MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Vidya Venugopal, Business Development Leader Middle East & India at Pelco has been chosen to be SPA’s member of the month for her exceptional contribution in the organisation of our first ever event of its kind ‘Women in Security’ by the Security Professional Association.
We interviewed Vidya to find out more about her experience and her role in the industry for the last 17 years.
Q: Small description of who you are
A: I am a tech savy People person. I enjoy meeting people, listening to their experiences, share ideas on how creatively we can solve issues on the business front. That in fact would pretty much sum up the job I am in. I work at Pelco, a Motorola Solutions Company and lead the Business Development Team across the Middle East and India region. Personally, I am a mother to a delightful 9 year old, have often been called over enthusiastic, or the planner in the group, with hobbies that range from being a bookworm, music to cycling among other outdoor activities.
Q: What's the best thing about your job?
A: Two things. One - that I get to meet and interact with different people every day. I enjoy tremendously the prospect of networking, learning cultures and personalities, scrutinising business challenges and along the way making friends that have lasted over years. No one day customer, site or project is the same and that keeps me on my toes at all times.
Two - The team that I work with. As cliched as it is, they really are the best colleagues. We don't function as individuals but as one team and that truly is precious in this world today. No politics.
Q: How did you get to this position?
A: It’s been a long ride of wearing multiple hats across 17 years. I started off as a JAVA programmer and then was a Presles Consultant, Account Executive, Account Manager. I have always risen to the challenge that's been presented to me and that is one of my key strengths. As Nelson Mandela says, It always seems impossible until it is done. I truly believe in this, so every time an opportunity has come my way I have met it heads on. I am also grateful to some amazing mentors that have guided me, coached me and at times also pushed me to take on new avenues. I also think perseverance goes a long way in reaching your goal. There will always be bumps on the road, but that's when you steady up, enjoy the view and move ahead. Always give it a go being the motto!
Q: How long have you worked in this industry?
A: It will be 17 years this December
Q: What drew you to this field?
A: Technology has always been a passion, but my second job introduced me to the Security side of the business. I find it a fascinating space since its about protecting human life as well as the technology requirements and security needs change depending on the type of industry you are in. For example an Oil and Gas facility has very different needs from a retail shop entity. So there is a lot of thought and design required to meet many of the customer needs particularly with more business applications coming into play.
Q: How long have you been with this company?
A: I’ll complete 7 years with Pelco this December
Q: Which has been more valuable in your career, your education or your experience?
A: I do believe that each have a role to play. It is the education of being an Electronics Engineer that helped me start my career but I would think the experience you gain over the years is invaluable. I have had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects, including the Burj Khalifa and I don't think theoretical knowledge alone can make you successful in these unique situations.
Q: How does this company differ from others you've worked for?
A: I have been fortunate to work in some fantastic teams over my career, however Pelco is undoubtedly special. One, the company brings an amazing legacy of being a brand that has adopted and grown through decades of newer technology and business changes. The best words to describe Pelco is resilient and committed. Resilient to go through Change and Unwavering Commitment to the Customer despite all challenges internal or external. That continues to be Pelco's greatest strength. Another huge strength in this organisation is its people, Globally, Pelco employees are extremely passionate about the brand and that resonates in their work. Going the extra mile is just another day at work and a culture of Team winning together is always seen above individual performances. I think that has been a driver in Pelco's success in the region.
Q: What advice do you have for someone new to the industry?
A: Be a sponge, the industry is vast but extremely important and hence hands on experience is vital. Use every opportunity to learn. Also network with people who are in the industry. SPA is providing a wonderful platform for security professionals to connect. Make good use of these platforms. Most people will be happy to mentor you. All you need to do is reach out. I am happy to help anyone who is looking for any kind of assistance to grow in this exciting field.
Sales, presales, commissioning, project management design products services etc. There are so many aspects to the security industry. If you are willing to learn and work hard, nothing can stop you for achieving success here.
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