Revolving door syndrome exists in system, says BCT Digital CEO
BCT Digital, the FinTech division of Bahwan CyberTek (BCT), is driving digital transformation for banks and financial institutions through its risk management product suite rt360. The award winning end to end risk management suite includes products to address credit risk, capital allocation, pricing risk, liquidity risk, model risk and operational risk.
On the occasion of International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), BCT Digital CEO Jaya Vaidhyanathan shares her opinions in an exclusive interaction with Bizz Buzz. She says, "The 'Revolving Door Syndrome' exists in our system. Our corporates tend to eventually lose some of their finest women employees midway through employment, with only a sparse population reaching the top of the ladder."
What is the significance of the occasion and the need to recognise women in engineering?
Women constitute less than 15 per cent of the scientists, engineers, and technologists in India's research organizations. While some progress has been seen in the number of women entering the STEM fields, a significant portion has dropped out of the workforce due to various roadblocks. Women bring a unique set of skills and value to every organisation, but they are continuing to be overlooked, and underpaid. This is a widely observed global phenomenon.
The International Women in Engineering Day seeks to demonstrate the importance of diversity, equality, and inclusion in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields while drawing attention to the innumerable contributions women are bringing to the industry.
Could you share some insights on your professional journey post engineering?
After completing MBA in Finance and Strategy from Cornell University, I pursued a career as an investment banker on Wall Street. I specialised in mergers and acquisitions across the technology, telecom, and utilities verticals. I later returned to India, taking on leadership roles in multinational companies, like HCL and Accenture.
In 2014, I joined BCT Digital and kick-started the fintech initiatives to drive digital transformation for India's banks and financial institutions. Today, as the CEO of BCT Digital, I spearhead the company's comprehensive product strategy for the BFSI vertical.
Our flagship fintech risk management product suite, rt360, has scaled up to the global BFSI sector, using advanced technologies to evaluate, predict and remediate organisation-wide risks. The products are now being used in leading global banks. My focus was also on broadening the market from a product and industry perspective.
Therefore, BCT Digital further diversified into CleanTech, offering products and services that work to improve the long-term health of the environment and also expanded its Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) product line. We have recorded 10 times growth over the last three years.
How did your extensive experience and engineering background help in the inception of BCT Digital?
Many of the business-critical decisions we made throughout BCT Digital's journey can be attributed to my experience in the global arena and background in the STEM field. The decision to use disruptive technologies to address the market adjacencies in the risk space is one of them. The rt360 followed a 'Business First, Technology Agnostic" approach – with bankers leading the way and using disruptive technologies, like AI/ML and big data, as key differentiators.
Pioneering rt360 with the plan to launch it to global markets as we scaled, was another. We followed a unique model of 'Reverse Innovation', custom-building products for the Indian market, rather than force-fit global products to it. This was instrumental to our success.
Could you provide your perspective on Indian women in engineering and technical domains? How can more encouragement be given?
The "Revolving Door Syndrome" exists in our system. Our corporates tend to eventually lose some of their finest women employees midway through employment, with only a sparse population reaching the top of the ladder. Stronger focus on retention strategies, more proactive outreach to young mothers, sponsorship at the early stages, and massive change in perception and attitudes of the society towards women, are some of the ways by which companies can inspire and support women throughout their careers.
What is the contribution of women engineers in the country's GDP at present and how was it growing annually?
At the moment, women's contribution to the nation's GDP stands at 17 per cent and therefore the contribution of women engineers will be less than the nation's average. To boost India's GDP growth and benefit massively as a nation, more women could be given the opportunity to join the workforce, as they could add up to $770 billion to the country's GDP by the year 2025.
What are the challenges being faced by women technocrats?
The number of women in the tech industry is growing now, but the percentage of women in technical roles remains low. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons. Less active interventions from the entire ecosystem like family, society, the government, and the company, is one of the challenges faced. Pursuing one's career needs to be encouraged more often.
Travel, on the other hand, is a major challenge as well. Often women are unable to travel for work as much as required due to their domestic commitments. Another challenge is staying focused while balancing the act of playing multiple roles both at work and at home.