TheCconnects: Can you tell our readers a little about your professional journey & how did you come to your current role/position?
Kamalika Guha Roy: I started my professional journey with Azure Technologies, an IT/ITES partnership firm I founded with my friends. I ran it for almost two years before moving on to the regular 9to5 jobs. Between 2004 and 2010, I worked with various IT services companies, mainly in leadership capacities. In 2010 I moved to Mumbai to join a gaming product company, Indiagames Ltd., which was later bought over by the Walt Disney company and gave me an opportunity to work with an iconic organisation like Disney. In 2013 I quit Disney and embarked on my startup journey with an Edutech company called Monk Akarshala. In 2015 I joined Grab (now a Reliance company) as Head of Technology; they were into the last mile logistics space. End of 2015, I joined Just Buy Live as Chief Architect; at that time, they had the highest Series A funding in India.
In 2018 I incorporated my IT/ITES startup Ebullientech and joined KidzByte as the CTO. In 2019 I took up the role of an Independent Director with Jet Freight Logistics Ltd., one of the country’s leading freight forwarders. In 2021 I became Co-founder and Director/CTO of two other startups, Adarsa and Future Wave, where I worked on AI/ML, Embedded Systems and Internet of Things (IoT). Between 2018 and 2019, I helped Hoichoi TV and Dance with Madhuri streaming platforms build independent video technology frameworks.
TheCconnects: Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
Kamalika Guha Roy: I always say, “I’m the blended effect of everyone I have ever met”. So, there are many people and stories that have influenced me. People I have worked with, my friends and their parents, and people I have met during my travels, my parents, my mentor Late Mr Bhaskar Sen, a construction chemical maestro, founder of Sika Qualcrete (now Sika India).
TheCconnects: What are the biggest challenges you have faced in your life & how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenges were getting the right people for the job, building a team as accountable as me, educating end-users and clients, securing funds for my ideas, maintaining the psychological safety of my people, misogyny – there are so many! I have only one way of overcoming any challenge: be at it until you have cracked it, be a stubborn finisher.
TheCconnects: What lessons you have learned from your professional career?
There are many lessons that I have learned during my professional journey, like the value of emotional intelligence and patience, the importance of empathy and humility, the significance of good governance and compliance.
TheCconnects: What do you see as the biggest challenge for brands in the digital space?
Too many players are fighting for the same space so getting the attention of our target audience is a huge challenge. It is also tough to convince why they should focus on quality and allow their service provider sufficient time and budget to achieve their goals.
TheCconnects: How your product/solution can help to resolve the pain points of your customers?
Every business problem is different, so as CIOs, we must first understand their pain points and devise a solution/product specific to their needs. We need to have the mindset and patience to get to the root of our customer’s problems. My mind and intellect are the products that can solve every customer’s problem.
TheCconnects: Do you have any advice for those who want to become a chief officer?
Your want isn’t enough; you must have the intent to solve someone else’s problem by treating it as your own. Ownership, accountability, courage, dedication, and continuous learning are the key factors that curve the path for any CXO. Our courses are even more challenging as CIOs because only knowing technology and business strategies isn’t sufficient. We must get to the root of every subject matter to create solutions for and around them. There has to be a strong urge and stubbornness to complete things and take them to their respective summits.