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May - 2006 - issue > Women in IT
Think Off the Tangent
Priya Pradeep
Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Five girls out of a class of 43 in REC Trichy; Jessie Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Wipro was always among the exclusive minority. Yet she didn’t feel as if the spotlight was too harsh. Instead she says, “At REC the deadline to return to the girls’ hostel was 10.30 p.m. and the boys were supportive in helping us finish our lab assignments in time. Later on I found the IT industry equally accommodative in various ways.” She finds the top management of the various IT companies she has worked for gender neutral and very supportive. Paul feels there has been nothing to lament upon in this regard to her career in the IT industry so far.

Paul however laments that our society wants high scorers to only fork into either engineering or medicine. She did the conventional but became adventurous when she chanced upon her colleague at Tata Elexsi doing more ‘interesting’ things than her, a la marketing. Hence began her foray into IT services marketing after joining Infosys. She got exposure into the global delivery model for marketing through Infosys and it thus kindled her fascination for international marketing. Unlike her contemporaries in this field she had prior experience in marketing with her stint at O&M, an advertising agency.

So good was Paul in her lateral thinking capacity that she along with her team clinched the deal of the Infosys partnership with Wharton Business School for the ‘Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award’ with just three slides at a presentation. Thus Infosys was ensured of the visibility for this award, which was the recipient of the U.S. based IT Services Marketing Association’s Diamond Award in 2002. “My confidence came from my passion,” she says. And from her innovative ideas too. At the retail show called ‘NRF’ in the U.S. Paul’s team attracted more traffic to Wipro’s booth though it was not the biggest by placing a box with no joints, which read, “Whoever can open this box will win a prize.” Well no prizes for guessing where this innovative lady’s career will take her.
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