“I’m a technology enthusiast,” says Sneha, “even as a kid, I was excited by upcoming technologies.” Her parents encouraged and supported her: “My family is very passionate about science,” she says, “my father is a technology major and worked as an engineer. My mother helped me understand biology and our environment.”
Sneha comes from Dehradun, a small valley in northern India: “It was very mountainous, very green. You’d hear the birds chirping in the morning.” When she was nine years old, her family moved to a different part of India, a region that has many public institutions and is well known for education. “There are no mountains and it’s very dry,” she says, “but I experienced a new culture and met many great people.” She adds, “I still keep these two places close to my heart.”
It’s this openness to new places and opportunities that influenced a large part of her career. When Sneha started studying, she didn’t just focus on science-related topics. She studied electrical engineering at the National Institute of Technology, and then completed an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management. “I was fascinated by science, but at the same time, I wanted to learn more about business strategy.”
After she received her MBA, Sneha worked on deal acquisition projects in the technology sector. While this was an exciting early step in her career, she soon realized that she wanted to apply her expertise in a field she was really passionate about – one that’s also essential to society’s future: energy. “With my background in electrical engineering, the transition was very natural to me”, she says. Her enthusiasm for energy-related topics then led her to Oslo, Norway, where she joined Europe’s largest renewable energy provider as a Business Development Manager.
It’s exciting to see our ideas become reality – because the scale of our impact is huge.
Big challenges. Bigger opportunities.
After a year in Oslo, Sneha decided to move back to India and help answer crucial questions that the country’s vast, dynamic energy market faces: “India has a great demand for energy,” she says, “and the energy has to reach people across the whole country. We need to build a reliable power infrastructure. It’s a big challenge, but also a huge opportunity.”
With her expertise in business, engineering, finance and strategy, Sneha knew that she could have the biggest impact within Siemens by working on energy-related strategy projects. In 2016, she joined Siemens Management Consulting, an ideal environment for her enthusiasm and ambitious character: “I can focus on the topics I really want to work on and experience a wide range of different projects at the same time.” She appreciates the potential diversity of her role: “Right now, I’m focusing on energy, but I could get to know all kinds of industries, from mobility to industrial automation. Some projects are in India, others could be in South Asia, China, Germany or the Middle East.” She adds, “Our projects are globally integrated.”
SMC’s international focus encourages a similar mindset: “For me, it's always a delight to travel,” says Sneha. “I think it’s important to be on location, to meet your team and your clients face to face.” She adds, “Of course, we have the technology and can easily communicate over the internet, but I often think that to really understand a client’s business and to have quick, informal discussions, you should be there in person.”
Great teams. Strong partnerships.
Sneha believes that face-to-face communication is also important for creating strong, effective partnerships: “I enjoy working closely with my clients – because they’re not just my clients, they’re also my colleagues. We discuss market-related topics and business development, and we identify new opportunities. Together, we always aim to grow Siemens as a whole.” She adds, “It’s exciting to see our recommendations become reality – because the scale of our impact is huge.”
Aside from a wide range of projects and topics, Sneha enjoys working with equally diverse teams in a fast-paced environment: “I’m always meeting new people from different academic or professional backgrounds. I learn a lot from them, which helps me grow as a person and in my career.” For example, she says, “Most of my consulting projects run for three or four months, so I have to understand a particular topic or business unit quickly. But I can always rely on the support of my colleagues or get coaching from more senior members of SMC.”
Personal development is something that is highly valued and actively encouraged at Siemens Management Consulting, she says. “We have a strong feedback culture. There are many one-on-one sessions, and I can discuss how I would like to develop my career in the future: What do I want to do five years from now? Which skills do I need? How can I work on projects that help me build these skills?”
She regularly catches up with her coworkers in a relaxed setting: “We have Office Fridays, and it’s great to meet colleagues who are working on other projects – just to share experiences and exchange knowledge. We also take the time to celebrate our achievements and successful projects. This really makes SMC a fun place to work.”
The future of energy in India
“Energy is at an interesting junction today,” says Sneha. India’s energy mix still relies heavily on coal, but renewable energies are on the rise: “Sustainability is at the core of any future-proof concept, and I’d love to see long-lasting solutions based on renewables.” Another important factor driving the change in India’s energy sector is digitalization: “Energy systems are becoming more and more decentralized, and their integration into our supply and demand management creates great opportunities. This way, we can use technology to comprehensively answer a country’s energy needs.”
Sneha believes that to tackle these challenges, it’s important to keep an open mind: “We’re facing complex problems, and you have to be able to see the possibilities and find creative solutions.” She adds, “That’s the great thing about SMC: we’re always open to new ideas. With every project, we’re trying to make sure that our work benefits not only Siemens, but society as a whole.”
With every project, we’re trying to make sure that our work benefits everyone not only Siemens, but society as a whole.
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