Mridula Visadharan – Delivery Manager, IBS Software, Dubai
Hello Mridula, thank you for joining us. Can you tell us about your history at IBS Software, your role and what you enjoy?
I joined IBS Software in India in 2000 as a software engineer after my graduation - I say that I was born and brought up in IBS! I now work from Dubai, as Delivery Manager for CDx delivery accounts in the Middle East. My daily work includes interacting with our customers and internal teams such as human resources, talent management as well as our vibrant technical team.
Through my role, I have had the opportunity to work with three leading airlines in the Middle East, operate across job functions and be part of their digital transformation journey. It's been a refreshing and challenging experience, which has helped me to discover my inner strengths!
What initially drew you to working in tech?
My family. When I was younger, my ambition was to become a doctor. But I grew up with three civil engineers at home: my father, brother, and sister. All the interesting stories they told me about engineering, changed my mind. I graduated in Computer Science and Engineering; looking back, I believe it was the right decision.
Can you tell us about a pivotal moment in your career?
The first project I managed independently is still a reference book for many things. I wanted to do a challenging and interesting task and started off very confidently, only for the initial release to fail. But this opened an opportunity for me to learn and gradually take control and drive a successful release.
It was a big learning about project management, people management, handling pressures at work and how to grow from our mistakes. I learnt from my seniors how you should support juniors or peers in need; how to take care of the project assigned; and what NOT to focus on when you have multiple tasks assigned.
That sounds like it could have been a difficult time, but a great result in the end. What do you do to help with those stressful moments?
Yes, tech can be a challenging field to work in. if there is too much stress, I look for an alternative outlet to unwind. It can be simple techniques like washing dishes or watching a comedy series. I'm also a big fan of number painting! It's a real stress buster. It is like kindergarten colouring, but for those of us who are new to painting, it can make us feel like an artist 😊
What skills / attributes do you think are important to have a successful career in tech?
For me, there are four key things:
- An interest in learning and commitment to work
- Having an open mind to accept feedback; focus on the message and utilise it to improve yourself
- Good communication skills and teamwork
- Believe in yourself and be honest!
Why have you stayed at IBS Software for the duration of your career?
There are many reasons; overall, I feel a sense of belonging at IBS and I have developed trust in myself and my capabilities to manage whatever responsibilities are assigned to me.
Why do you think more women should consider a career path in the tech sector?
The advances we've seen in the tech sector have enabled more women to have successful careers and achieve financial independence.
It's a great opportunity for people who are willing to learn and are committed to doing their best. There's a lot of resources and inspiration available for women wanting to get into the tech sector, and a growing number of role models.
Who do you find inspiring?
In terms of public figures, what I find inspiring is their thoughts and interests. For example, Debjani Ghosh, NASSCOM President, who thinks technology can be used to make the world a better place and encourages women to take risks, step out of their comfort zone. She talks about how the worst that can happen is failure, but every act of failure comes with a rich learning experience that can unlock new ideas and opportunities.
What type of support should be in place to help women at the start of their careers in tech?
I think it's important to encourage learning, and the continuous improvement of both technical and soft skills. And within that, explaining the importance of focusing on the exact skills needed to develop to excel in any role.
Finally, we should be recognising effort and appreciating achievements, whether they're big or small. I often feel like I would have told my younger self to "believe in yourself" more - a crucial piece of advice.
That's a great lesson for anyone! Let's also talk travel: where's your next trip going to be?
My favourite destination is India 😊 I am from the southernmost part of the country, and I wish to visit and explore as many places as I can. I have started a bucket list to visit at least one new place every year. We recently visited the famous Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu; next on my list is Rajasthan.
And outside of travel, what hobbies do you have?
They vary with my mood. My son has got me watching lots of series on TV, anime mostly. We recently watched Demon Slayer and One Piece Live Action together on Netflix. Reading also became a habit for me after I picked up The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho. I'm currently reading The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama. She's a real inspiration and an empowering figure. I believe we can all relate to the stories and experiences she shares.