“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...
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