The next in our Diversity Matters series is an Intellectual Property Champion.
If you were to publish a whitepaper, you’d likely be consulting her. If you were to file a patent or trademark, you’d certainly be taking her guidance and if you come across any copyright issues, she’d be your go-to person. From a team of 5 to being the only person holding the fort for almost a year for anything and everything related to Intellectual Property in ABB India and being responsible for IP operations in India, she’s been quite a firebrand. Meet Puspanjali C, IP Attorney, Intellectual Property Service Organization-India.
For me, each business line is equally important. I work very closely with the R&D engineers to support them for their IP requirements. The scope of my involvement though varies from project to project.” says Puspanjali about her role.
She’s often seen counselling engineers on securing their intellectual and innovation rights and assisting them in disclosing inventions. She has also been playing a key role in influencing the go-to-market strategy for an innovation.
Since the PG carve-out, her role has expanded tremendously.
Previously each of the team members were responsible for a specific area, now with me being the only member, the buck stops at me.”
How has she been managing, we ask.
I guess one just has to take things in their stride. We had plans to beef up the team post the carve-out, but the pandemic put a halt to our plans, delaying the intended hiring. In the interim, we partnered with third party agencies to ensure business continuity. Planning collaborations within other ABB IP organizations and 3rd party IP suppliers to adapt to these changes has worked fairly well in these trying times. At times, it does seem overwhelming though, and then I remind myself of the immense learning I have been exposed to in this period.
Puspanjali just doesn’t have a Law degree in IP rights, she is also an electronics and communication engineer, a registered Indian Patent Agent and has a master’s in business law degree from National Law School, Bangalore. Seems like a rather rare combination.
"When we were studying one could take either commerce, science or humanities as a major. I was just as interested in civics as I was in science, but I had to take up either. Post my engineering, I got to know about the IP course being offered at IIT Kharagpur, it was very niche, but it did give me an avenue to do what I wanted to. So now I am engineer with a degree in law. I am glad with the National Education Policy being planned by the government, kids can choose a variety of subjects."
Looking at her family background, her education does not seem surprising. Her dad has been an IPS officer and her mother has worked for a government organization.
Hard-work, good academic scores and the importance of things like being punctual, showing up when required, taking your work sincerely are some of the values I imbibed early on.”
Puspanjali hails from Assam where she has spent most part of her childhood.
There’s a lot of importance given to academic excellence there. My sister too has pursued MBA and both of us are equally ambitious.
In a diverse organization like ABB where each business line may have its own Subject Matter Experts, it could be challenging to have a cross business line role, one that requires clarity on new technology developments and business applications for carrying out day to day legal work.
The challenge for me is to keep updating myself not only for one division, but for four of them. Robotics and Electrification are way different, and while dealing with their projects, I must do my in-depth research to be able to counsel.”
She is also the spokesperson for India for all things related to IP, her global counterparts rely on her for updates from her. Very soon, she is hoping to get new recruits for the team which will help her ‘focus on the core areas.’ Till then, she is happy running the show solo.