I have built a successful business that has a strong value system at its core: Sarika Malhotra, CEO, C3IT Software Solutions

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Sarika Malhotra, CEO, C3IT Software Solutions

For me having ethics and value is very important and I am proud to say that ethics are the backbone of all that our company, C3IT does. We never compromise with that. Each C3ITian is committed to our value system in all interactions with customers, partners, and stakeholders

Journey as an entrepreneur
C3IT is the second venture that I started in early 2002. My becoming an entrepreneur was purely by chance. Neither have I had a business background, nor any formal qualification for running a business. So this was not easy for me. The going was quite tough in the first few years. If you have a partner who is like-minded then it’s really a boon for you so having a like-minded partner helped me a lot. I always drew inspiration from this quote : “An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a parachute on the way down.”

My journey in the last 16 years has been tough. But, it was worth it and also fun. I would not exchange this experience for anything.

Key achievements
My key achievement is building a successful business that has at its core a strong value system. For me having ethics and value is very important and I am proud to say that ethics are the backbone of all that our company, C3IT does. We never compromise with that. Each C3ITian is committed to our value system in all interactions with customers, partners, and stakeholders. This is the base of our company and that is what gets us repeat business from all our customers. I believe that making money is important, but sticking to your values is equally important, if not more.

Role model
I do not have a single role model. I have learnt so much from so many different people. There are a few people who I look up to. Stephen Hawking is someone I really appreciate for accomplishing so much in spite of constraints that would have broken a lesser mortal.

Rumi, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Parthasarthy are my favorite philosophers of yore, who constantly motivate me to look for a deeper meaning in life. In the technology field, my role model is Satya Nadella, for turning around Microsoft and making it relevant again.

Women in IT – a rare breed?
I have been travelling to a number of countries and I find India to have a much higher percentage of women opting for a career in IT. I do not agree that they are a rare breed at the entry level. The issue is fewer women growing to senior management positions – either due to not sticking around long enough or not putting in enough effort to acquire skills and experience to break the glass ceiling. To be fair, the IT industry tends to be very demanding, and our country still does not have a social structure that enables and encourages women to continue in demanding careers.

Work-life balance
I guess I have been very lucky to have a family that helped me manage the balance. It becomes easy when you have a supportive family as I have. Even my kids cooperated in all ways and I am happy to see them having grown into very independent adults, carving their own space. I, of course, had to put in longer hours when the kids were young to ensure I gave them quality time while fulfilling responsibilities at work. But, technology made that much easier with the possibility to work from anywhere and to stay connected while travelling. Personal life and work are equally important and you have to give quality time to both of them.

Life ahead
I think the IT industry is well on its way to a tectonic shift from plain simple automation to machines and systems that emulate human behaviour. The future is clearly in the application of Artificial Intelligence, deep learning, robotics and blockchain to real-life situations. I see myself gaining in depth expertise in these areas as technology has always remained close to my heart. Apart from that, I would also love to mentor youngsters who have just started off as entrepreneurs and share my learnings with them.