Office for her is not a traditional cubicle. She is where the customer is, and that could sometimes mean staying in a floating platform, right in the sea. ABB is the first organization she has worked for and in over a decade that she’s been here, she has uniquely executed multiple brownfield, greenfield projects both for offshore / onshore locations within the oil and gas process industry. Meet the adventurous Technical Specialist from Energy Industries (IAEN) Anitha A.
A graduate in B.E (Electronics and Communication Engineering), Anitha joined ABB right after her college and in the last 14 years that she’s been here, she’s had quite an adventure. Talking about her most exciting project, she says,
“UK based oil and gas company had to carry out the planned shutdown of their UK North Sea fields in June 2019. During the shutdown, ABB had 12-member offshore team across 4 platforms for the ICSS upgrade work installation and commissioning, and I was one of them. The tasks involved demounting existing equipment, mounting new controllers and installing new application software. The project required me to travel to North Sea on a helicopter. I stayed in an offshore floating platform and delivered the result meeting customer expectation consistently. I was aware of the risks involved, but also excited at the thought of experiencing all of this, firsthand.”
Mother to a young child, she feels proud of having been a part of the project thanks to the support her family, ABB day care facilities and colleagues extended to her.
“Feel the fear and do it any way’ by Susan Jeffers is one of my favorite books. It helped me make a major shift in my attitude from “try it” to ‘I can handle it’. And over and above this, the confidence my managers and business unit had in me, made me take the chance.” she further adds.
Trusting employee’s capability and giving them the right opportunities to shine, has been intrinsic to ABB’s performance driven culture. Anitha has had multiple roles in varied capacities within the same division enriching her professional experience, year after year.
As a part of the system evolution team, Anitha helps clients increase their plant efficiency by upgrading existing system version (800xA DCS) and engineering tools to the latest ABB system hardware and software technology to protect against cyber threats. Predominately her work assignments are with ABB UK. Having started with the HMI Evolution team on joining ABB, she then moved to Oil and Gas after-sales team in two years. Interestingly, she has also done her BOSIET (Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training) training while withing ABB.
Hailing from a small village in Theni District called Thappukkundu, Anitha has truly made it big by being the first female graduate.
Higher education for girls was neither thought about nor encouraged in the place where I was born. There is a saying, ‘behind every successful woman there is an open-minded father who trusted her and not the society’; It is true in my case",says Anitha talking about the personal challenges she faced.
“My teachers have played a key role in shaping me up, they in fact convinced everyone to send me for higher studies looking at the potential I demonstrated”, she adds.
Finding a life partner who is as supportive, added to the wind beneath her wings. Looking back, she is proud of where she is and has become a role model for her village. A girl next door who studied in a government Tamil Medium school, in a village that didn’t understand why girls should be educated, has executed projects internationally with her skill set and conviction.
We ask her if the narrative has changed in her village over the years. She says, “things are improving with people seeing what girls can achieve if they are given the right resources. But I’d say it may take years for me to say, we’ve truly come far.”
She believes in being better and living in the moment, “Wherever I am and whatever I do, the day’s goal is to find best version of me compared to yesterday” she sums it all up with a sound advice.