Keep the learning mode on and success will follow…

As I sit back and reflect on my professional journey and career graph, a deep sense of gratitude fills my heart. Each and every experience, opportunity, milestone, accomplishment be it big or small, recognition and for that matter even the failures that came along the way, have contributed immensely to my personal and professional growth.

Being a technology enthusiast, I consider myself fortunate to have been part of the technology and telecom sector for so long.

Be it the shifts from older voice centric technologies to the next generation data technologies, be it the emergence of newer innovative business models or be it the constant evolution on the regulatory front, it’s the unceasing progression that never fails to amaze me. I am glad that I could contribute to the sector in my own little way.

Specifically talking about my career trajectory, my foray into telecom wasn’t by chance. It was a conscious move and that is why after completing my Engineering, I decided to pursue my MBA in Telecom Management. Right after my masters, I had the good fortune to work with some of the leading technology and management consulting firms. Have extensively worked on complex technology and transformation projects with clients across geographies and sectors such as Telecom, IT, Health Tech, Media and Education amongst others.

Having worked on these technology-oriented projects and domains definitely made me cognizant of the potential and different facets of technology. However, it was only after joining Jio that I truly recognized the kind of life-changing impact technology and digital services can bring about.

As Head of Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Research at Jio, I am responsible for driving digital initiatives and strategic programs with public sector establishments and prominent organizations. My work areas also include providing policy and advisory support to various digital entities within our group. Over the years I have worked on important digital policy imperatives and diverse initiatives spanning across digital domains & emerging technologies.

Frankly speaking there couldn’t be a more opportune and exciting time to be in the telecom sector. With the generational leap to 5G, we are at a cusp of a massive digital transformation. We are witnessing how telecom industry is moving away from traditional consumer and connectivity-based business models and constantly re-inventing itself to enable newer business models across sectors & industry verticals. There is massive thrust on building internal capabilities in emerging technologies like AI, IOT, Industry 4.0, Block Chain, edge computing, AR/ VR etc.

One thing which has helped me do well in this dynamic and fast-changing sector is the fact that I have always kept my learning mode on. I strongly believe that it’s impossible to succeed in this sector with the “I know it all” attitude. If you really want to thrive in this sector you need to be open to adapting & enhancing your skills, competencies and domain knowledge. Every now and then I have tried to pick up a technology area or domain to deepen my understanding around it. This has not only been intellectually rewarding but also helped me stay ahead of the curve.

Yes, carving my own space and position in a male dominated sector, wasn’t a cakewalk and I had my fair share of challenges along the way. Balancing work and personal responsibilities did take a toll many a times. Like all the working moms, I have had my moments of guilt when I had to leave an unwell child and tend to an important work commitment. But what really smoothened the journey for me was the constant support of my family as well as my trusted network of industry mentors and colleagues at work.

One of the most valuable lessons that I have learnt over the years is to not lower one’s standards for anyone or anything. There is nothing more important than respecting your own self and believing in your capabilities. To make it big we must learn to appreciate oneself and celebrate even our smallest of wins and achievements. And when we focus more on improving ourselves rather than proving ourselves, success is bound to follow.

 

Vishakha Saigal

Vice President & Head, Strategic Initiatives, Regulatory Policy & Research, Reliance Jio