Meet the Talent – Mahima Merlin Dominic

Age: 32

Place of residence: Mumbai, India

Position: Strategy Lead at AdaniConnex DataCenters (a JV of EdgeConnex Inc.)

Please describe a day in your life:

My normal weekday starts with waking to my alarm, a generous cup of home-brewed coffee and a prayer of gratitude. I occasionally indulge in reading a small part of the Bible. The day follows with breakfast and a quick glance at the current news/affairs via mobile apps (I follow multiple apps to have a variety of information pertaining to personal and professional goals) and work emails. When I’m not travelling India-wide for work purposes, life is planned well, and I get some happy vibes from my family.

Travelling to my workplace takes a substantial time, so that is when I act upon responding to anything urgent on emails or apps, turn on my computer, and this lasts until lunchtime. After lunch, I mostly prefer meeting my clients, often until the evening, just to keep the day lively. In between, I also do some research and some relaxing stuff, such as reading articles. I often finish my day with a happy dinner at home with family, catching up on their day and sharing.

How many projects are you currently working on? Please describe them:

There are two projects that I am currently invested in. The first is to build brand visibility for the AdaniConnex DataCenters, which involves marketing, campaigns, client meets and technical discussions from various spheres of technology and industry across the vast Indian region. Educating, imparting current knowledge, and stitching various technical solutions together to create the perfect option for the client’s digital transformation journey.

Secondly, I am advocating for women in technology, especially those still untapped by the woman workforce, like DataCentres and Cybersecurity. DataCentre Industry is mainly streamlined for the male-oriented fraternity, seldom seeing the women workforce diving and excelling. And women in cybersecurity often face under-representation, lack of mentoring, and negative stereotyping, which soon needs to be addressed from the top down.

It is critical and important to attract more women into tech to further the competitive advantage of companies and countries. I will take this platform to re-quote Ms Indira Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, to bring Women- the builders into the centre of the conversation and responsibilities, for it is the prominent women leaders in the technology domain of the world who have showcased the power of Honesty, Courage, Work-life balance, Empathy & Teamwork, Social Impact, and Decisive action in leadership. Now that is something you call a Leader Package; women surely are one.

In your opinion, who is the most influential person/company in the world of technology these days?

Elon Musk; with his disruptive innovation at Tesla, SpaceX, X Corp, and OpenAI, we see that the future of science and technology is pushing theories to newer realms of existence and providences. And that is what the next generation will aim for, interested and passionate about. 

If you could pick one app/product/project existing now that you wish you were involved in, what would it be?

ChatGPT; the future of technology is AI. So, being behind the ML algorithms and NLP that drive the AI spectrum is powerful and future-defining. That will create the future we now only dream or fathom about. That is the legacy I will choose to be a part of at any time. 

How do you see technology evolving in the next ten years?

Technology has both fair and dark sides to its varied use and abuse. Wherein we aim to bring technology to ease the work, reduce manufacturing burden, provide transformative education, promote sustainable progression in the field of science and develop medicines, treatments, and healthcare products; we also can see excessive data breaches, cyber threats, misuse of AL/ML and data-explosions. The next ten years will be more focussed on how technology can help us monitor & evolve technology and maximize its advantages for Human growth.

What would you like the industry to look like in ten years?

The next ten years truly depend upon countries’ leadership, driving the youth, education, military, scientists and the population into future versions of what we call HumanTech. So, technocrats in prominent positions must get involved with the Country’s leadership and design, develop and direct its technological growth pattern right in time for future generations to reap its benefits. The stronger the tech base of a country, theirs is the future power.

What are the three characteristics you have that make you successful in tech?

I am an Electronics & Communication Engineer and IT/ITES business enthusiast with an ardent flair for storytelling about IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, SaaS, MaaS, BaaS and XaaS(hybrid cloud computing as service). I have hands-on expertise and insights in driving multiple projects to successful execution with confidence, creativity and zeal. I have gained excellent business acumen in ITES, Telecom, Optical Fiber Connectivity, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Data Centers, AI/ML, and the various technologies that run these domains.

What is the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your career?

Unwanted opinions and biases from people we work with or surround in our professional lives. Because these advices/opinions/biases somewhat play with our minds and exaggerate the FOMO, indecisiveness and distractions. The filters come only with experience and age. At a young age, we do not know better what to believe and what not.

What is your greatest achievement up until today?

To be nominated and stand runner-up on a global scale amongst a renowned and experienced list of Women in Information Communication and Technology (WIICTA 2022)) presented by the WomenTech Network for the year 2022. I was recognized to be disrupting the male-market trends by being a people magnet, driving and liaising within India’s Information and Communication Technology(ICT) industry.

What do you wish yourself with respect to your career?

