Updated on 8 March 2013
Dr Sudha Rao, chief operating officer, Genotypic Technology, India
I completed my graduation and post graduation from the University of Mysore. My first job, after my post doctoral studies in neurobiology at Cornell Medical School, was at Quark Biotech in Israel as a consultant. I was involved in identification of genetic suppressor elements.
Since both me and my husband, Dr Raja Mugasimangalam, were technocrats, setting up Genotypic's systems and processes from both organizational and service perspective were very challenging and rewarding. Every functional domain form HR-to-certifications of standards for service delivery and implementation of an ERP system were major contributions. We were (for the first time in the history of life sciences, world wide) awarded the SAP ACE 2010 award for Customer Excellence and Best Run Business for having the foresight to leverage software as a service model to support rapid growth.
Every opportunity and decision you take during your life's journey is a milestone. For me returning to India and taking a risk to start something new here was a major milestone. One of the challenges for me was the change from being a scientist to actually running a commercial entity. Being extremely organized and the help and support of many of our advisors and friends helped us alot.
Personally, all the women and men, who have risen above their day-to-day existence to achieve something significant and yet not compromised on the simple pleasures and basic commitments in life, are my role models. I believe in the phrase from the Bhagawad Gita, "Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani", which translates to - keep on performing your duties without expecting the fruits for your actions and adapt neutral behavior.
I spend my leisure time traveling, listening to music and art. Managing professional and personal life is actually not easy and is not dependent on a person's gender. The problems arise are when someone faces a conflict of priorities and it usually happens that women find it challenging to prioritize under certain situations, including work over home or vice versa. However, families are now evolving. Women do get the support of their families, extended families and friends and this is becoming the norm rather than an exception. To the young women in the field, I would like to say that pursue your dreams confidently. The journey is as important as the destination, and for now I am focusing on my journey.
(As told to Vipul Murarka)