IT Chapter Lead and Cluster Lead Haritha was born in India, where she studied engineering in information technology. She subsequently did an MBA in international finance while working with Cognizant for JP Morgan UK. During a city trip to Amsterdam, she fell in love with the city and decided to move to the Netherlands.
Perfect match, perfect mix
With her experience and specific skills, it wasn’t difficult to find a job. “I initially worked on short-term projects for the Nike HQ in Hilversum, ING Wholesale Banking and PVH, followed by two years as a consultant for a German company. I increasingly realised I was ready for more end-to-end involvement and responsibility. The position of chapter lead at ING was the perfect match – and for me, it’s the perfect mix of technology and management/coaching.”
Recently, Haritha also became a cluster lead for two front-end teams and two back-end ones that are responsible for all kinds of features necessary to keep the ING app working perfectly. “We’re working on highly complicated technical stuff, and are collaborating with several other departments within ING. My challenge is to bring everyone together to achieve our shared objectives: deliver the smoothest experience for the users of the app. I’m happy to be able to do this with a group of such experienced and dedicated people.”
Working from home
“The coronavirus pandemic didn’t exactly make collaborating easier at first, but I feel that as a team we have now found some sort of balance. We don’t necessarily need to see each other all the time to be able to work effectively, but we do need our brief video chats to maintain a bond and a communal spirit. Those chats are also a good moment for me to check that everybody still feels happy in the team. And although I miss the real-life contact with my colleagues, working from home suits me pretty well. I make my telephone calls while walking in the park, and spend the three hours I’d normally be commuting every day on other, more important things – like eating meals with my boyfriend.”
Haritha regularly speaks at events, such as during GOTO on introverted leadership and during the ING Women in Engineering Days on the topic diversity in leadership. Since then, she has been involved in more sessions and workshops within ING, for various departments and also for RING: ING’s young employees’ network. “I find it important to share my thoughts on what I call ‘compassionate leadership’. If we want people to give their best and be creative, we should be caring about creating a safe and trusted working environment for everyone.”
Haritha is from India and moved to the Netherlands in 2015. She lives in Amsterdam together with her boyfriend. She loves playing basketball, reading, cooking and painting in oils. Van Gogh is a big inspiration. Her newest pastime is learning to play the piano. “It’s great therapy, just like painting!”