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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.

November - 2009 - issue > Woman Achiever

Fortune favours the bold

Eureka Bharali
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Eureka Bharali
“To succeed we first must believe we can.” Sridevi Koneru at Cisco corroborates these words of Michael Korda. “Always believe in yourself and follow your instincts, be true to yourself and you will achieve your goals.” she asserts. Today, her self-belief has paid off, as she leads the wireless technology business unit driving critical product development and business decisions at Cisco. As the Director of Wireless Networking Business Unit at Cisco India, she drives the careers of 120 employees, enhancing their performance and productivity while developing wireless networking solutions.

Her thirst to learn more motivated her to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science after her graduation in the same discipline. “No one pushed me to take up Computer Science. I was good at mathematics and very analytical by nature, so it came to me easily,” she says. Filled with vigour and impatient by nature, Sridevi was rearing to start her career and joined her Professor’s start-up and then later a company called ‘Compression Labs’, a video conferencing solution provider, while studying for her Master’s degree. Once out of the university she joined ‘Stratacom’.

“I view every change as an inflection point”, she says. Sridevi, who was married by the time she finished her Master’s degree, found that she needed to adapt to the demands of raising a family, after sometime. For a while she was caught in a dilemma, faced by a lot of women, on how to strike an optimum work life balance. She had begun to work part time but felt that she was not doing justice to her career. During these times, she felt she was given projects as they required less expertise and she couldn’t demonstrate her capabilities through them. The zeal to establish her career and to build her own identity dawned on her only with the birth of her daughter. “The birth of my daughter was the turning point in my life and career. I realized the need to be an individual, the need to identify with my own life and the need to manage my career. After her birth, my mere job turned into my full-fledged career,” Sridevi expresses nostalgically. With the help of her supportive family she returned to work full time. She also managed to disprove the preconceived notions of others who questioned her ability to be a good mother and managed to achieve the much desired balance in her roles as a wife, mother, and a career woman.

The acquisition of Stratacom by Cisco was the silver lining in her career. She went onto to lead Cisco’s wireless networking business space. From then onwards there was no looking back for this spirited lady.

Her competitive spirit, her courageous outlook and ability to take risks are traits that she attributes to her active interest in sports which ranges from volleyball, hiking to adventure sports.

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