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Veena Padmanabhan
Veena Padmanabhan

Veena Padmanabhan

Director - Talent Mgt & OD

Schneider Electric


Veena Padmanabhan is a member of:

- Expert
My Introduction
I did my graduation from Delhi University and my post-graduation from
XLRI. I have 18 years’ of experience predominantly in IT industry and
across various Corporate and Business HR roles - having started my
career with Wipro in 1994 and currently with Schneider Electric since
mid-2011. Over the course of my career, I have tried to explore the
different facets of the larger people function by being open to
different roles – hiring to line HR, capability building and M&A.
The most interesting area I have worked on has been in harnessing
employee interest in areas around Sustainability – for the environment.
Role I Play in My Company
Schneider Electric is a global specialist in energy management with
operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers
integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including
leadership positions in energy and infrastructure, industrial processes,
building automation and data centres/networks, as well as a broad
presence in residential applications. Focused on making energy safe,
reliable, and efficient, the companys 130,000 plus employees achieved
sales of 22.4 billion euros in 2011, through an active commitment to
help individuals and organizations “Make the most of their energy.”

Schneider Electric, I work as Director – Talent Management & OD.
The primary responsibility of my role is to create a high performance
culture and identify and nurture talent.
Making the Right Career Move During the Journey
In hindsight, I would say that I was open to different roles, locations
and businesses which have helped me become a well rounded professional. I
am curious and like to know more about the businesses, and therefore
the impact of the people and processes in the success of any team and
My Personal Leadership Vision.
To do the right thing – however difficult it may be, be it in personal
or professional capacity. Challenge as a leader is how to create the
space and trust for people to do the right thing.
The Challenges Faced Being a Woman
I have always seen myself as a professional first. Yes, there are
situations which remind you about your gender and it has almost always
been outside of the office.  In the early days I got used to Placement
officers in different engineering colleges looking at the door
expectantly to see someone else walk in (maybe a grey haired male!) and
sometimes even asking me if someone else was accompanying me.  And yes,
on some occasions I have learnt to be vigilant especially when
travelling alone.
Ways to Maintain a Healthy Work-life Balance
We all face challenges in finding time for all that we want to do, be it
work, the demands of family or pursuit of hobbies and interests. I
don’t view work and life as separate, and like everything else, there
never is a perfect balance all the time. Sometimes work takes
precedence, sometimes pursuit of hobby and sometimes the family. But as
long as there is a passion and commitment to do all of them well, one
will able find the time.

Starting Over from Scratch, What I Would Like to do Differently
would perhaps not have taken myself as seriously as I think I did in
the early days of my career. I would still like to give my best as I
tried to, but in a more light hearted manner.
“Women leaders are a driving force for powering business” Explain
There are more women working today than ever before, be it in
organizations or running smaller firms, small businesses or give their
time and talent to causes of social relevance.  This brings diverse
perspectives to any organization and ensures that organizations do not
fall into the rut of being uni-dimensional. However, like all things,
this diversity needs to be managed well and thoughtfully for the above
value to be realized.
Learning Process During my Career Days and Achievement Gained.
Persistence and patience – there is no alternative mantra! I believe that if you stick with these two, success will follow.
Couple of Years from Now
I would see myself spending larger amounts of my time on solving the sustainability challenges that business will confront.
Career Accomplishment that I am proud of
On the professional front, I was extremely proud of taking on a consulting role for a year in the Sustainability area.
Advice/ suggestions
Follow your passion and paths open up.
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