A production supervisor managing a direct team of 10, and many more indirectly, including 50 trainees. Young by age, she’s got this opportunity at ABB in the first five years of her professional career. And this isn’t the only milestone she’s achieved. Meet Kavitha SR, production supervisor, Electrifications business.
Manufacturing set-ups are hitherto being considered more male-friendly and for a rather young manager, they can prove to be daunting. “I remember being intimidated initially, as I was rather young and required to work with people with way more experience and knowledge. I had almost all doubts one can have, and then some more.” Says Kavitha about her initial days at ABB. “But then it struck me, I was hired by someone who knew exactly how things are going to be, so I sought advice from my manager on how to overcome these fears and boundaries I had created. And since then, I’ve only been learning”. She’s recently taken productivity improvement challenge and achieved 20% productivity improvement in MCCB- XT Products.
Her manager, while interviewing candidates for this position, was keen on merit. As per him, "More than experience, it's the management skills and aptitude that matters in this role. Kavitha came across as someone who could take up this role and she's been fulfilling her role exceptionally well." The on- the -job training though, was done by him in phases. Kavitha often sought help from her manager on areas which were new to her, and he advised her to lead with confidence.
Hailing from a village around 60 kms further from Tumkur, Karnataka, Kavitha has faced quite a few hardships including that of a 3kms walk to school, every day. “There weren’t too many options for school back in my hometown, this was the best that suited us.” But that was just the normal way of life for her and her siblings. “In villages, everyone has a point of view on what everyone should do, especially what girls should do. So while I was going about my routine- that of a normal kid, the neighbors and relative ensured my father is busy worrying about me”.
Now that she’s financially independent, doing what she loves, the village hails her as a star quoting her example to the other school going kids. But the journey wasn’t smooth for her. Rebellion against her parents to pursue her engineering diploma in a Tumkur college was the starting point of a rather tough journey ahead. At a place where girls are married off rather early, to send a daughter outside for studies can be quite a courage. Her parents had to face a flak from the society.
“My deteriorating health was the last straw for them”, remarks Kavitha reminiscing her college days where she faced a series of serious illnesses that led to rather long absence from college. “They wanted me to come back home, while I didn’t have much of an intent to go back within the same orthodox culture.”
She was loved by her parents, more so by her father who doted on her. Concerned for her health, her family objected to her opting for higher education outside of her hometown, once she had completed her diploma. Her plans for a degree course were not encouraged. The stars, though, had decided a different destiny for her. Kavitha did not succumb to the pressure and signed up her first job in Bangalore.
“I knew this is the life I am made for, but when you fight with your parents to accomplish something, the guilt doesn’t leave you easily”. Her family now, is proud of what she’s achieved for herself, on her own. She managed the initial years with a meagre salary, as asking for financial support wasn’t an option. The RISE program at ABB gave her the much-needed mental uplift. “Now I wear my experience proudly and do not bother much, I have realized many of things I’d be afraid of were actually created in my head. I am much more focused and have earned a strong self-belief courtesy the RISE Program”.
Kavitha loves to volunteer for social causes and is fond of reading and traveling. She firmly believes in never giving up, even if the tides are against you.