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Chin up fellas - Here is the woman in the frontline

By Tejaswini

Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds

'Success has to be defined on one’s own terms’, that’s how Intel's Kumud Srinivasan defines success. Other pearls of wisdom on women and her thoughts for them are like the vast ocean, leaving a deep impact on people, like the one here, "Guilt is the curse of womanhood”.

Kumud Srinivasan is the Vice President of the Technology and Manufacturing Group, President of Intel India and General Manager of the Intel Architecture Group, India. In this capacity, she is responsible for general management of Intel's operations in India, which includes location's overall strategy, business-enabling operations, organizational development, engineering and innovation for market development, as well as managing relationships with government, industry, and academia. Wonders don't simply appear out of nowhere. They become! A hard-working competitive student, Kumud Srinivasan loved to learn and compete. After college, she decided to go to the US for further studies. Backed by her father, Kumud set off to the US and realized the power of her decision to travel to the US. Her interest in the book ‘True North’ by Bill George, added to her understanding of long term careers in three phases.

It’s interesting when she explains in her words, the three phases, the first phase is when you are preparing to lead; the second and longest phase is when you are leading and the third phase is when you are giving back. By now, Kumud is well aware of her desire to give back. She understands that giving is best done by coaching and mentoring employees. She prefers to give back to the community in which she was born and brought up.

When this opportunity came up, she was just a month away from becoming empty nesters, and that was when Kumud thought to herself, “If not now, then when?” and decided to grab the opportunity.

Her zest for living life fully means using the full potential as an individual, an employee, a member of a family and a member of a community and to give it all that she has.

Kumud beautifully explains at an individual level what it means for her to live life zestfully” it is to push oneself to learn and grow in every way one can. She weighs fitness heavily and loves to find a balance between meditation and yoga. What matters to her is maintaining an intellectual balance by reading not only work-related matters but also non-work related topics. She is a voracious reader and reads different genres: technical, non-technical, and others too.

Most importantly she enjoys being a mother. Interacting with her children is a fun-filled activity. She loves doing whatever makes her use her full potential across many different dimensions.

Her thoughts on gender equality are commendable.

She thinks that making it easier for women to balance the demands of personal lives in different phases calls for participation not just from the industry but also from the government and academia. One thing that she feels hasn’t been enough of, is to bring men into the dialogue. She notes that nobody is talking about the need to actually educate men, so that is where academia will play a big role. In order to bring men in, we need to create an environment that is a little more inclusive. That is the direction in which she would love to see this whole movement go.

She observes that a lot of companies including Intel are doing a lot of things to maintain the balance of genders. At Intel, recently a program was implemented called ‘Home to the office’. It aimed at helping women come back into the workplace. It offers women to return as interns. She explains the benefits it gives employers to evaluate them and see if the job is a good fit for them. It also gives them a chance to see if the job is something that they enjoy doing and would like to ease back into.

On Intel and startups, her views are: We believe that the startup movement in India is actually one of the biggest sources of growth for India. A lot of innovation is going to happen. A lot of the IP creation, a lot of the product development is happening in startups. So, that is something that we absolutely want to see more of. We already have Intel’s Venture Capital arm where we invest in companies and we want to do more.

Her nuggets for women are that in order to have a successful career, you have to ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing! The answer to that question may change depending on which phase of your life you are going through. Whatever that answer turns out to be, one needs to be true to that and then you will find the way to success.

Her advice to all women who are asking themselves the question, “Should I work or take a break?” is “Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Whatever makes you feel good in that phase of your life is perhaps the right answer”. At some later point in life, if the answer to that question changes, then they could come back to work. Success has to be defined on one’s own terms; nobody else can define it for us.

(Featured Image Kumud Srinivasan, President, Intel India. Courtesy: PTI)

About the Author

Tejaswini is an IT professional and & Passionate writer. She is an avid reader. She loves writing on the art of living with reality as seen by science. She also writes about things that people fear to express.

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