Anouchka Mahadawo, Product Consultant, Digital Innovation team, IBS Software, Mauritius
Hi Anouchka, tell us a bit about you and your role
I joined IBS Software in August 2021 as a product consultant in the Digital Innovation and Consulting department. I work remotely from Mauritius, where I was born and raised. Our mission is to solve aviation challenges using IBS' SaaS solutions. Day to day, I work with airlines to understand their goals and how our solutions and expertise can support them in reaching these goals.
In my immediate team there are three of us, all women. We're currently working on proofs of concept with different airlines for a dynamic revenue management tool. We're using different machine learning models to come up with optimal fares.
What do you enjoy about your role?
Aviation is one of the most challenging and dynamic industries – there are constant changes and innovations in airline revenue management which make my job fascinating. No two days are the same!
What did you study? How did you get started in your career?
I did my Bsc and Msc in Air Transport Management and went on to work at Flydubai in revenue management, based in Dubai. I joined the company when it was a start-up, only a year old; during my six years there, it grew from serving 20 destinations to close to 100. I'm very proud to have been part of this growth.
I then switched to the hotel industry in Mauritius, working in revenue management, before joining IBS Software.
What appealed about IBS Software?
It was a no-brainer; I've always had a passion for aviation and wanted to explore the tech side. Post-Covid, there's been a growth in digitalisation in aviation and IBS Software is known for being customer-centric and thinking outside the box.
What was your childhood ambition?
When I was 11 years old, my dream was to become a volcanologist and study the active volcanoes around the world. Reunion Island, next to Mauritius, is the location of an active volcano, La Fournaise; this kickstarted my fascination with geography as a child and inspired my desire to have an adventurous job in the field.
What was your first experience with tech?
In 1999 my family purchased our first ever desktop computer which I used for my school projects. I can remember the technology evolving fast – by the early 2000s, my brother and I each had mobile phones and accounts on MSN messenger and HI5!
Who are your female mentors who helped shape your career?
My mother has always been a pillar in shaping both my personality and career. She was a lecturer in English Literature, travelled often, and did an MPhil at the age of 45 while being a mother of two school kids. Like her, I haven't been afraid to speak my mind. Growing up, I always had a cultural conditioning on the importance of female education and why we should never have a conservative mindset.
Are there any females in tech that you admire and why?
Sudha Murty is a huge inspiration to me. She's an engineering graduate and the first female engineer to be hired by TELCO (now Tata Motors), India's largest auto manufacturer. I like that she believes in dreaming big and never stops learning.
"Vision without action is merely a dream; action without vision is merely passing time; but vision and action together can change the world."
― Sudha Murty, Wise and Otherwise
How do you encourage other women in your field?
Together with colleagues, I recently founded 'Women in Innovation' to help share some inspiring stories from different team members and discuss topics such as female empowerment in the workplace, the leadership ambition gap and role models. For International Women's Day, I hosted a special panel session to discuss their work/life balance, challenges they've faced and who inspires them. Key takeaways for us: we should be more confident and open up; we should also encourage girls to become interested in the aviation and tech sectors from an early age.
What career advice would you give to the next generation entering the tech sector now?
Continuously upgrade skills and build a wide network. I'm currently doing an online course, 'Introduction to machine learning'. I would also suggest courses related to artificial intelligence, automation, revenue management and data science.
Tell us about your love of travel
I really enjoy travelling and am currently ticking off countries on my bucket list – so far, I have covered 57 countries! Italy is one of my favourites and I loved Santorini in Greece, the views of the lagoon surrounded by cliffs are spectacular. During my solo trips, I've learned to be more confident when meeting people of different cultures and identities.
My next trip will be to…
…Rwanda, where I'm planning to trek into the forest to see gorillas in their natural habitat.
I'm currently listening to…
…Bollywood music, I have A R Rahman and Armaan Malik on repeat!