Dr Sujitha Karnad
Building technology solutions to enrich the life of every woman so she can be who she chooses to be
Sujitha Karnad is an accomplished executive who has the rare combination of business acumen, technology, and a deep understanding of driving cultural and operational transformation.
With more than three decades of experience in high-tech and IT firms, she has a proven track record of building and leading world-class organizations, running successful businesses, mergers, and playing several strategic leadership roles.
She recently turned entrepreneur to co-create a tech-enabled platform exclusively for women, branded LeadNOW (NOW – Nurturing Outstanding Women).
Her background in Engineering, and a Doctorate in cognitive social structures helps Sujitha create innovative solutions for the highly collaborative world we live in.
Sujitha is a trailblazer both as a business leader and a role model for young professionals. Her passion for leadership, commitment to the professional development of others and focus on providing high-quality client service, makes her an ideal mentor. She values the opportunity to share the wisdom and experience she has gained to help other women build a path through the complex environment of technology roles into a unique and fulfilling career. She has mentored over 300 women in the past decade through decisions about changing roles and client responsibilities, managing workloads, and on networking extensively for meaningful opportunities.
People from all ranks agree that Sujitha’s ability to coach and mentor others is one of her greatest strengths.
She started as a R&D engineer in India’s premier Telecom firm C-DOT and graduated through the ranks to become one of the earliest product managers in the country for first-of-its kind supercomputer. Her leadership roles in both Indian and global multinationals established a few firsts, such as creating the first back-end 10K Clean room for a semiconductor equipment major or running a time-bound JV for a large German bank. Her key accomplishments include growing businesses 3x-5x, managing a workforce strength over a 100,000 with diverse nationals and generations, and having matched needs of the business with innovation. She has been instrumental in driving Inclusion & Diversity initiatives for the Mahindra Group, a top ten Indian conglomerate.
Her focus has been in helping women start (and restart), stay, and grow in careers of their choice. Today, LeadNOW touches several thousands of women across urban India to solve problems across their personal, social, and organisational spheres using content based on primary research, through discussion forums, events, coaching, thereby creating network effects on a unique platform. Often arguing a mindset reboot is needed to make a cultural shift, she has worked on unconscious bias training to breakdown institutional barriers to acceptance and progression of women in IT. She has designed returnship programs for experienced professional women to not only get back after a break, but into senior roles too. Through both in-person and webinars hosted on LeadNOW, she inspires young women to make a career in computing and technology. The data-driven approach by using several research tools created by her, gives organisations a scientific way to design and implement gender-based initiatives.
Her key speaking engagements for several organisations focuses on ‘why networking is important, and more so for women’. Drawing from her research thesis, she delves deep into the anatomy of networks, making her audience understand the structure of their networks than merely speak about it as a skill. Apart from this, she often speaks at the Agile India Conference, Product Leadership forum, Global HR forums, NASSCOM to list a few.