The study conducted by the National Centre for Women and Technology had stated that only 25% of women held “professional computing job” in the year 2015. However, the scenario today is very different. At present, a number of women are either leading or working at successful companies. The tech space has advanced and broadened, making it perfect for women wishing to make a difference in the tech sector. This has become quite a beautiful yet powerful sight. The women who lead tech space are admired by many for their work. One such powerful decision maker, Sushma Rajagopalan is an unapologetic leader, who is inspiring and empowering women around the globe.
A Visionary Leader, Encouraging Entrepreneur
Women in the tech sector have always been venerated for their impact in the society and it is a pleasant sight to witness women leaders taking big decisions and thriving in the tech sector. Sushma Rajagopalan is also one such leader who choose to stand against the crowd and set an example for the world. She carved her way into this sector after observing the evolution of technology through the years. She adds saying, “Over the last 30 years, I have been a keen observer, participant, and student of the IT industry.” She also asserts that today we are on the cusp of a digital transformation.
As a leader, Sushma firmly believes “that leaders need to be truly passionate about their vision.” Sushma has been playing a great role in influencing and shaping the future of startups both in India and US. This unconventional leader plans on making a larger contribution to help startups reach their goals while encouraging and impacting other women leaders. Sushma commented about her interest in entrepreneurship saying that “I am passionate about entrepreneurship and building a viable eco-system to promote new thinking and an innovation culture.” She also wishes to provide guidance and mentorship to others in actualizing their potential – be the best version of them, constantly learn and grow.
The frontrunner of ITC Infotech
Currently serving as the Managing Director and CEO of ITC Infotech, Sushma is playing a pivotal role in transforming ITC Infotech into a future-ready cutting-edge solutions company of scale… A fully-owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd, this company is a specialized global full-service technology solutions provider, led by Business and Technology Consulting. ITC Infotech’s Digitaligence@work injects technology into data, design, and domain, and offers a differentiated delivery, which enhances the experience of its customers and also enables them to disrupt their business.
It is powered by a growing portfolio of specialized solutions addressing critical business challenges, including Industry 4.0 solutions (PLM, IoT, and Embedded), Healthcare Analytics, Data Engineering and Analytics, Customer Value Management, Supply Chain Optimization Digital Banking solutions, Loyalty and Digital Agriculture solutions. The company also provides solutions to enterprises in Supply Chain based industries (CPG, Retail, Manufacturing, Hi-Tech) and Services (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Healthcare, Airline, Hospitality) through a combination of traditional and newer business models, as a long-term flexible, trusted and sustainable partner. The company is engaged with over 200 clients globally and with 60+ Fortune listed clients in its bag.
Envisaging Women Empowerment
When asked about women empowerment Sushma comments that “An empowered woman does not compromise – on who they are, their values, morals and the standards they have set for themselves. And when an empowered woman does compromise, she does it on her terms.” She also adds saying empowerment starts with the resolve to empower yourself – empowerment comes from within.
She advises women to be more proactive, to seek out the opportunities and to not wait for opportunities to knock at their door. Sushma comments that she would like to see women breaking stereotypes, adding “Stereotypes will be there, in pretty much everything that we do. Women need to be led by their conviction in breaking them.”
Mantra of Leadership
“My leadership mantra is to unleash organizational potential and employee potential to the fullest” asserts Sushma when asked about her recipe for being a successful leader. While sharing her experience and discovering her path towards success she comments that there are 4C’s that has helped her shape the leader in her. The 4Cs, listed below has helped her steer organizations from the forefront towards sustained growth and success, and continue to guide her as a leader.
‘Clarity’ of thought – A leader needs to have complete clarity of thought and vision which is the starting point of any action or initiative – this often stems from establishing a clear purpose.
‘Courage’ to act – The courage and conviction to act come from extreme conviction. One should not lose the fortitude to do what is right, in spite of popular opposition and discouragement.
‘Charisma’ to influence – An elusive characteristic, the charisma to influence, instill belief, convince and motivate people to rally for an identified purpose, is crucial to the success of leaders. Being mindful and observant are the first steps in developing charisma.
‘Character’ always– Integrity, empathy, discernment, discipline, ethics are just some of the traits which strengthen one’s character. Successful leaders need the strength of character to stay true to themselves as they lead people in a positive direction.
Apart from these four characteristics, Sushma has followed a path of ‘aspire, inspire’ rather than choosing a ‘command and control’ path in leading teams. She also adds that teamwork and collaboration is the only way to sustain success. She adds saying “The secret to building an efficient team lies in understanding individual strengths and knowing how to harness them effectively.”