“MY STRONG­EST AS­SETS ARE PA­TIENCE, HARD-WORK...”

Seema Shetty, Di­rec­tor at Essen Vi­sion Soft­ware Pvt Ltd be­lieves that women are more pa­tient and ex­tremely good at...

DQ Channels - - Channel Pulse - PRIYANKA PUGAOKAR (priyankapu@cy­berme­dia.co.in)

IT field is said to be the male dom­i­nated field. How did this field fas­ci­nate you? Why did you choose to make your ca­reer in the Tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try?

Since an early age, I was made to ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of a mean­ing­ful ca­reer and fi­nan­cial in­de­pen­dence. Af­ter com­plet­ing B.Sc in Math­e­mat­ics, I com­pleted a Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in Sys­tem Anal­y­sis. In­trigued by the rag­ing en­try of an­tivirus prod­ucts into the In­dian mar­ket, in 1992, I joined Quan­tum Sys­tems & Soft­ware as a Ter­ri­tory Man­ager.

Dur­ing my three year stint at Quan­tum, I wit­nessed the tran­si­tion of Quan­tum from a small firm to a big and re­spectable player in the mar­ket. In­spired by the spirit of Quan­tum, I was ea­ger to lev­er­age the ex­pe­ri­ence I had gained and the skills I had de­vel­oped at Quan­tum as an en­tre­pre­neur. In 1995, I met Nityanand Shetty, who had sim­i­lar en­tre­pre­neur­ial as­pi­ra­tions as me. And to­gether we laid the foun­da­tion of Essen Vi­sion Soft­ware Pvt Ltd. Com­menced the com­pany with very lim­ited re­sources, we de­vel­oped a team of skilled pro­fes­sion­als to en­hance and pro­pel the core val­ues of Essen Vi­sion over the years.

I am very proud to say that to­day Essen Vi­sion is one of the well known Net­work Se­cu­rity firms in In­dia. Be­sides the tra­di­tional Net­work Se­cu­rity & Stor­age prod­ucts, we spe­cial­ize in Data Leak­age Preven­tion, Log Co-re­la­tion, Cloud Se­cu­rity, Re­mote In­fra­struc­ture Man­age­ment.

What is your role in Essen Vi­sion? What are your key re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in the com­pany?

I head the Fi­nance & Busi­ness Op­er­a­tions at Essen Vi­sion.

Be­ing a se­nior woman ex­ec­u­tive what kind of chal­lenges did you face at ini­tial days of your ca­reer? How did you over­come the chal­lenges?

At the ini­tial days of my ca­reer, the anti-virus in­dus­try was at its nascent phase. The In­dian mar­ket was not ex­posed to the con­cept of anti-viruses. As a ter­ri­tory man­ager at Quan­tum, I had to gain a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of new tech­nolo­gies in the se­cu­rity do­main, re­cruit the right peo­ple and put to­gether a skilled team. How­ever, the big­gest chal­lenge was to ed­u­cate cus­tomers on the im­por­tance and need for an­tivirus prod­ucts.

In the early of Essen Vi­sion, we strug­gled to find our foothold in a mar­ket pro­lif­er­ated with big names. Equipped with con­fi­dence, our past ex­pe­ri­ence and an undy­ing mo­ti­va­tion pro­pel our or­ga­ni­za­tion, we sur­passed ev­ery hur­dle. The long, end­less hours, pa­tience and hard-work paid off when we ac­quired our very first client – Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI). This was a break­through for us and gave us the con­fi­dence to pen­e­trate into the Bank­ing Sec­tor and thereon into the Cor­po­rate World.

De­spite of hav­ing tal­ent, the ra­tio of woman en­trepreneurs is still very less in the In­dian IT in­dus­try. Ac­cord­ing to you, what are the prom­i­nent rea­sons be­hind low level of par­tic­i­pa­tion by women in the tech­nol­ogy jobs?

Women par­tic­i­pa­tion in the tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try is in­creas­ing steadily. We have seen women ex­ec­u­tives per­form­ing a strate­gic role in the big or­ga­ni­za­tions. Se­nior women in hir­ing post have moved up steadily over the years, lead­ing to a shift in the goal post. It is a tran­si­tion pe­riod as In­dia dis­cov­ers what women bring to the ta­ble, can be just as sig­nif­i­cant as com­pared to men, and it will be a while be­fore In­dian women do get their due be­yond the di­chotomy of sex, times are chang­ing.

Does a glass ceil­ing ex­ist in the IT in­dus­try in In­dia? How do you ad­dress the is­sue?

I am glad that I was born in a place like Mum­bai, where once you’ve proved your met­tle in a pro­fes­sional field, you don’t re­ally face any gen­der bias. My con­fi­dence in my skill set en­ables me to over­look the gen­der as­pect. My in­ter­ac­tions with my male col­leagues are no dif­fer­ent than those with my fe­male col­leagues. I be­lieve men and women have dif­fer­ent strengths and weak­nesses. They should work with their strengths. Through my ex­pe­ri­ence, I have found women to have an eye for de­tail, are more pa­tient, ex­tremely good at multi-task­ing. While men are task ori­ented and more prac­ti­cal, re­laxed and fo­cused.

What is your suc­cess Mantra in ca­reer? What ad­vice you want to give to women IT pro­fes­sional?

My suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to my ea­ger­ness to learn, my in­ter­per­sonal skills and my abil­ity to con­stantly rein­vent my­self in this dy­namic ever-chang­ing in­dus­try. My strong­est as­sets are pa­tience, hard-work and at­ten­tion to de­tail.

Co-work­ers ac­cept bosses (male or fe­male) that dis­play in­tegrity and lead­er­ship qual­ity, men­tor them and value their con­tri­bu­tion. A woman should not fight shy of show­ing their hu­mane side, but at the same time con­vey pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Our in­dus­try is very dy­namic, so it is im­por­tant up, be­lieve in your­self. Don’t be lim­ited by your area of work add other di­men­sions to keep your per­son­al­ity. And al­ways re­mem­ber the squeaky wheel gets the grease so voice your opin­ions and bring your ac­com­plish­ment to the no­tice of your se­niors. Lastly, women should pri­or­i­tize their per­sonal and pro­fes­sional goals and then take the req­ui­site mea­sures to pur­sue those goals.

What are your hob­bies and in­ter­ests?

My hob­bies in­clude gar­den­ing, writ­ing po­ems and read­ing. I have a knack for giftwrap­ping and re­cy­cled in­stal­la­tions. I do dec­o­rate my restau­rant for fes­tive oc­ca­sions and find it very ful­fill­ing. I strongly feel for the cause of the girl child. I ded­i­cate a con­sid­er­able amount of time to sup­port­ing Fe­male Education and in­clud­ing un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren into the main­stream.

Please tell us about your fam­ily and ed­u­ca­tional back ground. I have been brought up in an en­vi­ron­ment where education and in­de­pen­dence were al­ways held in high re­gard. I come from a non-typ­i­cal Shetty back­ground. While most Shetty’s are restau­ra­teurs, my fam­ily pre­ferred to choose dif­fer­ent fields. My dad was an in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor. My brother is an ar­chi­tect and my sis­ter is a port­fo­lio man­ager. I also wanted to cre­ate my own space and I chose to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur in the Net­work Se­cu­rity space.

Seema Shetty, Di­rec­tor, Essen Vi­sion Soft­ware

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