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Sailaja Bhagavatula, Managing Director, Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India

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When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Sailaja is part of the leadership team of Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India (ATCI). In her role as the lead for ‘Intelligent Platform Services’ at ATCI, she is responsible for driving growth, innovation, sales enablement, solution support, and overseeing project delivery and helping clients achieve enterprise-wide transformation through Accenture’s deep technology, functional and industry expertise across platforms such as SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Workday.

Sailaja is also the Inclusion and Diversity Sponsor for Accenture in India, wherein she spearheads several innovative programs and initiatives that reinforce Accenture’s position as one of the most inclusive and diverse organizations globally. Under her leadership, Accenture has won accolades from NASSCOM, United Nations Global Compact Network, Avtar, Brandon Hall HCM and DIVHERSity for being among the top workplaces in India for women, and has undertaken several initiatives for PwD and LGBT+ inclusion.

She has 23 years+ of deep technology experience in the IT services industry, wherein she has held diverse leadership roles across sales, solution architecture, delivery, practice development and asset/IP building for Cloud/SaaS technologies. Sailaja has multicultural work experience across India, Japan and United Kingdom, and has held client liaison roles in Japan and UK for over four years.

Sailaja holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Andhra University, India. She is a fitness and travel enthusiast who enjoys swimming and playing badminton in addition to music, singing and playing the guitar. Sailaja lives with her husband and her two boys aged 16 and 11.

 

Top Tips

  • Look at career journey and progression as a marathon and not a short sprint. It is a long journey and you have to be in the race on a sustainable basis, pursuing learning and curiosity relentlessly.
  •  Career progression should not be looked at only as promotions
  • “Look to add value and be the best in everything you do” – comes from my belief in a line that I heard from Indra Nooyi – ““Whatever role/job you are in, do it better than anyone else”. If you do this, it will help you get other jobs and also get the right recognition.

 

THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU

Be intentional about your career and learn to speak about your achievements. Many people especially women are not comfortable speaking about their capabilities, achievements and aspirations. I was also in this boat a while back but have changed consciously over a period of time, thanks to advice given by some of my mentors.

YOUR KEY PIECE ADVICE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO PROGRESS

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. This is such a simple yet profound concept. We cannot get bogged down with hurdles and challenges, as there is always good learning and opportunities which emerge from challenges. We just need to have the courage to withstand those challenges and an eye to look for opportunities in the wake of challenging situations. This comes to life even more in situations we are in today with the pandemic.