Women leaders are still a minority in the business world. In many organisations across the world, men outnumber women in leadership roles.
In such a male dominated world, becoming a leader is no cakewalk for a woman.
Enter Sindhu Gangadharan from Bengaluru who broke the glass ceiling to become the first woman to head SAP Labs India, a German tech giant, leading a team over 8,000.
Sindhu, who took up the role of Managing Director of SAP Labs India last year, is responsible for SAP’s development facilities in Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, and Gurugram.
Born and brought up in Bengaluru, Sindhu spent about 18 years in Germany and relocated back to Bengaluru.
After completing her studies from Bangalore University, she joined SAP Labs two decades ago in 1999, at a time when the company had just set up its operations in Bengaluru.
Sindhu later moved to SAP’s headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, working on various products, technology, and innovation platforms, and has held several strategic and leadership positions managing global teams.
Within SAP itself, Sindhu has held various leadership positions and played a pivotal role in shaping SAP’s integration strategy by growing SAP’s integration product portfolio as Head of Product Management for SAP Cloud Platform Integration, IoT, and SAP Process Orchestration.
Sindhu has set an example for many women — especially mothers across India who aspire to have independent careers in this competitive corporate world.
At a time when most people struggle to keep a work-life balance, Sindhu, who is also a mother of two, approaches work in a different way.
In an interview, Sindhu said that for her, it’s about enjoying every part of the journey and learning from it. “These were often discussions on this in Germany, and I always felt there’s nothing like work-life balance. Work is also a significant part of one’s life,”
A strong advocate of using technology to benefit customers and the society, Sindhu is also a strong believer in diversity being key for any successful organisation and has been actively contributing towards SAP’s drive for women in technology.
Sindhu stated that people in Germany used to ask if it was any different for her growing up in India, and she always said it wasn’t.
“Growing up in Bengaluru, my mother had the same expectations from me that she had of my two brothers. Women are evolving away from compartmentalisation. Our focus is on achieving a flow between all aspects of our lives,” she added.
Sindhu believes that irrespective of gender, it is what you bring to the table, articulating what you know, and bringing your best self to work that matters while climbing to a higher position. Having said that, she strongly believes the need for more women to join the workforce.
(Edited by Kanishk Singh)