Evidently, there is immense pressure on a leader, especially on women leaders. The role of a leader is continuously evolving with time, irrespective of gender. Though, there have been a lot of speculations about how leaders are made. When it comes to women leaders, today, they have a lot on their plate. It is true that every individual has their own strengths and weaknesses but women leaders have consistently displayed remarkable growth while playing different roles in the organization. One of the special characteristics which have been observed in all the successful women leaders is the ability to anchor the organization. Being empathetic, they focus on the larger good, give utmost importance to specifics, and can be laser-focused in driving change. Prathima Inolu (Chief Designer and Executive Director of Divami) is one such dynamic leader who focuses on teamwork and inspires everyone around her to achieve the impossible.
Divami: A Defining Factor
During her childhood, Prathima was surrounded by people who inspired and motivated her to make the most of life. The teachings in childhood shaped her to become ambitious and nourished the “never give up” attitude in her. She considers Divami as the defining factor in her career. Before joining the company, she worked with several leaders who believed in her and motivated her to do better. However, her entrepreneurial journey started with Divami, and eventually, she took over the position of Chief Designer. Even though the Hyderabad based UX UI Design Firm was established in 2008, the company was undergoing challenges when Prathima came onboard.
Her leadership proved to be beneficial for the company. She and the entire Divami team pushed themselves to become the global leader in the design industry. Speaking of the troubled times, she says the mutual trust established between her and the team helped them sail through difficult times. She also attributes the team’s effort as the reason for the company emerging out of the difficult situation through their consistent commitment, ownership, and hard work. Additionally, this hardworking team comprises strategists, designers, and developers who are passionate about ‘Humanizing Technology’ and bring a difference in the world through their work.
Delivering a Complete Solution
Under the leadership of Prathima, the Divami team is focused on providing User Experience and Design services for mobile, web, smart TV, and wearable applications. The core focus of the company is on UX/UI—it takes sole responsibility for delivering a complete solution from concept to rollout. One of the key aspects that differentiate Divami from its competitors is that the team not only handles design but also helps clients actualize those designs into pixel-perfect screens, through its development services.
Divami has a wide range of client bases such as B2B SaaS Platforms, Enterprise Software Product firms, Consumer (including e-commerce) Apps and Platforms, and Corporates with digital transformation projects. The company helps in building entire platforms, end-to-end, bringing in expertise where needed. “We believe in ownership, commitment, and giving our best to any project we take on. We like to say that ‘we make it our problem so that our clients can focus on their business.’ We believe in relationships beyond business and truly owning our clients’ problems. This has helped us survive and grow into what we are today,”says Prathima.
Gender Roles in Pandemic
The discussion on gender roles is certainly not new. Irrespective of gender, leaders are facing similar problems tackling the challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty which has resulted in sudden changes in the plans and strategies. To drive the company forward, several women entrepreneurs have changed their strategies focusing on long term vision or have shifted their focus areas. They have quickly adapted to the changes and re-strategized to survive in the long run. Highlighting her views on the same, Prathima states, “This could also be true for leaders who are men, so it only goes to show that gender doesn’t matter for leadership. All of us—men or women—are capable of dreaming and achieving them, we just have to figure out how to manage our priorities.”
Celebrating Every Occasion
The pandemic has thrown several challenges causing an unsettling environment in the organizations. This crisis is very demanding and needs to be tackled with a focus on team spirit and humanity. Divami works on similar values to keep the overall environment positive and allows everyone to be part of the organization’s goal. Furthermore, the company is close-knit and believes in working hard, playing harder. Prathima understands her responsibilities to keep the team together by engaging with them daily and encouraging them to interact with each other regularly.
The team has adapted themselves to virtually connect with each—they spend a few minutes chit-chatting over coffee, online. Fridays were a big affair in Divami, and it continues through virtual coffee and gaming sessions. Prathima states, “While logistics and technology can help to a degree, the more important thing is to maintain the sense of one team, one family, and provide the sense that we are still there for each other. We are looking forward to the end of this pandemic and would like to celebrate with a trip.”
Extending Support to Women
It is a grim reality that women are generally expected to manage an enormous amount of invisible labor—taking responsibility for their families while managing their careers. Also, the havoc caused by COVID-19 has laid immense pressure on every working woman. The situation is challenging as the women are ideally expected to “Juggle it all”, while sometimes their work takes a back seat. To emerge from this, women need support. Divami ensures that it extends the support to those who need it, no questions asked. Prathima states, “And, from what I can say from my own experience as well as what I have been hearing in my network, women are carrying it off well even during these tough times.”