March Technology Grit : Have Top Notch Skills, Stay Relevant, and Be Vocal

March Technology Grit : Have Top Notch Skills, Stay Relevant, and Be Vocal

Written by Mala Gupta


An engineer from NIT, Madhavi has a two-decade-long career. She started as a telecom software developer, led projects, delved into business development, technology practice development, and now heads SI services delivery for telco cloud solutions at Nokia. 

She strongly believes that working in varied roles lets one connect with different functions in the organization, market, and customer stakeholders, broadening their perspectives. It enhances how people collaborate with their colleagues and industry contacts from different backgrounds. It also results in a richer work environment and industry relationships.

On the challenges she faced as a woman, she shared, “After the birth of my first child, I was doubtful about the feasibility of continuing to work. I'm very grateful to my family and friends, who supported me in my career.”  

Madhavi learned quickly the value of her own time. “Time was always at a premium for me. I have walked out of agenda-less meandering meetings that either started or stretched well beyond business hours at work. I have had peers stand-in for me for late-night software releases (remote working infrastructure was unavailable in the early 2000s). Since long commutes were a challenge, I took up assignments in the development center closer home. I continue to be a stickler for time spent in the office.”

Madhavi shared that her supportive team is a vital component for managing work and family. “When children are young, it is an uphill task for women to manage their careers with a family. A supportive team at work and home is always a blessing.”    

Her advice to women is, “Skills are crucial. Work on acquiring top-notch skills and stay relevant. Have a positive attitude, be agile in learning, and invest in your communication skills. Be vocal about your career concerns and the support you need at work. Seek help from others-you’ll be pleasantly surprised to realize that people are willing to help and are quite supportive”.

Madhavi added about the importance of a network and taking opportunities that scare you. “Don't fall into the trap of taking up the so-called  ‘lighter-roles’ that seemingly appear less demanding on your time. They won’t help you in your career. Never shy away from exploring newer territories because growth happens when you learn new things. Have a strong circle of friends you can laugh and cry with. Develop a thick skin. Do things that excite you. Join communities in your areas of interest and learn to manage your emotions well.”

Bio: Madhavi Ravanan, SI Delivery Head, Telco Cloud Solutions at Nokia, has over two decades of experience. She believes working in various roles broadens one’s perspective, promoting better relationships at work.

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