“Take the accountability, fire the passion, and launch the rocket,” says Preeti Jalla Razdan, Delivery Partner, Infosys. A self-starter, Preeti believes in facing challenges head-on, learning from failures to emerge stronger, and inspiring people to strive for excellence.
Talking to YS as part of the ongoing ‘I am the future’ series that celebrates successful women leaders at Infosys, Preeti discusses how her early experiences have shaped her what she is today, her flourishing career and learning experiences at Infosys, leadership mantras, and efforts to build a diverse and inclusive atmosphere for everyone around her.
“My mother was very particular. She always said you will learn day-to-day tasks over a period of time, but you have to prioritise your hard skills and spend time there,” says Preeti recalling how her mother encouraged her to develop a skill set and pushed her to build her niche to stand out from the crowd.
It was this perseverance that helped Preeti develop an all-round personality. From dance to debate to academics, Preeti shined in every department. She recalls her family narrating stories of freedom fighters and activists who have worked towards the upliftment of women. She further shares how she learned a lot from her participation in social volunteering projects alongside her father.
“Being the head girl in school taught me the importance of taking people along and driving things. During my college days, my interest and pursuit of dance, art and literature, helped me understand diverse cultures … Today, I am in a role where I am expected to manage multiple teams globally, and this quite comes very naturally,” Preeti tells YS.
Learnings at Infosys
Prior to joining Infosys, Preeti dabbled in fields such as product development, managing businesses across domains, defining product roadmaps, and developing solutions across evolving technologies such as online payments, m-commerce, e-commerce, internet banking, online gaming, and more.
“After gaining this exposure, I wanted to develop skills in IT core services, and there was no better name than Infosys. Hearing a lot about the charismatic leadership and the great work environment, I felt that it would give me a level playing field to develop and grow. And, that’s how my Infosys journey started,” she adds.
Right from getting words of appreciation and encouragement from the legendary Narayana Murthy for her first project to excelling in multiple roles across departments, Preeti’s journey at Infosys has been full of opportunities, and she has used these experiences to build a level playing field for others.
A champion for women in the workforce
With stereotypes being prevalent in the society and women’s professions still considered to be secondary as opposed to their male counterparts, Preeti insists that this is a transition generation that’s blessed with technology as an enabler to explore various opportunities. She also perceives this as one of main reasons for the increase in the number of women achievers and role models.
“Stereotypes have been getting shattered [in every field]. Women are owning their careers. Questioning the status quo has never been easy, because it is so deep-rooted in society, and it is a mindset issue. So, be positive, contribute, and perform,” she adds.
Preeti speaks about the first inter-corporate women-only hackathon that she organised amidst much apprehensions from her larger team. With an overwhelming participation of women techies, the hackathon was a resounding success. Preeti counts this experience as one of her most satisfying moments.
She insists that it is important for women to view themselves as role models, relentlessly aspire, and achieve more. “I used to question gender bias whenever I witnessed anything in the larger society. My parents encouraged me to become a role model to answer those biases,” she quips. Preeti hopes all workplaces become inclusive and equitable by the time her daughters join the workforce.
Message for aspiring techies and professionals
Some of the biggest challenges for today’s generation include managing multiple roles, conflicting priorities, and keeping up the passion, every single day. Preeti believes that continuous learning, integrity, and commitment are key to ensure success and is excited to see the younger generation, including her children, taking her beliefs forward.
She insists that leaders need to energise, encourage, and empower their teams. “For every individual, passion with a purpose, ability to look at the bigger picture, and learning to celebrate yourself to be able to celebrate others are important aspects to cultivate,” Preeti concludes.