AWIP India Goes Big with an Inspiring Launch

learning Mar 09, 2021

Credits: Advancing Women in Product Team, Monali Ovhal

Professional women in India -from all walks of life- are striving to propel their careers forward. Advancing Women in Product (AWIP), has just launched the AWIP Chennai Chapter in support and recognition of the huge potential and career momentum of these women.

The Chapter kick-off took place on February 28, 2020, at our co-sponsor PayPal. A lively group of more than fifty women in the product and technology community participated, with the excitement and strong commitment to make a difference in their careers and to lift each other up along the way.

The Launch was kicked off by an inspiring keynote session by Saichithra Swaminathan, Chief Portal, and Mobile Officer, Matrimony, who opened up the crowd with her optimistic and vibrant attitude. Saichithra echoed “If somebody says that you can’t do it that’s when you prove that you can do it.” She shared her journey of product and stressed the significance of a customer-centric approach when building products. While addressing the product enthusiasts, Saichithra drew parallels between product decisions and decisions from our daily lives; making informed decisions in the modern world vs. how things were done in the past, when we had a lack of data insights, modern tools, and AI. The session was engaging and interactive and she answered a lot of questions from the audience.

The keynote session left the audience energized and it set the stage for a panel discussion titled: “The career success track for women in tech” led by Vetrivel Sundaresan, Founder and Managing Director Healthmed Technologies, Anand Nergunam SVP Revenue Management and Growth, Zoho Corporation, Kalpana Tatavarti, Co-Founder and Director, Parity Consulting and Training and Saichithra Swaminathan. The panel discussed diverse topics such as pay parity, mentor-mentee engagement, work-life integration, evolving landscape for women in tech, women in leadership and unconscious bias.

Expert panelists discuss the career success track for women in tech

A point reinforced by all the panelists was that it is essential to invest the time to create and promote your brand to be successful in your career.

To engage the audience and blow the trumpet of AWIP’s presence in India, we encouraged people to ask questions and post about the event on social media.

Post-lunch, we had a workshop on negotiation skills spearheaded by Kalpana Tatavarti. It was a hands-on workshop with real-life scenarios to illustrate negotiation skills. This workshop was an eye-opener; the main takeaway was that negotiation skills are a key strength to develop in your career and essential to professional growth. The workshop left the audience with a new awareness that it’s fine to negotiate to get the desired and mutual results.

A simple framework for negotiation includes these questions:

What type of negotiator are you?

  • Aggressive

  • Accommodator

  • Assertive

Note: You can use this as a base guideline

What outcomes do you want from the relationship?

Do you know the DNA of the individual with whom you are negotiating?

  • Tank

  • Analyst

  • Follower

  • Combative

The AWIP Chennai event would not have been possible without the support of a core group of volunteers who put everything together in record time. Together, as a team, we strongly believe that step-by-step, we will make a difference.

AWIP core team and volunteers

AWIP Chennai and supporting community

Would you like to be part of this exciting journey and know what’s in store for the future?