This interview from the series- "learn from the leaders" is about a technology leader who believes in going beyond the day-to-day activities /goals/KRAs. His formula of achieving professional goals is knowing yourself to formulate the strategic approach. TechGig presents an insightful conversation with Milind Kulkarni, VP Sales, Digital & IT, STT GDC India.
How did you start your journey? What was the onset like?
By education, I'm an electrical engineer and come from a manufacturing background. I started my IT career (as a user) with Siemens in 1996, initially through project sales, then moved on to sales / marketing and eventually business management. During my journey, I understood the significance of integrating technology and automation in business and how one needs to drive innovation to generate business value throughout, which landed me in roles that focus on Digital & IT transformation.
Have you ever participated in a hackathon or organised one in your company? If yes, what are the learnings?
I have participated, conducted and even judged several hackathons. I have always admired the idea of hackathons as they bring several young (at heart, not age) brains together to focus on specific business challenges and solve them through collective effort and intelligence. Such activities trigger creativity and problem-solving attitude among the developers.
What was your preparation strategy for your professional goals?
Knowing yourself is key (strengths and opportunity for improvement) in order to formulate a strategic approach in achieving my professional goal. Putting my strong foot forward gave me ample time to focus on things I wanted to work on. This tactic has always helped me improvise and grow as a professional.
Another approach which I follow is going beyond the day-to-day activities /goals/KRAs, which has not only helped me excel professionally, but enthused me further in guiding more people through mentorship programmes.
Tell us about your working experience.
Studying and understanding the binary structure of deriving business values from technology solutions, the know-how of the sector fascinated me. My eagerness to understand the industry even better helped me find my heart in the industry. For over two decades, I worked in various roles in sales, marketing, PM, MBB, IT etc. Starting with KEC International, was fortunate to work with global brands such as Siemens, GE, ICICI, Genpact & Tata Communications.
What advice would you like to give to the IT aspirants who're looking to make a career in your field?
Since, Digital & Information technology keeps on evolving, it’s essential for IT aspirants to learn and update themselves to keep up with the industry nuances. Looking for developments and trends across the market, going beyond your daily tasks and identifying the extra edge is very important. Furthermore, follow your heart, learn to embrace changes and failures alike, celebrate and enjoy the success.
What technologies should tech professionals consider learning for the long run?
From a medium-term approach, we are looking at AI, ML, Big Data, IoT, API, RPA, Mobility and Cloud; all these forms of technology will get applied to various platforms and forums in different industries. The important aspect will be, how well is it aligned with creating business value, along with ensuring cyber security; especially in the times of COVID, when issues of data phishing and attacks have become more prominent.
Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence will be a game changer for the long term. However, Quantum computing is in its nascent stages, it will bring a revolution in the IT environment.
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