Kirthiga Reddy

My Story

At Rashtrapati Bhavan, official residence of the President of India, for 30 Women in Power event.

Nurturing the Dream
I grew up in India in a loving, middle-class family. My father moved cities every few years as part of his several decades-long tenure at Lloyds Steel, and we moved with him. We lived in large metros like Chennai and Mumbai, mid-sized cities like Nashik, Nagpur and Tarapur, and small towns like Dandeli and Nanded. From my dad, I picked up his strong work ethic, the value of ‘planning my work and working my plan’, and the spirit of making the most of opportunities given to you. My mother gave me spirituality, the ability to see cheer no matter what the situation was, and a can-do attitude. 
My introduction to technology was initially driven by societal pressures in India about medicine and engineering being aspirational career paths to pursue. While that may have been my entry, I quickly fell in love with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). I am grateful for female role models like Padmasree Warrior, formerly CTO Motorola, and now CEO, Fable, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook. I am also a product of the mentorship and sponsorship of countless men and women, across levels (senior, peers, junior) and am committed to paying-it-forward.
My mom did not have the opportunity to finish high school. As I reflect on the change within one generation, I am filled with optimism about what’s possible for the next generation and responsibility for driving the change.”

Big Bold Vision

I look for three fundamental factors in anything I do: Is it a big bold vision that I believe in? Are there people I can learn from every day? Do I bring the expertise to be a game changer to deliver on the vision?   

During my tenure at Facebook India, I had the opportunity to see the impact of the mobile transformation on people, businesses and communities. My role at SBIA was yet another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to be part of one of the largest tech funds in the world; work with inspirational founders who are redefining the future across industries.   

Taking the Plunge

The secret to a successful career lies in being a perpetual learner. The lessons from my managers, mentors, and trusted advisors are all guiding forces, propelling me to work smarter and attain more.  Every role, every task, and every failure is an opportunity to learn and evolve. It is terrifying to test new waters but just as liberating to forgo your inhibitions. At every crossroad in my life, I make my decisions by asking myself the question that you will find in posters in every Facebook office: ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ 

The Balancing Art

For women, the biggest dilemma is choosing between their personal goals and their professional goals. But why choose one over the other when you can do both? I chose to push the boundaries of the options I had and, more often than not, turn ‘Or’s into ‘And’s.  

There is never a perfect time for getting married or having children, but if these are important life goals and one feels ready, I believe that the converse is true – it is always a perfect time! Prepare as much as you can, and then take the plunge. Nature conspires to make dreams come true if you feel passionately about them and are willing to work hard to make them reality. Accept offers of help, believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who believe in you almost more than you believe in yourself and celebrate milestones along the journey. 

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