PROFILE: Being the founding member of India Semiconductor Association (ISA), Poornima Shenoy oversees the company’s operations and works as a member of its executive council on strategic issues relating to the Indian semiconductor, systems and design industry. She has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a business professional. Shenoy has been very keen on encouraging women professionals at the graduate school level and even in the corporate world.
BACKGROUND: An economics graduate from Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru, Shenoy also holds an MBA degree from TAPMI, Manipal. She did her schooling from Goa and Bengaluru. Recalling her early student life, she said, “I feel privileged to have grown up in cities like Goa and Bengaluru, since there is no gender bias there. Both me and my sister never felt marginalized because of our gender.” With her parents being working professionals and sister holding a PhD in electronics, Shenoy always wanted to be successful at work. She started her career in advertising and then moved to market research where 50% of the workforce were women, holding decision-making positions. Shenoy started a business along with a friend and ran it for 10 years before founding ISA. She was also awarded the Chevening Scholarship for Women in Leadership and Management by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office. She is also the co-founder of the Women in Business & Technology (WBT) group.
STRENGTHS: Considering family as her biggest strength, she attributes her successful career to her mother. In the same breath, she does not forget to mention her husband Satish Shenoy who supported her equally. “Whenever I was occupied with work, my mother used to step in to look after my daughter. My husband equally understood my pressures and shared family responsibilities,” she says. Shenoy considers her ability to connect with people as another asset.
FAMILY: She manages to strike a fine balance between her personal and professional life. She took 4 months off to help her daughter Nandita prepare for her board exams last year. “My daughter does not have to live my dreams. It is important that we support our children to pursue their interest. I just wish my daughter excels in whatever she wishes to do,” she says. “As a parent, it is my duty to support Nandita in what she does and I will do just that. We just want to see her happy always,” she adds.
HOLIDAY: Shenoy makes it a point to go on a vacation every year. Though her favorite holiday place is Goa, she also loves to visit London in the summers. She enjoys visiting places rich in history and culture.
ONE DAY IN HER LIFE: Though she works from 9am to 5pm, she makes it a point to wind up by around 6pm. She also hits the gym and practices yoga thrice a week. At around 8pm, Shenoy does a check on her official emails and calls it a day. Unlike many, she does not switch off her mobile phone and prefers to be connected and accessible all the time.
GOALS: When Shenoy started ISA, she had reservations about its functions. In a short span of 5 years, ISA has become one of the leading hardware bodies. She wants to see India become a global model on the same lines as of the US and UK. She quips, “We used to follow the West in all ways. Today, all of us are on the same platform without being defensive. Earlier people had reservations traveling abroad. Today you see Indians with great confidence.”