Borrowed from SAMPADA old editions – for the 10th Anniversary Special Issue – Interviews section. This one is of Uma Reddy, 1984 EEE.

Uma Reddy is from 1984 electrical batch. Currently she is the managing director @ Hitech Magnetics & Electronics Pvt Ltd. She is also the chair-person, ESDM cluster of CLIK & past president, CLIK – consortium of electronic industries of Karnataka. She has received the Rajyotsava award in 2005 for her contribution to society.

Team Sampada: What inspired you to get into the engineering field against the regular notion?

Uma Reddy: 3 decades ago, there was not much of choice. It was either engineering or medicine as a career option. And I chose engineering and was offered electrical and I took it. There was no google to explore. Asked a few family members and with my parents encouragement I opted for the technical course, I did. The other option was to do my BSc or BA & join a bank or take up teaching I preferred Engineering. UVCE is a well respected institution and was proud to join.

Team Sampada: What are the memories about your college days?

Uma Reddy: When our batch stepped into college, the senior boys were more surprised than we were. Till then UVCE had only about 10 – 15 girls in the entire college and suddenly we were 40 girls out of 106 students in one electrical engineering class itself. We were also the last batch in the 5 year semester scheme and all focus at that point of time was on the new batch of annual 4 year scheme.

When we wrote the first exam, it was a big dream and a big step. Then we just got used to it. It was a board exam every 6 months and in between it was results. Time just flew between working for exams and awaiting results. We had a good gang of friends. The best I have from all the institutions that I studied. We keep in touch and we meet, as often as we can. All my friends are doing very well and when some of them who are abroad, visit Bangalore, we definitely meet up. In fact on the sidelines of the last UVCE reconnect, we had 45 of our classmates get together.

Team Sampada: How has the position of a woman in the society changed over the years from being restricted to the house to leading companies today?

Uma Reddy: Personally, I started my business, while I was at college in UVCE, Electrical – M/S Hitech Magnetics, a SSI, manufacturing Transformers, coils and electronic sub assemblies for MNCs & PSUs. A first generation entrepreneur, I began my career, while in my final year of college designing Printed Circuit Boards. After graduating in 1985, I had a choice of joining Kirloskar Systems, but having had a taste of entrepreneurship, I continued in the same field. There has definitely be a great shift for women in leadership roles and it is quite evident in the banking sector etc. The no. of women entrepreneurs has increased, but it could do better. The present statistics is that 12% of the MSMEs are women owned, vis a vis a 10% of the same, 30 years ago. You see more and more women joining the economic fold and managing the various roles that they play. There is definitely a vibrancy in the environment, but there is a need for more support systems for women to make forays and look at higher growth.

Team Sampada: What is your message to the budding women engineers of our college?

Uma Reddy: Present colleges have more young ladies. The commitment of young girls has led them to be toppers in studies and with the present environment of ‘Make in India’ the support to start up’s in the new budget, the tools available to support industry and the huge knowledge available with IOT etc, I strongly feel that women should take up entrepreneurship as a career option.

Work, gain experience and with the passion, commitment and creativity, that we women are known for, your enterprise will surely soar and your career will carve a trajectory of success.

– Uma Reddy, Sampada-62

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