Kalyan Sridhar, PTC: Taking challenges head on
Selected as India’s Most Trusted CEO 2020, Kalyan Sridhar of PTC believes the core value in everything is execution. Leads the industry with precise execution every-time.
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
A lot of my decisions have been and will continue to be based on my values – I believe in execution. All great decisions and ideas are worthless if it is not practical and executable.
An accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
There have been many accomplishments that has touched me and has had made a positive impact in the lives of people. A recent one is the skill development project that PTC has played a pivotal role in and executed through our partner Tata Technologies at Chandrapur. We are going through a difficult time with COVID and the team came up with a Robot to assist doctors in treating Covid 19 patients in the district of Chandrapur. The aim is to ensure minimum contact between medics and the patients. A very significant project that is helping the mankind during this difficult phase.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
It’s a very important part of what I do on a day to day basis. Our partnership with various state governments and educational institutions are part of what we give back to our great country. The example above is an illustration of that.
Besides that; PTC is involved in several activities in the area of CSR and philanthropy. The details below, highlight the same.
- SHE Leads Series
SHE Leads because that’s what she does the best! The SHE LEADS series is an introspective and interactive dialogue with the women of PTC India, sharing their journeys on how women have broken barriers to create the perfect balance between professional and personal spheres. The journey is all about reinventing yourself by unlearning and learning and create the optimum equilibrium in the mind, body and soul. The capsules offers a peek into each other’s success stories, industry practices, inspirations from women who have successfully smashed the glass ceiling and established their footprint in the technology world. With the current unprecedented situation across the country, we have ensured that we continue with the series through the virtual medium.
- Avatar – 2019 Best Companies for Women in India
- PTC secured a leading spot to be amongst the top 100 companies in the Avatar – 2019 Best Companies for Women in India survey. The BCWI (Best Companies for Women in India study) had 357 companies, across industry verticals on various parameters involving gender inclusivity and a review of the industry best practices. The survey focused on best practices across areas of women’s recruitment, retention and advancement, benefits and work-life balance offerings, company culture and management accountability, career enablement, advancements, safety and security aspects.
- Gender Neutrality and Sensitisation Workshops
- Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is vital to our business strategy and culture at PTC. We strive to promote greater diversity and inclusion through ongoing discussions and focus sessions, improvements to our global benefits and practices, creation of our D&I goals, and establishment of the new D&I team at PTC. Pune center organised gender neutrality workshops for all the leaders, managers and employees.
- Pushing Beyond Limits – Each for Equal
- In lieu of the International Women’s Day and as we pledged for an Each for Equal world, PTC saluted the real heroes who go beyond above and beyond their call of duty each day through notorious terrains and weathers. PTC Pune hosted the para athletes of the Army Sports Institute who shared their life journey and achievements with us during this session. Each story is a tale of a soldier’s grit and determination from the jaws of death to dreaming of winning gold for India in the next Olympics. And what deserves rousing accolades and greater appreciation more than their sporting achievements is their spirit and resolve to beat the odds life has thrown at them. These soldiers surpass their battle casualties to scale greater heights in sports representing India in many national and international championships. The interaction with these brave hearts left most of us teary eyed.
- Celebrating Global Diversity through Storytelling
- PTC celebrated the Global Diversity Week through engaging story telling sessions from around the globe. The India team spoke to Kavitha Shinde, Senior Director User Assistance, to hear her story around inclusion and diversity. The session gave a peek through her personal and professional journey on the global community platform. She spoke about how inclusion and diversity has been a part of her DNA right from the very beginning and PTC has been an encouraging platform all through her career at the organisation.
- Global Earth Week at PTC
- Global Earth Week was celebrated from Apr 13- 24th wherein PTC and PTI India shared their ‘Go Green’ stories. Across the entire week, best of stories were broadcasted to all employees over emails, keeping in mind the COVID19 social distancing guidelines. The employees spoke about their eco contribution and walking the extra mile towards a clean and green environment.
- Employee Reach Out Program
- PTC India reached out to over 56 employees who were stuck during the lockdown away from their families. The HR Team identified and reached out to the employees across Pune and Delhi/NCR. Two employees were stuck in Australia and the team reached out to them to ensure they are safe and doing well. During one such conversation, the team noted that one employee from the Pune team was stuck at home without any food supplies. Immediately the team reached out to the local NGO for support and dry ration packets were delivered to his doorstep under 24 hours.
