InterviewsWomen in Technology

There Are No Limits to What a Woman Can Achieve

Aditi Ganguly, the Director of Channel Operations at Lenovo MEA, speaks to Arabian Reseller about her experience working in emerging markets, tech transformations ahead, and lots more

Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.
My leadership style is to give an environment of entrepreneurship and ownership to my team; to allow the team to own their tasks with passion, excel and grow. I believe the biggest resource or asset an organization has are it’s “people”, they are the backbone of the company and they are the most valuable.  I also believe that people are best driven when we understand and recognize their emotions; a good manager is the one who understands people, acknowledges their contributions, and motivates them to work together for a joint goal.   

What made you choose IT as a career opportunity?
IT as a career was not a choice but a chance or a coincidence that happened 20 years ago. However, once I started working in IT, it was one of the most exciting and evolving industries to work in. Hence, I chose to stay. IT gives the opportunity to people to learn new technology and skills continuously as the industry evolves. It will always remain exciting and engaging for me. Today 34% of Lenovo’s workforce are women, higher than the tech industry average and I am proud to be part of this organization in such an exciting industry.

How has your unique background prepared you for success in the industry?
My experience working in the emerging markets and in the transaction business and in Consumer and Distribution- led business in IT-enabled great learnings and preparation. The opportunity to also work and learn in China gave me an in-depth understanding of the structured reach of the channel. But, most of all, the 14 years in Lenovo with the various roles I had, from sales to marketing and operations currently, gives me the ability to plan for a 360-degree business.

What was your most interesting job?
The China experience would stand out as the most interesting for me. This experience was an opportunity that Lenovo gave me where I worked with the China team on the HADAR project – a project that gives nominated candidates the chance to work in various functions such as 4P/Channel/Finance/GCS – and prepare employees on how to become future leaders. This is followed by the move to Business Operations in the Middle East and Africa. Business Operations was a new learning, given my profound experience in sales; which gave me a 360-degree view of the backend planning and analytical processes that keep the sales engine running.

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of computer technology?
As a woman who never expected to be in “tech” but has now spent twenty years working in the industry, I encourage amazing women of today to join the sector to make it even more innovative and robust. I think it is important for young women to know they can have successful and impactful careers in the tech sector. I’ve always been a risk taker, something which has led me to take different roles throughout my career. My point is, there are no limits to what women can achieve, especially when a company believes in women empowerment and cultural diversity such as Lenovo. You will learn a lot in the ever-evolving IT field … so go for it ladies.

What is the greatest transformation in technology you’ve witnessed in your career?
From an industry perspective, the greatest change I witnessed has been in the transformation of the channel management into a tool-based automated system, that would be several data and operations tools that enable the backend analysis to business. For example, Lenovo’s BMS 3.0 transition/ ODS or the automated commissions tools. From a technology base, it would undoubtedly be the evolution of smart devices in IT.

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?
I would say it would be the way we are use and see hand-held devices overall; lots of unique form factors on the smart devices. Some classic examples are the Lenovo YOGA series, the flexible 2-in-1 laptops, the smartwatches and the various form factor innovations we witnessed in The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Nowadays, a single device can perform different tasks. Hand-held devices are becoming a lot more functional, they are the perfect example of this transformation that has happened over the past years.

Are you involved in any sort of volunteer work? Can you give some details?
Yes. When time permits, I try and work with my friends to support underprivileged children. This is in Kolkata; my hometown in India. I am also very attached to the work of Mother Teresa in “Nirmal Hriday”, a home for the terminally ill destitute or homeless people who get attention and medical care during the last days of their life, also located in my hometown.

What’s next for you in terms of your career in the tech industry?
I would like to work next on emerging retail and online consumer market for IT. Online is the new tomorrow of sales and touch points with the consumer customer; Retail has been and will always be the direct source of connecting with the people who use our products. It is also the most profitable sales point of the business if correctly managed.

In today’s tech industry, where most engineers are men, designing products for a market that is at least made up of 50% women and where the majority of consumer buying decisions are made by women, simply creating pink products is not the answer, putting women in charge of the design process is! Whether it be product design or sales, a diverse and gender-balanced team is a key success driver.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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