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"Collaboration Is the Mantra, and to Do That, You Need to Network"

"Collaboration Is the Mantra, and to Do That, You Need to Network"

Supria Dhanda, Vice President and Country Manager for India, Western Digital

Supria Dhanda Supria Dhanda

What was the problem you were grappling with?

My biggest challenge during my first 90 days of becoming the Country Manager for India was shaping a playbook for the country with a bold vision. I firmly believed that India must be positioned as a strategic market. Therefore, it was crucial to ensure complete buy-in of the executive team and present a shared vision, channelising highly competent and aspiring engineering talent.

Who did you approach and why?

To understand a challenge entirely, you need to ask “why”. It is equally important to know the stakeholders you must collaborate with. I met executive leaders at the headquarters to understand their expectations and seek an opportunity to position India as a region with immense opportunities.

What was the advice you received?

As I was running on the road less travelled, I received much advice and words of caution. However, the best advice came from my manager, and it was to network, network, and network. I have valued that sincerely. Networking both within the company and outside, with the industry, media and government has been my focus from day one.

How effective was it in solving your problem?

In India, I led the designing of a nation-wide initiative to boost the start-up economy with the idea of ‘Data Innovation Bazaar’ in partnership with government bodies. There has been sustained growth of engineering divisions, increased brand awareness and new capabilities for short- and long-term growth. In the world of people, collaboration is the mantra, and to do that, you need to network.