Back in her school days, says Tanya Srivastava, there was an interesting efficiency pattern to her homework. “If it was something to do with Julius Caesar, then I would take my time about it and allow it to drag out. On the other hand, if it was a computing assignment, I would start on it right away and never wait until the last minute.
“I was always very studious. I realized that I had a knack for structured thinking and that I was able to convert logic into a program. I decided that I would like to pursue programming and that was one of the main reasons why I kept my academic focus on science. I thought I would work for a large company, where I could create programs and be a part of the whole technology business.
“From my earliest days, my mother played a very important role in my life and she always encouraged me to be outspoken and forthright and to take charge wherever needed, but to be a team player as well. She was a big inspiration in my life and my biggest role model.
“Having done my computer engineering, which was a four-year course, I worked in R&D and realized that while I enjoyed programming, I actually enjoyed being at the front, which you don’t get to do that much as a programmer. I enjoy interacting with people, as well as creating content, so after some thought I decided to pursue my MBA in marketing.
“Fresh out of my Masters, I came across the opportunity with SAP, which seemed to be the perfect blend for my love of technology as well as leading from the front, interacting with people, organizations and learning from industry leaders.
“At the Sales Academy in California, we were given the opportunity to learn the best practices that are followed across the world. The way they designed the curriculum really brought us up to speed from having no background in sales. Showing us how technology sales could work really helped us to hit the ground running as soon as we joined the market units.
“A sales role at SAP comes with a lot of pressure, but it’s also very exciting because you’re meeting a lot of different people across ages and across countries – truly a global demographic. As an account executive, you feel responsible for the kind of perception that you create about SAP. Of course, there is the whole thing of meeting your numbers and doing it well and I always want to go the extra mile.
“This company places so much emphasis on personal growth and opportunity. By that I mean that when a new hire is growing into the organization, they are given access to senior leaders across multiple corporate sites. It’s not just about getting an opportunity to work with your own direct leaders, but also to work with leaders across the country from different industries and organizations, thereby increasing our overall understanding.
“The learning curve that SAP has to offer is unparalleled. This is tied directly to the way we are treated. It’s a very flat hierarchy, so there is no discrimination in terms of age, gender or experience, for that matter. Even a Young Talent is treated with as much respect and given as much credibility as probably someone who has been at SAP for several years. I was happy to be a part of this diverse SAP family.
“I got married in December 2017 and my reception was something of a mini-SAP Mumbai gathering. I transferred from Mumbai to Bangalore and SAP was quite open about me moving and ensured that my career progression remained intact. To a certain extent, it was difficult relocating to a new city on the personal level, but certainly not from a professional point of view.
“To be quite honest, when I first found out in late 2018 that I was expecting, I was slightly worried about what it would do to my career because I was being chosen for a lot of programs and I was being encouraged to pursue a lot of opportunities. I was worried that I might lose out on all of this, but when I spoke to Shraddha Naik, our HRBP, and our Academy leader, who also happened to be my skip level manager at the time – Subbu (Vice-President, Digital Core, Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan), they were all very encouraging. My involvement in the programs was simply pushed back to accommodate my needs and it was certainly not a case of the opportunity being taken away from me. Now that I am back full-time, I can strike a fine balance at work with doing the kind of work I enjoy and still managing my time with my little munchkin.
“I’ve now completed five years with SAP and what a journey it has been, fresh out of college, training with peers from all over the world, getting married, having a kid. I am literally what they mean when they say ‘Grow With SAP’ – going from my mid-20s as an early talent and getting honed into an experienced professional. My SAP family has been with me every step of the way and been a part of all my big moments, professionally as well as personally. I truly feel that I have imbibed SAP in my DNA and am glad to be a part of this organization.”