In celebration of International Women’s Day we introduce you to the women who’ve made their mark in this predominantly male club. By Satyaki Sarkar
1. Vanitha Narayanan, Chairman, IBM India Private Limited
Vanitha has more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry and holds a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Madras and a Masters in Business Administration in Information Systems from University of Houston – Magna Cum Laude. Responsible for all of IBM’s sales, marketing, services and global delivery operations in the India/South Asia region, Vanitha is also a member of IBM’s Integration and Values Team which has a number of senior Global Executives from IBM. Vanitha was also a member of the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2013-14, and leads countless leadership development and diversity initiatives for India and South Asia and is the executive sponsor for improving and growing the women’s leadership pipeline in the region.
2. Kumud Srinivasan, Vice President, Director of Non-volatile Memory Fab Manufacturing and Automation Systems, Intel Corporation
In charge of the general management of Intel’s entire operations in India, Kumud handles everything from overall strategy, business-enabling operations, organisational development, to engineering and innovation for market development. She also manages relationships with the government, industry and academia. Prior to this, Kumud served as the vice president and general manager of IT for Silicon, Software and Services before joining Intel in 1987. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Calcutta University and a Master’s Degree in Information and Library Studies from Syracuse University, besides having completed doctoral coursework in information science at the University of California, Berkeley. Kumud is also a part of the India Council of the Anita Borg Institute, a member of the Board of Advisors of the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University, as well as a member of the Governing Body of the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore.
3. Raji Arasu, Senior VP, Platform and Core Services, CTO Dev, Intuit Inci
An Indian American Internet technology engineer and product executive, Raji is in charge of developing the company’s platforms and core services to facilitate innovation. Prior to this, she worked as the Vice President of Engineering at Marketplaces at eBay, as well as StubHub, a subsidiary of eBay. Raji has carried out extensive projects aimed at the education and empowerment of women. She was also appointed as the director of NIC Inc in 2015 and is a member of the advisory board at Code.org.
4. Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO, Bharti Airtel
Responsible for strategy and leadership of Airtel’s IT and engineering functions all over India, South Asia and Africa, Harmeen has more than 20 years of experience in technology. Prior to Airtel’s she’s held leadership positions at various large organisations, such as Global Head of Corporate, Investment and Private Banking IT at HSBC Global Technology Centres, MD at Merrill Lynch India Technology Services across India, Singapore, Ireland and Canada, and Asia CIO for Global Markets and Research technology at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. During her career she has also worked with companies like Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and HSBC, as well as carried out the role of a consultant for British Airways and Qantas. Harmeen is also a member of the Cyber Security Taskforce at NASSCOM, India.
5. Maninder Kartik, CIO – Asia, Whirlpool
An alumnus of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Maninder has had an impressive career in the IT industry. She’s been instrumental in designing the IT strategies of several organisations of the world including Yum! and GSK, besides Whirlpool. She was also the Head of IT in the South Asia Region of Pernod Ricard India Pvt. Ltd, and the Manager of IT at GlaxoSmithKline. At Whirlpool she’s responsible for leading IT intiatives and driving stakeholder alignment and business partnership across multiple geographies. Maninder also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from St Stephen’s College.
6. Aruna Rao, CTO, Kotak Mahindra Bank
Aruna is responsible for providing senior oversight on the entire range of strategic technology initiatives of Kotak as well as developing standardisation, collaboration, and technology innovations in the organisation. Prior to her current role, she worked with Polaris as part of the company’s merger with Citicorp Software. During the 20 years she spent at Polaris, Aruna successfully built a team of 1500 technology professionals while managing the Global Corporate Banking Technology Products and Services business of the company. Before that, she spent time working with a Maryland based bank in the US, besides working with the Operations Research Group (ORG) in India. She holds an MBA and a MS in Information Systems from Maryland University, USA.
7. Aruna Jayanthi, CEO of Business Services, Capgemini Group
Responsible for several business operations of the company in Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services, Aruna currently oversees the global Business Services unit, which provides BPO and integrated technology and operations services for various industry segments. She has over 20 years of experience and is an influential voice in the field. An alumnus of the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, she holds a Master’s in Management Studies in Finance, and prior to her current role, served as the Global Delivery Officer for Capgemini Outsourcing, where she single-handedly improved the quality, productivity, and profitability of the company’s outsourcing operations all over the world.
8. Neelam Dhawan, Managing Director, HP India
One of the most well known high ranking woman executives in the IT industry, Neelam is responsible for the development of several business segments of the multinational company. She leads the company’s corporate and strategy development efforts, ensuring leverage from HP’s various services. Before joining HP India, Neelam was the MD of Microsoft India, from 2005 to 2008, and has also worked with a number of established IT companies including HCL and IBM. Neelam holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from St Stephen’s College, New Delhi, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.
9. Vidya Srinivasan, Senior Vice President – IT and Infrastructure and Risk, at Genpact
As part of her role at Genpact, Vidya is in charge of overseeing the operations of the company’s facilities and locations all around the world. Possessing a strong Six Sigma background, Vidya has previously served as a Senior Legal Counsel at Genpact, and was the company’s Business Continuity Planning, Logistics and Infrastructure Leader for two years. Vidya is a lawyer with experience in the corporate legal departments of various companies including Ballarpur Industries Ltd and American Express, and holds a degree from the Campus Law Centre, Delhi University.
10. Lekha Bajpai, Vice President – Technology and Information Services, IMRB International
Another eminent leader in the world of technology, Lekha has been responsible for creating IT strategies and implementing innovative solutions for business in a number of organisations. With over 20 years of experience she specialises in wokring closely with business leaders to partner and create innovative products and solutions. Prior to her role at IMRB, she served as the DGM in Software and Services at AFL Pvt Ltd, and Manager, Systems, at Hindustan Dorr-Oliver Ltd.
11. Shobhana P Ravi, Chief – IT, Innovation and Learning Officer, TAFE Ltd
With over 27 years experience, Shobhana is a veteran woman leader in the tech industry. As part of her role at TAFE she plans, aligns, and implements IT strategy inline with the company’s objectives, oversees IT across the enterprise, and uses technology to transform the business processes and provide innovative solutions. Over the years she has introduced several industry leading technologies in the B2B, B2C and employee engagement arena, automated most of the HR processes in the organisation, and has been responsible for leading TAFE on its CII EXIM business excellence journey.