Contact Us

A global firm forging a common culture

One person at a time

Being part of a global firm demands that we recalibrate our perspectives. Not only do we need to think about the global business environment, but even within the firm we can develop a more complete perspective simply by interacting with our global peers and learning from the diverse backgrounds our people have.

On that note, I’d like to introduce you to Taruna Arora, a relatively new member of our fast-growing team in India.

From political science to procurement strategy

Curiosity and challenging the status quo are common to both

Let me say at the outset that I am completely happy with my life, family and work. In fact, I often rest with a sense of enormous gratitude, despite the obstacles and times of hardship I’ve experienced.

My childhood was rocked by two profound developments. At the age of two, my father was lost to our small family in a devastating car accident. My brother was eight months old. We were raised by a single mother and my brother had a major health complication as a young boy, which involved critical surgery.

It was a tough start. My life could have easily been one of hardship and poverty. Yet my mother’s strength and determination were infectious. Setbacks simply had to be overcome. Nor were they allowed to become excuses. Resilience is a great gift. I came to prize my independent spirit, and learning to be financially independent was a great lesson.

After graduating with honours in political science from Delhi University, I consolidated my thinking about my career options. As much as I loved the arts and studying politics, I knew it was a field that was ultimately unattractive, especially as I feel that modern media means that people in politics effectively surrender their private and personal lives.

At the same time, I identified that the big takeaways from my years of studying were the knowledge that my curiosity had to be fed, and I had a mind that was naturally critical. These two core competencies enabled me to challenge the status quo, question the way things are, and explore ways to improve.

I already had career experience in credit services and technology, so I decided that I would take my talents and throw myself into the world of business.

My first taste of big corporate life was with MetLife, a multinational insurance company. I joined the procurement team where we provided global support across a range of procurement activities. I learned a great deal and after three years I decided the time was right to push myself harder.

I put my hand up for a supply chain role with Accenture and was successful. I was pretty pleased with myself, and I found the work fascinating. We were providing SAP support to the Swiss mining and commodities trading giant Glencore with its operations in South Africa.

The challenge of being blown off course

Just as I was settling in properly with Accenture, I had a major setback in the form of a car accident and serious injury. I know I could just as easily have had my life cut short, so I counted my blessings and redoubled my commitment to recovery and getting my life back on track.

I know I’ve said I like challenges, but this was on another level. I had significant physical and mental challenges to overcome, but I was so determined I just kept pushing myself. The last thing I expected to happen during my recovery was to fall in love. Yet, that is exactly what happened. It was and still is the blessing of my life.

The accident was in January 2015. By September of that year, I was married and in July 2016 our son was born. It was a whirlwind, but I have never been so certain that I was doing the right thing.

Family was now the number one priority in my life and together with ongoing recovery I decided to take time out on the career front, trusting I’d be in better shape to return and contribute not too far into the future.

I decided the time was right to return to my career and the corporate world in 2018. I’d also decided I wanted a role where technology was a major part of my work, so I took an offer from Computer Sciences Corporation, which later merged with Hewlett Packard’s Enterprise Services business to become DXC Technology. I was a supplier manager and worked on a number of global IT projects.

My next career move was to HLC Tech, as an Assistant Manager. The company’s strength was in automation, and I intuitively knew this was going to become a major dynamic in the future of procurement and I was curious about where the technology was heading.

To infinity and beyond

After two years at the frontier of automated procurement, I was confident I had the expertise and experience for another important progression, to Infosys Portland, where I am happily ensconced today.

My first year has just passed. It has been fast, and it has been fun.

Just about every client we work with is looking to leverage automation. In addition, more advanced data analytics, AI and machine learning are starting to supercharge the way technology is being thought about and deployed.

For me, I feel very comfortable with the way technology is developing, even though so much is uncertain. What I really want, is to develop deeper expertise in procurement strategy, so I’m now completing a Professional Certificate in Supply Chain Management and have a Six Sigma certification in my sights.

I am ambitious, and Infosys Portland is so encouraging that I feel completely confident that I will not only advance my expertise but enjoy the journey. At least that has been my experience so far.

I’ve not experienced a corporate culture quite like this. It is all highly professional, yet I feel like I’m at home. At ease. I suspect that the fact Portland started in Australia has something to do with the culture. We know from the great cricket rivalry between our countries that we are both fiercely competitive and at the same time Australians are always saying “No worries.” Who knows?

What I do know is that the impressive quarterly parties we have, and the bi-weekly check-in calls keep our team – of almost 60 now – flying in formation. It is exactly the way I imagined my professional life to be.

When I first read Taruna’s story I was moved by how much it reminded me of so many young successful women I know. Resilience is one common trait. Ambition is another. Then there is talent. The biggest, at least in my mind, is the satisfaction they gain by being resilient, talented and ambitious.

Recent Posts