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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

An inability to realize human relationships would be detrimental to the prospects of a good leader

Jayshree V Ullal
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Jayshree V Ullal
When I first flew across the seas with my family to the U.S.—I was apprehensive of how an Indian girl would fare in the high-technology arena—little idea did I know that years later I would call this country my home and be immersed in high-tech in Silicon Valley. I had merely intended to pursue my college studies in the U.S., what I perceived as a well-to-do country, with a great socio-economic environment.

After graduation in electrical engineering, an offer to work for a U.S. semiconductor firm came my way, and I accepted it simply to get some professional experience. I was determined to return to my homeland, India. Few years later while I was at AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), I met my husband Vijay who was in a rival company, Intel. Both of us were attracted not only to each other, but to common dream and pursuit to return to India some day.

Return I did, temporarily, to the glee of my grandfather (whom I was very attached to), to set up the Cisco India facility ten years ago. He was the pivot of my desire to return to India and it was a great joy to see him smile. Why am I mentioning all this seemingly unessential trivia?

It is to answer a question I am frequently asked but rarely seem to have a clear answer, which is “What was your plan for success? The truth is that I did not have a mega plan of what I would do in my years ahead nor did I plot a grand graph of my career.

Like most professionals, I wanted to excel in what I did and be successful. I took one step at a time; success came in small doses and often success begets more success, with occasional set backs too. For example, after the demise of my grandfather, I took a break since I longed to balance time with my family. Thoughts of how the break would affect my career did surface, but I gave precedence to my personal priority. Therein lies another major lesson of my life; there can be no substitute for human connections. I realize today that the very same realization lies at the core of a successful CEO.


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