CxO of the Week: Dr. Jaya Vaidhyanathan, CEO, BCT Digital

By : |February 5, 2020 0

CxO of the Week: Dr. Jaya Vaidhyanathan joined BCT Digital as an ‘intrapreneur’ and kick-started their FinTech initiatives. At BCT, Jaya started FinTech’s risk management product portfolio, today, known as rt360.

Jaya is a science and engineering professional with a deep passion for product innovation, strengthening the Indian economy through science and technology and taking Indian products to global markets. She started her career as an investment banker in New York, after obtaining her engineering degree, management degree from Cornell University and earned a CFA charter.

She specialized in mergers and acquisitions across technology, telecom, and utilities vertical with several top Wall Street firms.

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infra in your organization?

a. The lifecycle of the technology stack: Identify and adopt technology that is at a higher maturity level, rather than selecting those that are upcoming and not yet widely adopted

b. Quality: Look for superior support from OEMs that offer dedicated maintenance and quick turnaround in resolving technical issues

c. Commercial considerations: Make compelling decisions (one-time investment/subscription-based/open source) that would allow the product to stay commercially competitive, as these costs are usually bundled and passed to the user of the product d. Make-or-buy: Analyse and strategically choose solutions that can save time, cost and resources

Challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

a. Technology stack upgrade for existing products: Migrating the existing products from older technologies to newer ones and concurrently ensuring minimal disruption to current operations

b. Choice of technology: With the myriad of options available in the technology realm, the decision to choose and utilize the best requires multiple tests, trials and time

c. Reskilling resources: With technology growing at a fast pace, the investment of time and effort, and the availability of quality resources for reskilling are challenging.

Do you feel that freshers in the industry come with only basic knowledge but don’t have right skills to fulfil job requirements? If yes, your suggestion to students and colleges?

Yes, I do feel that there is a significant skill gap in the youth entering the workforce today. To fill this gap, there needs to be increased collaboration between government institutions, industry and academia to provide the necessary framework and training, making the next generation job-ready.

What’s your mantra to become successful in life?

There are a few values and principles in life that I have always lived by, that have enabled me to get to where I am today. The following encapsulates them well:

a. Promote your ventures. Network.

b. Aspire higher, follow through and never give up

c. Take risks, reap rewards, take rejections in your stride.

Health comes first – take care

What would you like to give back to the society?

I truly believe in the concept of ‘giving back to society’. Putting this belief into action, I work with several prominent NGOs, like Mastermind and DIWWAAAS. A few of the important areas where there is a huge gap among NGOs are fundraising, fund disbursements, and governance.

I thought it was best for me to apply my expertise in this area and provide professional assistance. Social transformation, mental health, women & child empowerment, public healthcare, and economic inclusion are some of the issues I work for.

I am passionate about women’s empowerment. A good part of my personal life has been spent towards this vision. Just last year, through various charitable activities, we established around 100,000 touch-points with underprivileged women in India.

Your favourite book and what are you reading now?

“Principles” by Ray Dalio

His unconventional approach is inspiring. Starting with the conventional thinking of “I am right” and moving towards “How to know if I am right” is significant learning from the book. Reflection on pain or painful situations helps progress when we convert it as our core principle. Pain plus reflection is also successful product innovation.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I sing. Music runs in my family. I enjoy trekking and am a trained marathon runner.

Achievements (awards & recognitions)

The Stevie Awards: Business Woman of the Year under the global category New York

The innovation of the year Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Asia Business Leadership Forum: Business Leader of the Year

Experience

Dr. Jaya started her career as an investment banker in New York and now it’s been more than 20 years.

First job – With Wall Street firms, specializing in mergers & acquisitions across the technology spectrum

Education – CFA charter holder; Management degree from Cornell University; Science and Engineering undergraduate from University of Madras

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