Women must have a strong vision

Subela Bhatia, Founder and Managing Director for IMPERIUM Middle East in conversation with Security MEA talks about her career in the technology industry 

Tell us about your leadership style and philosophy.
My leadership style is a blend of transactional and consultative approach.

What prompted you to consider a career in technology?
My career in technology began when I moved to Dubai 15 years ago, as I got an opportunity to work in cybersecurity with one of the leading value-added distributors. I was responsible for setting up the cybersecurity training division, which propelled my interest in cybersecurity, and slowly I expanded my job function to include sales of Firewalls, Antivirus solutions and several other security products.

What do you think is the best part of being a woman in the tech industry?
The best part of being a woman in the tech industry is that we can use empathy and our natural instinct of problem-solving to our advantage by resolve the challenges faced by our prospects and customers.

Do you feel you have had to work harder than male colleagues to advance your career?
The answer to that question is yes. This was true when I started my career over 30 years ago and even when i restarted my new career phase in cybersecurity over 15 years ago.

This however have both positive and negative impact. The positive aspect is that as a woman we tend to work harder than men to prove ourselves and convince our male colleagues that we are here to stay and pursuing our passion just like they do.

On the negative side, which I feel is that it makes us, more aggressive not only in work but also in our personal lives that is not great always.

What motivates you every day?
Excitement to speak with new clients, interacting with like minded people, networking with peers and on the top recommend solutions to the meet the requirements of my customers; in other words I enjoy solving the pain points of my customers.

What is the best professional advice you have ever received?
That I am wasting myself in a service delivery or coordination role. Since, that day in the year 2003, I switched my role and followed myself into sales, and ever since I have never looked back.

What’s next for you in terms of your career in the tech industry?
I want to go from a successful startup to a profitable company offering cybersecurity and learning solutions.

What are your thoughts on the next transformation in the tech industry?
Digital Transformation, everything will be on a digital platform and on a cloud platform. Selling will change totally and value-added services will rule the business and be key to the profits. Upskilling will be a mandate and not a choice for survival.

What advice would you give to women looking to break into the field of computer technology?
Women must have a strong vision and some structured qualification in computers. It could be cybersecurity, cloud or anything.

Can you offer few tips on achieving work-life balance in today’s scenario?
Yes, I can, I believe that family needs to be supportive of your career vision and goals. And, multitasking needs to be a habit rather than an exception. Last but not the least, give work a priority but never let work life win over family, if the situation comes to that.