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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.

August - 2007 - issue > Woman Achiever

Flying the Kite of Achievement

Jaya Smitha Menon
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Jaya Smitha Menon
When Priti Rao, Senior Vice President and Head of Infosys, Pune Development Centre, says that life is not all about becoming a CEO one would rather give her a quizzical look. But that is Priti. She is just undaunted and unaffected by the aura that surrounds her as the head of the 14,000 people development centre in Pune. She is also the head of Infosys Infrastructure Management global practice, a new and rapidly growing business.

Carrying a mantle not many women are fortunate enough to don in their career, Priti has managed to steer clear her way to the top, with single minded determination. “I was very focused in life,” says Priti. Right from writing codes to heading the Europe software delivery for Infosys and later to the current positions she holds, it is this quality and self discipline which saw her rise to the top. In her career spanning more than 21 years, Priti has performed in a wide variety of roles in the software industry.

Priti identified her objectives quite early in life, right from the days she was a student in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. A post graduate in Computer Science from IIT-B, she wanted to be a techie in her career. She initially joined a small startup firm to work on development of operating systems and compilers. After working there for a period of 18 months she decided to move on to IT services, realizing the growth potential in this area. But before moving to another job, Priti decided to take a break of 3 years to be with her daughter.

“I was never too ambitious in life. I believe in enjoying both my personal life and professional life,” says Priti. So, she never took the break from her career subsequent to the birth of her daughter as a compromise or set back. She enjoys motherhood and believes that nothing could have ever compensated this bliss. Meanwhile, she also continued to do part time work for the company she was working with and it helped her to keep her skills current. After the break, Priti joined Larsen and Toubro (L&T) in 1987. L&T was one of the progressive companies which took to computerization early and Priti was heading the IT operations and management for the southern region of the company. Later, when L&T started its own Information Systems division, Priti played a key role in setting up the development center in Chennai which saw significant growth in a short time.

In 1997, it was time for her to come back to her home state, Maharashtra, due to personal reasons. She decided to leave behind the 10 year long challenging association with L&T and move over to Pune. It was then that she came to know about Infosys. During those days, Infosys was not so well known as it is today. When Priti joined Infosys Pune, the center had 200 people working there. Priti feels that this decision has had significant impact on her life. Later on, the company decided to expand its facility in Pune and set up a campus of their own.

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