Uma Shankar: An Ardent Leader Grooming Professionals of Tomorrow

Uma Shankar

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“I always wanted to be a provider of employment and not a seeker of employment,” says Uma Shankar, the Founder, CFO and CPO of Maximus Infoware.

While working at the bank, Uma came across several entrepreneurs who made her realize she too had dreams of her own and when the time is right she would establish a venture of her own. She served in the banking sector for more than a decade and called it quits to pursue her dream. Uma commenced her entrepreneurial journey by setting up a training institute. She ran her own business of packaged software distribution for 8 years and her firm won many awards throughout this time. Due to her exceptional leadership, few of her key employees from this business venture are still working with her at Maximus today.

In 2007, Uma along with her husband Mr. Shankar co-founded Maximus Infoware India Pvt Ltd for providing software services to the financial services industry. Mr Shankar being a financial services professional and a technocrat spearheaded the product management, business development and organizational structuring. The company initially started its journey with 30 employees. Today, Maximus Infoware has over 200 employees and services private banks, financial inclusion service providers, scheduled banks, public sector banks and corporates that provide service to banks. Maximus has almost mapped out all over India and is expanding its geographical reach by setting its footprints in Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Papua, New Guinea, and Australia.

Superlative Services and Innovative Solutions

Uma co-founded Maximus Infoware with a mission to be the best global technology-enabled service provider delighting customers with top-notch services and innovative solutions, encompassing every delivery channel, payment method, and customer touchpoint. The company caters to front-end banks and financial institutions for various forms of payments. In addition to this, Maximus also facilitates the transactions from the user-end and make them smooth and reliable through its innovative solutions.

These bouquets of innovative solutions include channels for physical cash (ATMs), virtual cash (cards, wallets), or straight-through-processing (UPI, Bill Pay). As a security measure, this process is further authorized by Identity Management Solutions. Through this Maximus ensures the identities of the users through Biometric (thumb, iris, face) or technology (encryption/decryption. tokens, anti-fraud, innovations). Besides, all the solutions by the company are certified with both international (PCI, EMV, etc.) and national agencies (National Financial Switches).

Throughout the years Maximus’ vision has been to create and sustain a frictionless, end-to-end transaction ecosystem that benefits business organizations and their customers, by leveraging current and evolving technologies. Thus, Uma and her team’s focus on payments and identity management for more than a decade has enabled the company to excel and placed it as a leader in the field.

Preserving People-centric Culture

Uma Shankar is not just the Founder but also the Director, Finance & Human Resources at Maximus. As the Head of Finance, she handles the finances, manages the investments, and oversees the financial risks of the company. In 2015 SIDBI Venture Capital Ltd., invested in Maximus Infoware. In 2017 and 2018 Maximus has been rated as “Financially Stable” by Crisil/S&P.

On the other hand, Uma also oversees the department of Human Resources and ensures that the company retains a people-centric culture. By combining her feminine instincts with professional wisdom, she generates a unique people-oriented culture, which is a key strength of the company. Furthermore, in the time of the pandemic, the company has kept the employee health at the top priority. As soon as the virus surged around the world, Maximus informed all the employees to work from home. It established VPN connectivity and also sent desktops to the homes of the staff that did not have their personal desktop or laptop. Maximus also offered a Mediclaim cover to all employees.

Apart from this, there are only 5 employees that opted to stay in office and are handling 24*7 support to the customers. “Keeping their efforts in mind we have fully taken care of their food expenses and also paid an additional allowance for working from the office,” shared Uma.

Attaining the Perfect Balance

As an entrepreneur, the most difficult part of running an organization is finding balance between personal and office life. Uma has been perfectly balancing the professional as well as personal life. She understands that personal family and official family are equally important. However, there can be times one has to sacrifice either on personal family matters or on professional matters depending on the situation. Uma further adds, “The compensating act from my side needs to be doubled up to make the family that sacrificed more to feel better.”

The balancing act remains inevitable, especially, for women entrepreneurs having a supportive family by side helps to attain this balance peacefully.

Professionalism amid Crisis

“Women have that innate sense of understanding of others’ strengths and weaknesses and their problems as well,” says Uma Shankar. Due to this, employees tend to develop trust and confidence in their woman employer and this creates an invisible connection between the employer and the employees.

The current COVID outbreak has altered the traditional work style. According to Uma, this outbreak has provided women professionals with a new opportunity to resume their work. “Women professionals who had resigned to handle their home responsibility have got the opportunity now to work and also fulfill their career goals,” she asserts. The work-from-home has given these employees the freedom of time where completion of work is important than 9 to 5 timings. This freedom has resulted into more successful productive hours. Women professionals are finding it easy to focus on work as well as balancing their personal life.

Mentoring to be the Best Professionals

Being a working professional for a long time, Uma Shankar has experienced several obstacles but she was always determined to reach the goal. Even after the crisis, she has been tackling the obstacles in terms of financial and HR requirements. The COVID-19 outbreak has been hard-hitting for the employees in many organisations with the sudden lay-offs and industry shut-down. Despite the industry scenario, she has been encouraging the employees to bring out their best and have also recruited a good number of novices and grooming them to be the best professionals.

As the veteran of the industry, Uma, advises the aspiring professionals to be determined and do hard work with complete sincerity. Besides, always believe in the fact that “Customer is God” and provide the customers with the best support to make a mark for your organization in the industry.

Also Read: Iconic Business Women to Follow in 2024



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