Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Human- Machine Interface are a part of her daily vocabulary. Having been a lecturer at college, she could be your go-to person to understand these terms and their relevance in your business. In her present role, she is helping businesses with technology-based solutions that bring about efficiency and reduce manual interventions. She’s done her M.Sc., M.Tech., and is on the verge of finishing her PhD in another year.
Here’s her story of resilience and following up on your dreams. Meet Chandrika K R, Scientist, Corporate Research Center, ABB GISPL.
Did she always know her path or had it happened by chance? “Science has always excited me; I knew from the very start I will take this up as a field of study. Though what exactly in science should I pursue, I realized gradually”, remarks Chandrika rewinding to her school days.
She was the kind of kid every Indian parent hopes for, outperforming academically, leading in extra-curricular activities and quite clear about what she wanted to be when she grows up. Needless to say, a favorite with her teachers. Having studied in a convent in Cochin, she says despite the ability and potential, she wouldn’t have been able to be make it this far professionally, had she not found her advocates early on.
Born in a relatively orthodox family, her father was the only staunch supporter she had got, who would nudge her to give her best. The others including her close relatives would show their disinterest in her academics often telling her to not aim too high and get ready for a rather ‘stable life’. For many of us reading this, it may seem far-fetched, but there are still women, and a sizable chunk, who are fighting for their right to higher studies.
Thankfully, she had got another ‘mentor’ in her college life who introduced her to the world of research. “At that time, I had figured out what I wanted to do”, says Chandrika. But knowing the attitude of her family towards working women, she opted for a job in the academics’ field teaching college kids, now that she had lost her staunch supporter.
But the dream, the desire to explore research hadn’t died. After having given 7 years to academics, she decided to give corporate life a shot. Marriage made things better as she found another supporter in her life partner, who was willing to take turns to manage their kid while she chose to up-skill herself and get ready for the world outside of academics. “I think it all falls in place, if you do have the dream, you’d get enough opportunities, you just need to be courageous enough to do what it takes and have a support system that trusts you and your capabilities”.
The leap from academics to the corporate research team started with an internship at ABB, and soon enough got converted into placement. Ask her if it’s worth it, and she’d tell with you gleam, “Totally!”
When not finding solutions to complex issues, Chandrika likes to cook and engage herself in handicrafts. Multi-talented, we must say!