By Shruti Raval
Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds
A soul that nurtures, a heart that is kind and humble, a mind powerful enough to manifest all the dreams and possessing the ability to maintain work-life balance are the key attributes of an ideal modern woman. It was fascinating to research and write about one such modern women of this digital era. Her name is Kirthiga Reddy, former managing director, Facebook India. Let’s dive deep into her life journey.
Born and brought up in Chennai, her journey began in 2010, when she joined Facebook India. She served as the head of the office for seven long years. In 2011 she had the honor to be entitled as fortune India’s top 50 most powerful women. Kirthiga Reddy completed her bachelor's in computer science & engineering from M.G.M. College of Engineering, Nanded, Maharashtra. Miss Reddy had the privilege to study M.S. in computer engineering from Syracuse University, New York and a Master's in Business Administration from Stanford University, California. Her educational background is indeed very strong but more importantly the leadership skills that she possessed landed her into being the managing director of Facebook India. She has worked with multiple Indian and foreign corporate namely, Phoenix technologies, Silicon Graphics and Motorola.
In the context of her personal life, Kirthiga Reddy is a brilliant wife and a proud mother of two beautiful daughters. In many of her interviews and talk shows she has vividly revealed the choices that she had made during her marriage life. She has a lot to offer in the form of advice to women who wish to work after having babies. It was indeed a challenging situation for her to nurse a 6 months old baby and travel to attend client meetings at the same time, but anyhow she managed because she chose to embrace the power of “AND” against the tyranny of “OR”.
‘Exchange 4 media’ wrote an article on the lady titled, ‘Kirthiga Reddy – A woman of many firsts’. And why not! She was the first employee of Facebook in India. Facebook India’s offices are situated at Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Miss Reddy operated from Hyderabad. And as per the article, Kirthiga Reddy is Softbank’s first female investing partner. Softbank’s vision fund invests in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, etc.
Facebook is the largest online platform that connects people in myriad ways and Kirthiga Reddy being the outgoing managing director of the company has been on the bulletins during the entire decade. ‘Face behind Facebook India’, ‘Digital Diva’, ‘Queen of many firsts’ to name a few, are among the titles given to her by local and international media. She was the panelist of India Today Conclave, 2017, where she spoke about the evolution of webinars in India. She has been featured on Lean In, one of the most popular website that publishes women-centric articles and interviews. Well! This was all about her position in the hall of fame that was and that is an inevitable part of her success story but needless to say, being the first employee of Facebook India she had so many challenges to overcome. That post demanded creativity, readiness and huge social responsibility. Three major challenges that the company faced were:-
Conveying to people the real use of Facebook
Making people aware of their legal rights and duties while using Facebook
To do away with the accusation of Facebook being an addictive app.
According to an online survey around 63% of the Facebook users spend more than 2 hours a day on it just to kill their time, rather than using it for a productive purpose. The question here is, among millions of users globally, how many of them actually knew that the objective behind the foundation of Facebook was to connect people to grow their businesses and enterprises.
However, since the last three years, the scenario has been changing. The way people are using Facebook has evolved from posts to photos, photos to videos and sharing videos to promoting a social cause. It is this power of social media that has enabled people to build their own brands on Facebook. And who else but Kirthiga Reddy had this vision. She is the main force behind the success of Facebook in India and this fact is historically evident. All of us love Facebook. Don’t we? After all, we Indians believe in “Vasudev Kutumbakam”, which means, ‘the world is one family’.
The visionary, ever-smiling persona marked by magnificence, Kirthiga Reddy undeniably personifies the quote:- “If you educate a man you educate an individual but if you educate a woman you educate a nation”.
(Featured Image from Google)
About the Author
Miss Shruti Raval is an Advocate by profession. She is a core team member with Gyan Paradise and an upcoming social entrepreneur.
Writing is her passion.
She truly believes in the power of words. She is a voracious reader who has a real zest for life.