Anjali Paradkar

Anjali Paradkar – Independent Director

Constantly learning in a fast changing industry is only a small part of what has attracted Anjali Paradkar to a carer in IT.

What’s your story?

I come from a family of finance professionals. My family did not support my choice to pursue a career in IT. After graduation, I accepted an entry-level role in a software consultancy firm. I found enjoyment in my work and my natural problem-solving skills and attention to detail made me stand out among my peers. My relentless commitment to understand and meet our customers’ needs and deliver exceptional results contributed to my growth and success in my career. Now my family is proud of my achievements and my kids too have chosen a career path in technology.

What excites you most about your industry?

The Information technology industry is constantly evolving with new and innovative technologies emerging every day. This fast-paced environment provides me opportunities for continuous learning and working with cutting-edge technologies to solve complex business problems. IT plays a critical role in investment banking by enabling efficient trading and settlement, risk management, data analytics, and regulatory compliance. Witnessing how my efforts drive positive business outcomes such as increased profitability, enhanced security and improved customer satisfaction is truly rewarding. Creating innovative products for our customers or improving internal processes to deliver efficiencies is incredibly fulfilling.

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

Going above and beyond in my role as a Technology Director aligns with my personal aspirations for growth and development while also serving the greater goals of the organization’s success. Being able to make a positive impact on the organization, our customers and my team is highly motivating for me. I enjoy tackling and overcoming challenges; I see them as opportunities for growth and problem-solving. As a leader, I am also motivated by seeing my team succeed and I always strive to create an environment where everyone can thrive, achieve their goals, and deliver outstanding results collectively.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

I have developed and honed a set of skills that have been instrumental in my journey and contributed to my success. These skills encompass strategic thinking, decision-making, effective communication, relationship building, and financial acumen.

My strategic thinking abilities allow me to analyse complex situations and develop long-term plans that align with the organization’s mission and vision. I possess a keen awareness of industry trends, market dynamics, and competitive landscapes which enables me to identify opportunities for growth and innovation. I foster positive connections with key stakeholders, cultivate trust and ensure meaningful collaborations and true partnerships.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I received was to network strategically and create value through the relationships thus formed. Building a strong network is critical to meeting personal and organizational goals such as uncovering job opportunities, finding potential customers and spotting investment prospects. This is very different from casual networking as it is purpose-driven and involves connecting with people who can provide insights or opportunities that are closely aligned with one’s objectives. This advice helped me to create a number of collaboration opportunities.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by Indra Nooyi, former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and her remarkable leadership journey to reach the pinnacle of corporate leadership. Throughout her tenure at PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi consistently demonstrated a strong strategic vision for the company’s growth and success. I am particularly impressed by her Performance with Purpose approach at PepsiCo, which was a strategy aimed at driving long-term growth while also trying to have a positive impact on society and the environment. She actively championed diversity and inclusion. She shattered the glass ceiling by becoming one of the few women running a Fortune 500 company.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

Upgrading your knowledge is crucial in today’s rapidly evolving world, I have been keeping myself updated about latest advances in AI. I have been blown away by ChatGPT-4o and its multi-modal capabilities to accept any combination of text, audio, image, and video as input and to generate any combination of text, audio, and image as outputs. It is more efficient in understanding and generating human-like text and also offers improved context sensitivity. ChatGPT-4o can have more sophisticated and reliable conversations with the user with its ability to detect user emotions and generate speech with emotional nuances.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

Like most working mothers I too faced the challenge of balancing my professional goals and ambitions with motherhood. Eventually I did find an equilibrium where both career and family are nurtured. What I would do differently is finding this equilibrium sooner and placing a greater emphasis on self-care and mental well-being during these emotionally stressful times by setting clear boundaries in each role.

How do you unwind?

I unwind by being close to the nature. I prefer heading to idyllic locations in the Himalayas that provide a peaceful and serene setting and are surrounded by majestic landscapes. I like to immerse myself in activities like hiking trails or exploring wildlife. As I explore nature’s beauty, I practice mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing or meditation. Mountains help me attain inner peace. Disconnecting from the digital world for sometime helps to destress after a busy day.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your career?

Early on in my career, I transitioned from an individual contributor to a Project Lead and in the initial stages I wanted to review each deliverable and get involved in every decision that my team made. The major change in belief that helped me to grow was shifting from a mindset of control to one of team empowerment and trust. This helped me recognize the value of delegating tasks, fostering creativity, and encouraging innovation within my team. This shift also allowed me to focus on strategic initiatives while giving my team members opportunities for growth and development.

Everyone in business should read this book:

“Atomic Habits” is a book written by James Clear that focuses on the power of small habits and their ability to create significant changes in our lives. The author presents practical strategies and insights to help readers understand the science behind habit formation and how to effectively implement them. He emphasizes the importance of making tiny, incremental adjustments to our daily routines in order to achieve long-term success. Through various real-life examples, Clear illustrates how habits shape our identity and offers actionable steps for breaking bad habits, building good ones, and ultimately transforming our lives through small but consistent improvements.

Shameless plug for your business or career:

I have a proven track record of driving impactful technological transformations and delivering tangible business results. My strategic vision, leadership skills and technical expertise make me invaluable asset in shaping the future direction of the company. I am adept at identifying strategic opportunities for growth and mitigating potential risks associated with technology investments. I bring a strong understanding of corporate governance and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles. With my unique skills, experience and unwavering commitment to driving organizational success, I am keen to contribute to enhancing a company’s overall governance framework and its commitment to responsible business practices.

How can people connect with you?

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anjaliparadkar

Social Media Links?

www.linkedin.com/in/anjaliparadkar

This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.

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