A Father’s Wisdom

My three girls will be smarter than everybody else!

I was given another priceless life lesson while interviewing The Magnificent Leader, Nandini Srinivasan, Co-Founder and COO of Cactus Semiconductor Inc.

Quickly, I found that Nandini and I shared a common thread although we were being raised around the same time on different continents.  Nandini was being raised in India and I in Atlanta, Georgia.  We both found ourselves in cultures that valued investing in its ‘sons’ – not so much its daughters.

Nandini shared her life’s journey.  We both laughed out loud when she said friends and family would tell her father what a shame it was he only had three daughters and no sons and he must get them married off quickly.  Nandini’s father recognized the value of his three daughters.  He left his professorship at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and launched a technology business in the family’s kitchen.  Under his direction until his untimely early death, he led the organization while all three of his daughters worked to drive its success.

Fast forward today, Nandini’s father’s belief in her was well founded.  Nandini earned her undergraduate degree at the same institute as her father had once taught, then displayed the courage and confidence to move to Hawaii to continue post education, ultimately to be hired by Motorola, a global leader in its market space.  She then led teams within two additional market leaders and ultimately co-founded her company.

Nandini shared her lessons learned about leaving great organizations and becoming an entrepreneur in technology.  A few of those are –

  • An example of what real sponsorship looks like from her former organization, Medtronic.
  • Challenges in recruiting the best of the best for a smaller entrepreneurial engineering company vs. the Goliath’s in the market that are just a stone’s throw from her front door.
  • High cost of not having the courage as a leader to include the needed soft skills and cultural fit for every employee.
  • Building a superb team that you would prefer to showcase instead of yourself.

Don’t miss this interview.  Nandini is the example of breaking negative myths as a female leader in technology, and offers lessons in courage, confidence, transition and ownership.  If not, you’ll miss a real nugget about the importance and willingness to take out the trash!




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