The pandemic taught us how to prepare oneself to fight with uncertainty
Published by : Industrial Automation
Madhumita Ghosh, Solution & Service Lead – Cognitive & AI-Process Transformation-Digital-RPA-Advance Analytics at IBM.
What prompted you to pursue a career in engineering?
No, not engineering. Post my 10th, I developed an interest in Statistics and as I moved, I fell in love with the subject, more so with Applied Statistics so to say. I always tried to take a different path than the conventional and during our studentship when others took engineering-MBA paths, I happened to choose Post Graduation in Statistics and Operation Research path. Since then, I have been enjoying a versatile professional journey, starting with an international funding agency and NGO, moving through an advertising-consumer research firm, pharma consulting to airlines revenue processing to BPM domain, and then entrepreneurship; and now with tech giant IBM. Followed the mantra of ‘Learning & Re-skilling’ as the only constant.
Having obtained the qualification, what was the experience in getting a job?
I left my birthplace, the steel city Jamshedpur, after my post-graduation and reached Mumbai to look for a job opportunity. Yes, there was an initial struggle, days were not easy, yet I enjoyed my career journey till date with adaptable experience in various functional areas and industries.
Is a career in engineering more demanding vis-à-vis other options?
Here is my two cents...in any profession, it is up to you how you will align with the industry – be it engineering or any other profession. Your application knowledge and aligning it with industry requirements matters.
Often projects demand stay away from home. How is that experience?
Women are better multi-taskers and can do better coordination I believe. So you can be at home, and being away from home too with a day to day connects and support system. Yes, more than 2 weeks at a stretch is a bit troublesome.
Have you ever missed a career opportunity or promotion due to gender?
Not really. I have received support and guidance always and gender has never appeared as a barrier in my path; on the contrary I never tried to take advantage of being female.
Are workplaces today more sensitive to gender issues than a generation earlier?
Yes I feel so; moreover organisations are more sensitive and making it a necessity for ‘inclusion’.
Is there a glass ceiling when it comes to leadership roles in engineering?
I can’t comment on engineering, but you see women are everywhere, and in every field their contribution, courage and capability is proven.
What has been the experience with seniors at works and the management?
I am fortunate to receive support as always. I can get along with anyone with ease and flexibility hence not receiving any push back till now.
How did the Covid pandemic affect your working routine and what are the learnings?
Facetime is lost, coped up with the situation. Work from home is not a new phenomenon in our kind of work, however continuously for a year is a bit frustrating. I have always believed in upskilling and reskilling myself as per industry needs and invested my time in training towards emerging technologies. Yes, pandemic taught us how to prepare oneself to fight with uncertainty.
What would be your message to those seeking career guidance?
Try to learn a holistic approach in problem solving. I mean think non-linear. In whatever functional area or domain you are, try to bring some innovation at work by focusing on ‘Enhanced experience’, ‘Operational excellency’ and ‘Business benefit’.
It is said if you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family, generation (nation). Your views?
A woman always looks with a holistic approach and sees through a lens of care and support. Women are the basis for the development and nurturing of the individual, the family and the community, which is half of the society that educates the other half, viz., the mother, the wife, the teacher and the sister, so it is necessary to take care of it and pay attention to its future. And a woman is assigned a place where this is reflected in all areas of life. Educating a girl child is tantamount to educating the whole family. Girls should be treated at par with their male counterparts.
Would you like to share information about your other achievements?
I have grown up in Tata’s ethos. Born and brought up at Jamshedpur, upbringing was never like a typical girl child in Bihar. My parents, especially dad, who believed more in his daughter than the society, laid the runway for me to fly. A self-made and a true family person perhaps put all his energy and aspiration in his daughter, taught all possible ways various practical aspects of life. I lost him two years back yet feel his presence and guidance always. Certain key beliefs and values which he roped in me and I try to follow the same, viz:
i. Fly high but stay connected with root
ii. Never quit
iii. Networking to gain different perspective
iv. Remain dutiful at any circumstances, and
v. Say what you do and do what you say.
I have always tried to do or did something new without following the conventional track.
Few accolades which gave me satisfaction are:
-Recognised and awarded as ‘Analytics Excellence 2015’ at NASSCOM BIG Data Summit,
-‘Best Analytics and Insight Leader of the year’ at Kamikaze B2B Media in 2017 and
-‘Green Mentor award 2018, at Global Green School Conference – New York in 2018.
If you ask about role models, then Ratan Tataji and Sudha Murthi are top of mind. I am inspired by Swami Vivekananda, Tatas, Kapil Dev and follow Rabindranath Tagore to combat any situation. If Tatanagar showed me a dream, Mumbai gave me the spirit and my near and dear ones are continuously supporting me with love and blessings which keeps my hope alive at any circumstances.
What are the three words that best capture the essential you?
Confident. Resilient. Integrity. I have always tried to be away from ‘Comfort Zone’, accepted challenges and always tried learning on the move.
Madhumita Ghosh, SME and Thought Leader, has been working in the area of Cognitive & Digital Transformation with core expertise of Data Science for last 22+ years. As a seasoned professional, she poses broad based experiences, and brings rigorous approach to fact driven solution in modern data landscape, AI, ML, NLP, IoT, RPA and other digital transformational initiatives. Being industry agnostic in her varied experience in leadership role, she supported organisations in developing or enhancing business process solutions for raising revenue, cost and asset optimisation, as well as customer experience enhancement as catalyst between business and technology.
Her current assignment is with IBM India Pvt Ltd, in the capacity of ‘Business Transformation Lead – Cognitive & Digital’ in consulting arm of GBS. Prior to that she was Sr VP & Global Head of Analytics in Concentrix (erstwhile Aditya Birla Minacs), and previously worked with MNCs like Aegis Ltd (an ESSAR Enterprise), Accelya Kale Solution Ltd, IMS Health, Mullen LOWE Lintas, and Catholic Relief Services – USCC, to mention a few.
Madhumita was recognised and awarded as ‘Analytics Excellence 2015’ at NASSCOM BIG Data Summit, ‘Best Analytics and Insight Leader of the year’ at Kamikaze B2B Media in 2017 and ‘Green Mentor Award 2018’, at Global Green School Conference – New York in 2018. She
has been engaged in data science capability development and adoption in educational institutions and working with various B Schools and Universities to develop Analytics & Data Scientist curriculum, servers as advisory panel, lecturer and speaker in various institutions, viz., NMIMS School of Science, IIT Mumbai, Delhi School of Economics, IES Bhubaneswar, Aegis Data Science School and Hughes Global Education, among other.
She holds Master Degree in Statistics (Univ Topper), Post Graduate diploma in Operations Research, and Post Graduate diploma in Computer Application. She is a Fellow in Royal Statistical Society – London. She is contributing as writing papers and as Joint Editor-in-Chief of an International Analytics Journal, IJBAI, published by http://www.publishingindia.com.
Her only daughter Ishika (a proud Sulonian) is currently pursuing her B. Arch 1st year from Sir J J College of Architecture, Mumbai. Her husband Rajeev is a seasoned practitioner in the area of concrete technology. He is a seasoned professional with strong acumen in large industrial, retail as well as specialised construction projects. Post serving in Simplex Concrete & Piles, Hindustan Construction Co, Lafarge Aggregates and Concrete India, Lodha Group and Dheeraj Realty-Wadhawan Group currently as Director, Rajeev runs a NABL accredited independent testing and calibration laboratories, which is a service provider for construction industry and its associates.