was still wondering whether this is what I wanted to do. Was I really so technical? And then it was the role of my boss to motivate me, driving me to push my boundaries and understand my potential. Cut to today – I am a strong headed, confident professional talking and presenting technology at tech fairs.

Throughout my life, I have been lucky to find people who enabled me to become the person that I am today. There were challenges – with children, marriage, heathy work – life balance, managing expectations at work and with a family. But through it all, what really helped me was communication and working with people who truly stood by me. If it wasn’t for my teacher, my sister, my boss – I doubt I would have had the confidence to continue working in this stream. It is extremely essential that women are backed by their peers and family, because juggling through this all will never be easy.

In my own way, I participate in recruitment drives to encourage young girls in technology. Because a woman should back another woman and stand by them, as they succeed the career ladder.

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Achievements

Technical Speaker at NetApp Insight 2018

Madhu Bindiganavalae Manjunath

Madhu Bindiganavalae Manjunath | Director Engineering | NetApp India

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Achievements

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Profile and Bio :

Over the last 24 years, I have held global leadership positions at NetApp, EMC and i2 Technologies and driven teams across USA, Israel and India and led the QE strategy, product delivery, organizational change and business transformation. Being multilingual and appreciative of cultural differences, I can seamlessly integrate and lead any organizational environment across the globe.

I currently lead the Women in Technology Initiative at NetApp India. I am extremely passionate to drive improved women representation across organizational levels by lending support and inspiring more women to stay put and not drop off the workforce.

I have been a great advocate of periodic introspection and self-empathy to drive and institutionalize self-belief and do advocate the need to tap on inner strength and inner voice, take risks and exploit the unconventional and untapped routes to accelerate success.

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Born in an orthodox family in South India, I had to battle stereotypical issues related to gender since my childhood. This even included letting go of my dream to take up Engineering. However, I overcame these odds early on in my life, breezing through the personal issues and life altering situations. Despite the speed breakers that life has thrown at me, I sprung back into action and have been on the move since then – investing in myself and my education, growing up the career ladder and emerging stronger than ever. I learnt lessons from my own life and used them to guide and mentor professionals, while being a role model for my own daughter.

The commencement of my professional career coincided with the beginning of my motherhood experience. My daughter was one year old when I started my career as a software engineer and my husband, with a PhD. in shrimp aquaculture, was busy rearing tiger prawns at shrimp hatcheries along the Indian Coast, while I raised our daughter with my parents’ support. Time flew by this way, with my husband and me taking turns at spending time with our daughter, while also trying to deal with our high-pressure jobs.

This journey has not been easy. I have burnt a lot of midnight oil while transitioning from a student to a mother to a working professional, and then back to be a student again as I pursued my “Master’s in Computer Applications and Business Management”, while being a working mother. I must admit that it was challenging to balance my responsibilities across my family, work and studies, each of which I believe have been key pillars of my success, but these are what shaped me as a person that I am today.

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Achievements

I have successfully led the Quality Engineering of several critical and complex products in my career and received numerous awards in recognition of my relentless focus on Customer quality.

I received the Customer Satisfaction award consecutively for 3 years at i2 Technologies and won the prestigious RSA ACT NOW and Total Customer Experience award at EMC.

I also won the 2nd place during EMC Innovation Showcase and was the co-winner of EMC Environmental Sustainability Award in 2009 for the idea “Carbon Intelligence, A system that monitors an enterprise’s carbon footprint by tracking and analyzing energy-related events.”

I have been actively promoting the cause of women in technology as a speaker at several conferences viz., at Nullcon 2016, Working Mother Conference, Women leadership conferences organized by Cisco, VMware, FireEye, Anita Borg Institute, Working Mother Media, Google Women Techmakers etc.

I am a professionally trained vocalist and a playback singer. I have given public concerts in India and abroad to a crowd of 40000 and sing Indian, French and Arabic Rai music.

Poornima Shenoy

Poornima Shenoy, Co-Founder & CEO, THE GAIN (also IESA EC)

Profile and Bio

Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Advice for women in Tech and entrepreneurs?

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Profile and Bio :

Poornima Shenoy, Co-Founder & CEO, THE GAIN (also IESA EC): Poornima is a strong woman entrepreneur in the ESDM space. She works along with entrepreneurs as mentor to help them uplift their businesses . With more than 30 years of experience, Poornima understand the technology space well and gets excited on all the new kinds of innovation and evolution happening. She has been an active contributor to the dialogues on entrepreneurship, women role models and job creation.
Poornima Shenoy, Executive Council Member – India Electronics & Semiconductor Association- IESA and Co-Founder & CEO at THE GAIN THE GAIN. Here she focuses on product engineering start-ups and help their growth with access to funds, active mentoring and access to global & domestic markets.
Independent Board Member of DIXON TECHNOLOGIES (I) PVT. LTD. And Independent Board Director of Moschip
Founder & CEO of Latitude/Manipal Digital Systems. Latitude provided end to end solutions in eLearning for the creation of content. Customers were publishers, training providers and corporates. Aarin Capital and Nature Eco Ventures had provided seed capital. Latitude became part of Manipal Digital Systems in April 2017

Member of the First Court of Tripura Central University

Founding President of India Electronics & Semiconductor Association- IESA, ISA (now IESA) is the trade body representing the Indian semiconductor and electronic systems industry. Her role involved her active involvement in public policy, revenue generation and building a brand for the sector.
Vice President Strategy of Manipal Global Education Services: Manipal Education & Medical Group is a reputed group and over five decades old. It manages universities and hospital chains in India, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE. Reported to the CEO. Handled marketing and strategy for education.
Regional Director of NASSCOM and Vice President -e4e. Nexus was acquired by e4e in 2000.e4e commenced operations as a venture fund.
Co-Founder of Nexus Consulting, and also worked as Senior Executive Marketing Research of IMRB

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Journey of Being a ‘Woman in Tech’

Our professional lives are always woven together with our personal ambitions and happiness. I see myself essentially as a creator and a builder. So that has helped in my entrepreneurial journey and in working with leaders and teams. I am very focussed and work really hard at meeting goals. Luck and family support too are important. I have had two earlier start-ups Nexus and Latitude and the current one is THE GAIN with STPI Director(former) B V Naidu. In addition, I started the marketing division at Manipal Global, set up NASSCOM’s first office in South India besides being the founding President of the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association IESA. I am also on the Board of two NSE listed companies.
I find dealing with dishonesty as a real challenge; that is non- negotiable for me. I will walk away from a deal if I am not comfortable with the elements.
I think Indian women are tough balancing artists. We manage to have our careers, our ambitions, our families and still succeed at all of them. I think it is important for us not to be wanting to be perfect at everything. Achievers want to excel but we need to accept that priorities change from time to time. It is possible to focus on the long-term goal in sync with present circumstances. One would be happier getting there. Look at the women in tech-in engineering colleges and at entry points into organizations. The struggle is really beyond and above the mid- level positions. But this is a global issue not just an India related matter.
It is necessary to have different perspectives while making decisions with long term consequences. Today we are not willing to accept unilateral viewpoints. I sit on the Board of the India Electronics & Semiconductor Association IESA as an elected member and not as a woman nominee. In major decisions, we aim to ensure participation not just on the basis of gender but also from a business perspective-how can we be more inclusive with Respect to SMEs, start-ups, regions, etc in addition to the larger corporations.

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Advice for Women in Tech and entrepreneurs?

I would advise a three-pronged approach:

Be focussed on your goals and do not get derailed by temporary set- backs.

Work hard-really hard. That is essential.

Get good mentors and a strong support system.

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BiS Team

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