Stories

Sunitha Sivadasan – Lead Manager, IBS Software, Cochin, India

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Hello Sunitha, tell us a bit about your role and what you enjoy

I work in the Hospitality Line of Business; in my role as a Lead Manager, I oversee multiple teams of engineers, ensuring that projects are executed successfully and on time. I work closely with cross-functional teams like product management and design to align our efforts with business goals.

I really enjoy working with my teammates and seeing them develop and flourish in their roles.

What drew you to the tech sector?

After completing my Diploma in Computer Hardware and my B. Tech at Govt College of Engineering, Kannur, I initially thought I would go into teaching. However, I attended the customary campus interviews after which I was selected by IBS Software. So, I joined the company's LITMUS (Learn IT froM US) graduate training scheme in 2007, and 16 years later, I'm still here!

Why have you stayed at IBS Software for all your career?

The reality is, I enjoy it, I'm constantly presented with diverse opportunities and challenging projects; it keeps me engaged and I'm never bored or feel as if I'm languishing in my comfort zone.

From a people perspective, IBS Software has always been a second home to me, filled with cherished memories and heart-touching friendships. The bonds I have formed with my colleagues go beyond professional connections.

Sunitha with team members in the Cochin office

Would you recommend the tech sector as a career path?

Absolutely, I would enthusiastically recommend it! I am the first person in my family to venture in the tech field, it's turned out to be a perfect fit for me. There are abundant opportunities for growth, learning, and working with state-of-the-art technologies.

Personally, I find the tech sector intellectually stimulating and deeply fulfilling.

Tell us about a pivotal career moment

Participating in this year's 'Accelerated Leadership Program' organized by Women Inclusive In Technology, was a total game-changer for me.

It was enlightening to meet participants from different companies with diverse viewpoints. I also appreciated having a CEO from an outside organisation as my mentor for a time; he helped me to develop a holistic perspective and see the bigger picture.

All in all, I'm fortunate to have made fantastic connections and learned not only theoretical concepts, but also practical strategies to support me in real-world scenarios. My thanks to Latha Nair for encouraging me to participate!

Sunitha with colleagues who also completed the Accelerated Leadership Program organised by Women Inclusive In Technology. From L to R: Thara Rajendran, Sona B, Sunitha S, Santhi Kaimala

How do you manage work life and home life with two young children and the extra studying?

Prioritization and planning are key, along with the support from my family. I'm glad to see that even my youngest daughter understands the importance of sharing household chores as a team effort.

Time management plays a crucial role in balancing everything, and I always strive to stay organized to make the most of my time. And I am realistic about the time that I have available and what I can accomplish in a given period.

What type of support should be in place to help women at the start of their careers in tech?

Mentorship and guidance. Throughout my 16-year career, I've had the privilege of working with a diverse range of managers who have shaped my professional growth.

What learnings can you share with us?

Embrace flexibility and adaptability – it is an absolute necessity in the changing world of technology.
Develop a cross-disciplinary approach consider combining ideas from diverse sources to create novel and effective solutions.
Aim for excellence and challenge yourself to surpass expectations.
Learn how to empower team members by delegating authority, trusting their abilities.
The importance of personal growth – continuous learning and self-improvement.

I'm currently reading…

'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen R. Covey.

Good one! Share something you've learnt from this book and put into practice

The book has helped me to refocus my time and energy away from my Circle of Concern (I worried a lot about global issues and events beyond my control, making me stressed and anxious) to my Circle of Influence (what I can control).

I have now started to set realistic goals within my influence, in areas where I can actually make a difference, like improving my skills and contributing to my immediate community. 

What's a go-to app on your phone?

Apart from the usual Google Pay and Uber apps, my most used app is Duolingo. I am currently learning Japanese; I like the fun interactive lessons and quizzes to help you learn a new language.

A couple of things you won't find on my LinkedIn profile…

I love being creative, I find joy in using my sewing machine. I feel immense pride, satisfaction and happiness whenever I make something for myself or my loved ones. I recently made a really cute skirt for my daughter.

I also love cooking - my pathiri and the accompanying curries, such as chicken varatharachathe or prawn roast, are my friends' favourites 😊

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