I aim, aspire and work towards being an inspiration to the younger generation for amalgamating the best worlds of Technology and Business together to help contribute to the advancement of community, society and nation.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Creating and Mentoring the next gen of tech-business disruptors. 

What is your next goal?

Exploring opportunities beyond India to bring a oneness of insight, foresight and passion for a Technologically advanced future that resonates around Humanity. I am keen on growing and reminding the values of Humanity and Gratitude with my circle and cascading it along my journey.

What tips do you have for people who want to start in the tech world?

Be creative and diversify your knowledge and experience. That helps a long way to stitch the holistic solutions and reforms in work, career and life.

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?

Do not stop believing in miracles where logic and science rest emerges the faith and belief of the heart. What you resonate with nature comes multi-fold in existence. 

What do non-tech people around you (family, friends) think you do?

Weirdly enough, they believe Tech Sales & Strategy is just old-school door-to-door selling. It is tough to fathom the ideology that solutions are developed or customized after a thorough understanding of the business requirement, current setup and expanse while ensuring the solution is fully proven and forecasted to survive for at least the next five to ten years in today’s ever-transforming market.

What is the invention of the century in your eyes?

Smart-Devices; the world is encompassed in just our palms. We have come a long way from Differential Machines and algorithms.

What can’t you do without? (app/product…)

Smart-Device (laptop or mobile) and various utility/social apps help me keep organized and facilitate data research, primarily professionally and to a great extent personally, too.

Which famous person would you like to have dinner with and why?

Elon Musk; with his disruptive innovation at Tesla, SpaceX, X Corp, and OpenAI, we see that the future of science and technology is pushing theories to newer realms of existence and providences. And that is what the next generation will aim for, interested and passionate about.

Where would you like to travel next?

I have been fascinated by Danish culture and history, and I surely want to visit the glorious Nordics to explore their nature, science, culture and traditions. 

If you were asked to stay on a deserted island for six months, what three things would you take with you?

A knife for hunting/sustaining/defence, a sleeping bag to keep warm and a magnifying glass for an unlimited supply of fire (that could help me desalinate seawater for drinking too).

Do you have a person who influences or motivates you?

There is so much to learn from the world, and majorly we are surrounded by good people who love to impart their knowledge and learning. I learned this trait from my father, a retired Government Urban Planner, who taught me to see the good and imbibe what is good for me. I draw inspiration, influence and motivation from almost everyone I meet in my life. 

Last thing regarding which you told yourself, “How come no one has ever thought of it”?

Very recently, technocrats have yet to explore the vast opportunities and roles in data centers; communities generally understand that data centers are civil-focused genres of Technology and hence come to the challenges of labour-intensive work environments. There is a need for more education and awareness from an early stage regarding various non-civil aspects that tech-enthusiasts can pursue like Design Engineering, electrical and mechanical monitoring, technical supply chain, Civil architects, solution architects, NOC & SOC engineers, Telecom-Network-Security Engineers, Project managers, Technical Marketing, Technical Sales & Presales, Accounts, Bid and Commercials. These are the building blocks which comprise the DataCentres industry as a whole. DataCentres are the perfect bridge between Telecom, and IT brought together to cater vast amounts of Data, and Data is the next-gen IT boom. There are a multitude of permutation combinations depending on the expertise and passion path.

What is the greatest miss? (you thought it would never work, but it turned out to be a great success)

Technocrats in Business/Sales. Because of being so heavily invested and engrossed in the complete journey of the development of products and solutions, technocrats are the best to convince, give confidence and convert maximum business opportunities. And that is a great miss today not to realize technology and business are two sides of the same coin- growth. 

What did you dream of creating/inventing/doing as a child?

My prime desire was always to bring joy to whomsoever I interacted with. Be it in terms of my conversation, sharing ideas, inspiring actions, and promoting creative edge with people I meet in daily life. Also, to be able to inspire a community/society of futuristic ideologies above the barriers of nationalities, qualifications, gender or race.

How did covid-19 change the way people view technological development?

A complete paradigm shift from the usual. People of every age group were forced to learn, explore and use technology day in and out. Technology and science in every field saw great eminence. Corporates understood the true meaning of a work-life balance, wherein work-from-anywhere resulted in better or more-or-less similar results, keeping the employees’ happiness and satisfaction quotient high. Where previously the generation gap was defined by tech-cognizance, it is no longer the case. I am sure the world is more keen and ready for any challenging situations, at least from the Tech aspect.

Andriani has been working in Publishing Industry since 2010. She has worked in major Publishing Houses in UK and Greece, such as Cambridge University Press and ProQuest. She gained experience in different departments in Publishing, including editing, sales, marketing, research and book launch (event planning). She started as Social Media Manager in 4i magazine, but very quickly became the Editor in Chief. At the moment, she lives in Greece, where she is mentoring women with job and education matters; and she is the mother of 3 boys.