Women City


Preethi P Raj

The Journey: Early Days to How I Got Here
I'm a marketing professional and social media enthusiast. I grew up in Bangalore wanting to be in the communication industry all along. I did my bachelors in Communicative English at Mount Carmel. My initial attempts at copy writing helped me
realized that the marketing strategy behind the communication appealed to me more than the actual piece of communication.
That's when I decided marketing was the choice of career for me and 10 years down the line, I still believe so and I am happy with my choice. I did my post graduate diploma at the T.A.Pai Management Institute, where I specialized in Marketing.

Insight of My Company and the Role I Play in it
I work with the Software and Services Group at Intel. I have been working with Intel for the last 4.5 years. My role in these four and a half years has mainly revolved around influencing developers and evangelizing Intel Technologies to the Software ecosystem in India and APAC. In my current role I'm focused on empowering developers and helping them discover new revenue opportunities through Intels App store for PCs - the Intel AppUpSM center.

Decisions That Mattered
I decided to start my marketing career in Advertising, knowing well that it meant long hours, little to no monies J But it helped me understand marketing across a broad cross section of clients and brands, which is very essential in the early stages of one career, before you focus on a single brand or a target segment. This I think helped shape my career and gave me a good grounding in the basics of marketing. Marketing is all about innovation, but you can't break the rules until you know them. Starting my career in advertising helped me learn the ground rules, which I now build on to innovate in my everyday work...

Resolving Challenges Faced as a Women
In the early stages to my career I found it quite annoying to be asked question about my commitment to my career, how long I planned to work, was I serious about my career, my marriage plans??!!! I found it really strange that I had to try extra hard to prove my allegiance to my career as opposed to a male counterpart whose commitment was a given. But once you have put in a certain number of years in the industry, I guess they stand testimony to your commitment and these questions disappear. Many employers now are sensitive to such discrimination but its still not unlikely to encounter such questions.

Work - life Balance
In the marketing domain work life balance could be a challenge, especially in the early stages of your career. But planning and prioritizing can make life a little less painful. It helps to anticipate issues and address them well in advance, rather than waiting for them to pop up at the last minute. The organization's culture is also a big deciding factor. It's quite unfair when organizations make employees feel like having a personal life is a sin. Senior managers should guard against falling into this trap. I have been lucky to have spent half of my working years at Intel where Work Life balance is upheld as one of its guiding principles. With flexible working hours, telecommuting options it becomes easier to maintain a balance.

Starting Over from Scratch, What I Would Like to do Differently
No. I wouldn't change a thing. Often people make career choices not based on passion or aptitude. And that to me is a big mistake. A career in marketing for me was by choice. In the early stages of my career, marketing felt like a thankless job, where you only get blamed for things that went wrong but no credit came your way for a job well done. You can get through this phase if you like what you do. Passion helps you sustain and recognitions will soon follow. As long as you like what you do and look forward to going back to work every day you are in the right place.

Women Leaders: Driving Force for Powering Business
Women bring diversity in perspectives and decision making which becomes very crucial in today's world, where success is dependent on an organizations ability to constantly re-invent itself and stay tuned to consumers preferences. As the role of a woman becomes more important in purchasing decisions, companies can't ignore that sensibilities and consumer insights that women bring to the board. Moving away from the marketing perspective, with the ratio of women at workplaces growing, having women leaders ensure that the needs / concerns of the women workforce is heard and addressed.

My Learning Along the Way
Some of the most common challenges at work involve people. No matter what role you play in the organization you can never ignore people skills. There must be very few jobs that do not involve a bunch of stakeholder. If you have good people skills you can work your way out of most situations that distract you or take away the focus from the job on hand.

Two Years Down the Line
A lot more wiser, because you learn so much with every passing day, as cliche as this may sound. The pace of change today is so steep, that one has to constantly upgrade their skills and stay tuned to the changing world. The time frame for a change in paradigm is as small as a couple of years now. So I'm going to resist the temptation to do crystal ball gazing.

An Accomplishment You are Most Proud of?
I think it's yet to come.

I want to borrow from Emily Dickinson, who said "Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door." I find this most inspirational. A good leader has the ability to suspend judgment, listen to new ideas and stay open to new opportunities.

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