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Pratima Amonkar
Pratima Amonkar

Pratima Amonkar

Director Audience Marketing for Developer and Platform Evangelism

Microsoft India

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Pratima Amonkar is a member of:

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My Introduction
A
Keralite, born at Chennai, brought up at Mumbai, studied in the UK,
married to a Goan and living in Bangalore –a veritable melange of
regional and international influences have shaped me in to the person
that I am today. I am an ambitious, driven individual who believes in
the power of hard work and sincere efforts. Approachable and fairly
empathetic, I find that people rely on my advice and input both at work
and on their personal front.  This empathy also shapes my leadership style and helps me build high performing teams.
Role I Play in My Company

I lead and am the Director for Audience Marketing for Microsoft India.


In
this role, I am responsible for spearheading Microsoft India’s efforts
to foster the Indian software ecosystem through deep strategic
engagements with professional developers, IT Managers, students,
educators,institutions and thought leaders. I conceptualize strategy and
execution to drive broad platform adoption and cultivate a vibrant
ecosystem of customers,partners and developers that will be loyal to,
excited about, and satisfied with MS.  Our
team focuses primarily on early adoption of Microsoft’s emerging
technologies and building the momentum for the products. Education is
also a key Microsoft imperative. I am also responsible for the strategy
and vision behind Microsoft India’s initiatives in the higher-education
Eco-system.  I lead the necessary activities to support skill &workforce development in the country and
Microsoft’s role in higher education & technical academia.
Making the Right Career Move During the Journey
One
of the first important career decisions I took was to join NIIT in it’s
early days as a member of the faculty. Computers, IT and careers in IT
were in an ascent stage in India in those days and I was excited to be
part of technology. It is that passion for technology that has kept me
in IT and related fields throughout the 22 years of my career graph.
This was also an important period because it was at NIIT that I realized
that I enjoyed working and connecting with people and helping to shape
careers. The next important decision I took was to leave the safe haven
of this first job, after 10 years,and join another young, ‘start-up’ at
India which had a large global presence –Rational Software. This
heralded the beginnings of my marketing and ‘evangelism’ career when the
work that I did helped customers adopt rational tools and software
easily. After the company was taken over by IBM, I spent 2 years earning
the ropes of working at a large MNC. In
my opinion though, the next biggest career decision I made was to join
another start up called Professional Aptitude Council, a
psychometric and aptitude testing San Francisco based organization where I learn the ropes of running a young business.  My
move to Sun Micro systems followed by my current career move to
Microsoft India was all important from a growth and learning
perspective.
My Personal Leadership Vision.

To
me leadership is all about helping yourself and others around you
–peers, managers, and team members realize their full potential.
Leadership is about change, hope and building the future. As a leader it
is crucial to assume responsibility for outcomes and the processes and
execution. Leaders must expect to be judged by what we do and how well
we do it – not by what we say we want to do.  I
think managers evolve into leaders when they are able to put personal
performance in perspective and invest in developing others, while
expanding their own horizons.

The Challenges Faced Being a Woman
Firstly
I think the status today is very much better than what it was even10-15
years ago. Career choices for women exist. The challenges are not so
much at entry level or mid managerial level but closer to the top. Here
statistics show that less than 16% of the top CXO, COO CEO Positions are
women leaders.One of the reasons is that not enough women stay on the
workforce. I think one of the key challenges that women face is
consistently underestimating their own capabilities. I keep trying to
remember the adage that “your perception creates your own reality”. We
must know ourselves well and remember that we own our own success. The
second thing I strongly believe in is the power of having a good guide
and mentor in your career progression. I am very fortunate in that I
have some very good leaders as mentors and I can rely on them for
strong, direct advice and leadership examples.
Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work-life Balance
I
absolutely hate it when women are particularly asked this question.
Work-life balance is not gender specific. It is a factor of
organizational culture, job and role type and individual preferences.
Men and women alike face work-life balance issues in varying degrees.
All the same, I do agree that at certain phases of life, one might
choose to prioritize family exigencies over work or vice-verse.
Balancing health, family, friends and work is not just a ‘woman’
issue;it is gender neutral and very individualistic.
Ways of Doing Things Differently if Given a Chance to Start from Scratch
Not
much. I think every experience and every step of my career was
important.There are situations I would have handled differently, but
those entire ads up to the holistic experience of my career.

“Women leaders are a driving force for powering business” Explain
Businesses
all over the world are realizing that a diverse workforce helps to
reflect the diversity of the consumer base. Companies need to match up
to the market and respond proactively to the changes in the market. To
be competitive in the long run, organizations have to be able to listen
and react to their customers’ needs. This is possible only if the
organization reflects from top-down the diversity of the market.
Learning Process During my Career Days and Achievement Gained.
Investing
in the team and in yourself is key to success. Taking bets on the right
people & taking well-planned risks in your career will help you on
the growth path of learning and career success. The two key attributes
that helped me along the way were striving to take on big, bold
challenges and driving for results with passion.
Couple of Years from Now
Planning to continue with marketing&business priorities for Microsoft. 
Career Accomplishment that I am proud of
This
is not an accomplishment – but I am very proud of my family. My husband
is my best friend, I have two wonderful daughters and I am blessed with
a loving, extended family circle.
Advice/ suggestions
This
is not to women leaders but to all women – some words from Helen Keller
– Don’t consent to creep when you have the impulse to soar.
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