Sweta Ashwarya

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Every month we ask one individual in our network a few questions about
their way into tech, their motivation and their lessons learned.

Hi Sweta, let’s start from the beginning. Tell us where you’re from!

I grew up in a small town named Patna, on the banks of the sacred river Ganges in India. Our family was part of the great struggle for India’s Independence from the British rule (my great grandfather, Babu Gorakh Prasad, was a close friend and ally of Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle)

What valuable advice did you get from your parents?

Resilience is key for a meaningful life. The courage and ability to bounce back from difficult situations and come back stronger than ever is what sets one apart.

After my Masters, I joined India’s largest textile conglomerate, Arvind Mills, as the first female manufacturing manager in its 80-year history. I was only 23. I had no prior manufacturing experience. And I was managing a team of 300 men. Earning the immediate respect of my team wasn’t a luxury, it was a necessity for professional survival. In this journey, resilience was my greatest friend as I worked hard to earn the trust, love and respect of my team-members at different occasions

How did you become interested in tech?

While in India, I launched Arrow-Woman, India’s first womenswear clothing brand in offline retail. After completing my MBA in the US, I started at eBay as a Product Manager for the Fashion Vertical……it felt like a natural transition from offline to online retail aka ecommerce.

What aspects of your work are you proudest of?

I’m a passionate, user-focused tech enthusiast who represents the voice of the customer to our product teams.

What drives you at work?

Things that kick me out of the bed everyday for work. First, I want to be a part of the greater momentum at Google – turning potential ideas into great products that will provide value to our users. Second, my curiosity and hunger to learn new skills everyday in the hope of a greater hope;)

What has been your toughest challenge you faced while working in tech?

My toughest challenge has been work and life balance. To me, my family is most important, but my work is my Karma. It is very difficult to do one more than the other….

What advice would you give other women in tech?

  • I’d say that it is very important to know yourself truly, or else you’ll never know what you really want
  • Be open to take criticisms, it will only help you grow!
  • Be authentic and dare to be who you are…..at first, it might be strange and lonely, but trust me it will only prove your worth

Sweta, thank you very much for serving over 600 members and over 1,000 followers of WE SHAPE TECH as a role model!

 

The interview was held by Petra Ehmann.

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