Earlier this year, Radha Shelat left her high profile job as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Symantec to steer the engineering operations of a small startup. In the process she took a significant cut in her compensation.
For her, this is the start of another trek. She is preparing for the tough road ahead, which holds the possibility to experience the exhilarating sense of victory. But unlike the visible peak waiting to be conquered now, her initial professional goals were not clearly defined.
That did not deter this statistician from working her way up in the IT technical ladder. A year back, the India Development Center (IDC) at Veritas Software (now Symantec), developed 30 percent of its total patents: a testimonial to the team that Shelat was leading. She had contributed significantly in the effort to build this thousand strong team and in the process, made the two-product company, a 30-product organization. As a leader, this was her moment of victory. After thirteen years of scaling the heights, she had reached the peak.
How she got there
It was an exciting journey. She had stumbled into the world of computer science, while pursuing her doctorate in Probability at IT BHU. This landed her in a small and somewhat run down office at Frontier Services. But the steadfast and inquisitive mind soon found her goal hidden within the UNIX space and Systems files: A goal to enhance her contributions in the technical sector.
She was convinced about the technological potential in India. So during her six-month learning stint on File System in the U.S., she hit upon the idea of running similar operations from India. It haunted her till she decided to exorcise the ghost.