Business Today

Digital diva

E. Kumar Sharma | Print Edition: May 15, 2011

She has redefined Facebook's mantra of staying connected. In just three years, Kirthiga Reddy has moved from being a casual user of this globally popular social networking medium to depending on it to stay connected with family and friends in another country, to building its operations in India from the ground up. In July 2010, Reddy, found herself in her "dream come true job" when she joined Facebook as its first employee in India.

Reddy had earlier been with well-known companies such as Silicon Graphics and Motorola. At Silicon Graphics, she was the youngest director of engineering and the only woman in this role in her team. Reddy was the first in her family to get a technical and business degree in the United States. She holds a master's in business administration from Stanford University and an M.S. in computer engineering from Syracuse University.

In fact, in her first job in the US, at Silicon Graphics, then a $2-billion company, she surprised her manager when she did not allow herself to be restricted to her job description, and instead did "what was needed for the company". At a software project with which she was involved, she went beyond her job and played a larger role, starting from defining the product and its interfaces.

She has big plans at Facebook. She wants to see the India operations as one of Facebook's global centres of excellence five years from now.

Kirthiga Reddy, 39,
Director, Online Operations, and Head, Facebook India
Been there: In 2000, she was the youngest director of engineering and the only woman in this role in her team at Silicon Graphics in the US
Done that: Started Facebook India operations from the ground up
A-ha moment: As Facebook India's first employee, she had to actually open the office shutters on Day One

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