Enterprise Applications, India
Asha is a leader through and through and passionate about her role in the company and beyond. As a lifelong learner, she seeks out opportunities to learn and sees Conduent’s process of designing and adopting best of the breed technology platforms as an exciting source of learning. When she took up running, she discovered it was a passion and proved to herself and others that one can lead a meaningful and wholesome life by just reimagining the boundaries we set for ourselves. One of her biggest lessons: think beyond the designations and responsibilities defined by career, family and society and the possibilities of life will surprise you!
Joined Conduent in: 2018
Current location: Bangalore, India
Current responsibilities: Senior Program Manager in EAS responsible for IT program portfolio management for Legal and DPM apps.
Main areas of expertise: IT transformation program management
Previous roles/professional background: 15 years in IT industry positions in the financial, banking, services, and communication sectors
Awards and Achievements: Women Achiever Award (2017, 2018), Sports Achiever Award (2017), Best Team Award (2017) from her previous organization.
Runner up Spice Coast Marathon (2017), Winner Indian Naval Academy Marathon (2017).
Education: Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics& Communication), PMP PMI Certified.
Personal interests: Endurance running; family; learning new things; community volunteering
From Asha on Leading a Balanced Life and How Running has Influenced her Career:
I like to call myself a “Life Enthusiast.” I am a senior project manager in IT, a passionate amateur marathoner, a young mother, executive member/organizer of various clubs, nature/travel lover/gardener, wannabe public speaker and much more.
Professionally I have 15 years of experience working for IT industry majors across geographies. I have managed IT transformation programs in the financial, banking, services, and communication sectors and have played integral roles in delivery, client-facing, pre-sales, operations and people management. In my current role, I am responsible for managing a portfolio of programs in Legal and DPM apps in EAS.
I’m excited about the digital transformation journey Conduent is on and the opportunities it presents. Being part of the EAS group enables me to be an integral part of building a Smarter Enterprise.
Here I would like to share how running has influenced my professional career… Four years ago I chanced upon running when my previous organization started a running club. Gradually, I realized I had a passion for endurance running and progressed steadily from racing 10Ks, to half-marathons to full marathons (26.2 miles, 42.2km).
I have now run more than 30 races across my country, winning two major events and multiple regional events. The journey to becoming a full marathoner is grueling and challenging and transformed me a lot. It taught me valuable life lessons and made me a better professional.
Here are some of the things running has taught me:
- Self-discipline – To be a successful runner, one has to stick to training schedules. Being able to manage training with a busy work and family life was only possible by being time efficient and following discipline in life. I learned to become a morning person, wake up before the sun and be out on a run on the roads.
- Working toward goals – While training for a marathon, there is a target one sets to achieve (e.g., a target completion time, improving on your previous times, or winning a race) and you work months toward this. You learn to appreciate and show the same dedication at your work too. I learned to set goals, a target timeline, visualize how I wanted to achieve it and work toward it. It is also good to have a mentor at work and life who can support you as you work toward your goals.
- Continuous learning and reinventing yourself – Improving as a runner requires continuous learning, reading, form corrections, technique, training plans, etc. I follow the same at work – understanding the latest technology trends, upskilling, getting professional certifications and improving my value as a professional.
- Clarity of mind – Running time is a pure “me time” for me. It helps me be very focused, flush out negativity, generate ideas, organize my thoughts and plan my work day.
- Networking and working with people – Network “selflessly.” Build relationships and they will nourish your life. Running has helped me connect to a network of accomplished people, professionals from all walks of life.
- You are what you are – Running is a field where one is appreciated and accepted for what they are. I am not differentiated or separated out because I am a woman. Only my abilities or limitations define me.This has helped me shape my thoughts and interact freely with my peers and team members, welcome varying perspectives from colleagues without judgment, and build healthy relationships.
- You can deal with setbacks – Every day is not a cake walk. There are moments during a race, you fail to achieve what you set out to. At work, there are times I have not taken the most optimal or wisest of action. But in the end, I realize that my strengths do not come from my successes alone. It’s my struggles and misses that have developed my strengths. Identify learning from any setback and move on. Eventually everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner in their own right. 🙂
I came from a non-sports background, but sports has taught me how to be a problem solver, a team and people person and to stay positive. When you train for a marathon and eventually run it, the sense of achievement gives you the confidence to take on anything in the world.
If you are really passionate about something, you will figure out a way to accommodate that in life. It may mean sacrificing a few things that aren’t priorities and channeling your time and energy toward interests that matter.
As women, we shoulder a lot of responsibilities at work and home. There are days when you feel the world is crushing down on you. Not every race goes as per your target. Even superheroes have bad days J. Be kind on yourself and ask for support as needed. It helps build a network of people around you at work and life who support you and who you support.