- Virtual Socials
- PTC went the extra mile to ensure that all the team members are connected to each other through the virtual medium during these unprecedented times. From talent shows, to conversations with people who have gone the extra mile to acknowledging PTC COVID warriors for their contribution in these times. The team has provided packed meals, raised funds for the underprivileged, worked with sanitary workers, senior citizens and ensured food for migrant workers. We all are fighting battles in our own way during this situation and we appreciate each one for their contribution to surpass these times. We are proud to be working with such selfless colleagues.
- Week of Caring
- PTC also organised many fund raising activities in all the offices of India during the Week of Caring. Together we raised funds to procure food grains for an old age home in Pune. Funds were also raised for an NGO for homeless underprivileged communities in Delhi/NCR.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
To be honest I never used to give a thought on how to live my life. My philosophies have changed over the years from being the best I can be to inspiring others to live their lives and to learn every day. But after a medical condition that I went through recently, I started being more mindful, spending time with myself and my loved ones. I am consciously trying to learn everyday and teach others what life has taught me.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
I try and contribute time and effort on a few social causes. I help a residential care home for girls and women with disability and also play a small role in an NGO that promotes literacy in India.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition? I view success incrementally.
I am invigorated by new challenges and I would like to make a difference in other people’s lives. I never would want to find myself in a situation where I feel there’s nothing left to achieve or learn.
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less. Tell me about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
Everything PTC does is helping customers do more with less. Our digital transformation projects with our technology at the core are all aimed at improving operational efficiency, faster new product development, better quality etc
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
Perpetual Optimism. One should not wait for official blessings to try things out. Be prudent though and not reckless. I believe that the statement if it is not broken, don’t fix it is for the complacent. Try to be as pro-active as you can get and question status quo.
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has / can contribute for the same?
There are many dimensions of an empowered society that I can think of –some of which I think is critical for civilised society includes empowering women, equal opportunity without any barriers defined by birth privileges and finally inclusive society which doesn’t discriminate based on any individual differences. Society and economy are also very closely linked and it is like one breathes of the other, an industry can empower an economy which in turn empowers a society.
For example, the technology that we provide helps companies to improve efficiency, innovate and bring about changes in the way operations are conducted – that sometimes also redefines workspaces that becomes more inclusive and empowering for women.
PTC has also been leading the world in bringing about societal transformations. Some of the initiatives have been outlined under the question 3 (CSR and philanthropy we are engaged in) are our way to empower the society
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
One thing that I would like to change or see change is increasing the proportion of women in the engineering and technology fields. Especially in the manufacturing industry. I believe we are in a good position as a country on this subject, and we are on a good path.
I would like to retain the excitement for new technology and the appetite for change. The Indian industry have demonstrated a great deal of innovation and we are also good at changing with the new technologies and evolving customers.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
Sometimes as a leader we need to use judgement very objectively. It is not easy to have that sense of objective judgement in making decisions in all kinds of day to day matters. What we have to let go of when we are in the leadership position is to let go of any subconscious biases that may form over the years due to societal cloud and unconscious learning and embrace very objective way of judging by putting one self in every different shoe and looking at matters objectively and make decisions which are favourable for the business and society.
Who do you owe your success to?
To my past. While I know we need to leave the past behind, I take the learnings from them and that I believe has helped me.
Best thing about your job?
No day is the same. Each day presents a new challenge which helps me stay focused and creative.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
Don’t always run at breakneck speed. Stop and have fun. Learn to appreciate the small things in life.
About Kalyan Sridhar
Successful leader with proven track record of 27+ years in senior executive roles spanning Sales, Business Development, Business Operations and Channel Sales in the IT industry, Kalyan is the SVP and Country Manager for PTC. He joined PTC in 2015 and has put PTC India on a very aggressive growth trajectory buoyed by the very strong portfolio as well as a vibrant market for PTC in India. Prior to PTC, Kalyan was the Business Unit Executive for Systems Software for India / South Asia. Kalyan was with IBM for 17 years and has done a variety of roles. Kalyan joined IBM via the Lotus acquisition and went on to run the Lotus business for India / South Asia. He’s also led the Rational Software business before moving into the Channels role. Kalyan’s also had a stint in running the Sales and Operations for IBM Software. A science graduate with post graduation in business administration, Kalyan is an avid Golf and Cricket enthusiast.