Annie Mathew: An Epitome of Poise

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Born and brought up in the beautiful state of Kerala, Annie Mathew is currently the head of alliance at Research In Motion (RIM) India. As a child, she dreamt of becoming a surgeon with equal interest in becoming an engineer. After completing her Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Kerala, Mathew set her professional ball rolling.


CURRENT PROFILE: At RIM India, as the head of alliance, Mathew's key role is in building and energizing an ecosystem of partners and developers for BlackBerry. "That includes enabling development of differentiated applications for enterprise and consumer segments, also expanding to countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. I am an advisory board member for Startup Village, a PPP enterprise focused on startups in telecom, 2012," adds Mathew.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: The lady has completed her bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Kerala and post graduate program in Management from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. "I did certifications to gain knowledge and establish credibility as I took on initiatives in various companies-Certified Business Continuity Professional from the Disaster Recovery Institute, USA; Certified eSCM Service Provider from Carnegie Mellon University, USA; and Certified Quality Analyst from QAI, USA," she says.

GETTING INTO IT: While growing up, Mathew gradually realized her interest in engineering. "I found that I had a good head for it and loved it. I worked in industrial electronics for over 9 years and enjoyed it tremendously. After my second child was born I decided to shift to IT as balancing work and life was harder in the manufacturing environment," says Mathew. Mathew has over 20 years of experience with global wireless, IT and manufacturing majors. Prior to RIM, she worked with Mahindra Satyam and TCS and with the industrial electronics division of Fenner India. She had also been an active member of industry forums like FICCI, CII, ISACA, SPIN, QAI and DRII.


FAMILY BACKGROUND: Mathew considers her childhood to be a very privileged one. "My mother encouraged study and my father focused on studies and sports. Post my marriage, my husband and I have lived mostly in Hyderabad and we have two daughters aged 24 and 15. Support of my spouse and family has been the wind beneath my wings," claims the headstrong lady.

STRENGTHS: Mathew believes that she is self-motivated and comfortable with uncertainty and change. She says, "I am a strong team player and believe in leveraging collective intelligence. I am open to views of folks at all levels from a trainee to senior execs. Learning I believe is a life long journey."

MALE-DOMINATED IT: "From the engineering college to the production floor to leadership roles, it has always been male dominated. IT has seen more women than most other fields but again fewer at senior leadership. I have always enjoyed the work environment thoroughly; male or female has not been a major consideration or issue. However one comes across stereotyped expectations of women from stereotype males quite often, and men who are uncomfortable talking to or working

with women. Some of this resolves itself as we deal with people, while some take more time and navigation."

ADVICE TO SEEKERS: "Maintain a good balance between work life and personal life and be bold enough to take the breaks. Prioritize personal time with family or self. At the same time, don't hold back from your career aspirations. Take credit for good work that you have. Keep learning and updating your skills. It's good to have a mentor who can guide you or you can learn from," states Mathew.

BALANCING WORK AND LIFE: Mathew makes sure to take additional time out for family or work as and when needed. "I try to maintain a good balance between work and personal life because in my mind, family and children are of prime importance while work is an important form of self expression. I believe it is necessary to have varied circle of friends who share different interests to keep a steady worklife balance," she says. As a daily routine Mathew likes to read books and listens to music to relax. "At RIM, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to really strike a healthy balance," says the lady.