‘A Ladder To Apex’ – Sankat Haran Upadhyay, Director Application Development, NTT Data Services
Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do. – Nelson Mandela
These words truly reflect in the journey of Mr. Sankat Haran Upadhyay, Director Application Development, NTT Data Services.
I know this great personality since birth as he is my uncle. Whenever there is some doubt in my mind or I need any guidance, I call upon him and he is readily available during any hour of the day despite being on a high position where he can barely spare time for a conversation.
Although I am constantly in touch with him over phone and face to face interaction on his visits to India, I am very grateful to VIVO ALTOR Ambition for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to know more about him where he shared some of the great secrets and insights from the days during his college and professional life.
Speaking to him is always inspirational and a great pleasure for me. He is very humble and down to earth type of person.
In order to rise from its own ashes, a phoenix first must burn.
Born and brought up in a small village of Bihar, he is very hardworking from the beginning itself and he never gives up on his dream. His journey of life is nothing less that a reel life story where a hero coming from a poor family travels mile on foot to reach school and studies under trees in order to rise beyond, hero achieves the same and in process inspires the whole society. Everything in Mr. S H Upadhyay life depicts the same. During his schooling days, he was always among the state toppers, he got a gold medal from Bihar School Examination Board in Science talent competition, 1975. In the same year, he joined IIT Kharagpur. He received many accolades during his college days. After finishing his graduation, he worked for TATA Steel before moving to US in order to join NTT DATA where he is working for 22 years.
On the question of an incident from his time in college that helped in shaping his professional life, he says, while joining in IIT Kharagpur I had no idea about ragging. When I faced the tough reality of ragging, I felt bad but then I thought that if it is a tradition which all the seniors have gone through and survived as well, so why not me. In fact, one of the seniors asked me if I would run away. I replied that you did not then why should I. He liked my bold reply and thereafter he became a very good friend of mine. At the end I understood that the purpose of ragging was to make you bold, remove biases, be more open and independent. It helped me to be what I am today.
About the passion which helps him become better in the mainline career, he says, I love teaching. I moved from Technology to Information Technology. In USA, I find that the professionals coming from India need a lot of coaching. I teach SQL, DB design, Data warehouse and facilitates brainstorming sessions. It helps me connect with my team and in the process, I earn the commitment of my team as well. I believe, they will never fail me.
On being asked about what kind of attitude and approaches do you look in the candidates apart from the specific skills when considering people for your team, he says, Other than the technical skills I look forward to the communication skills, a person should be able to put forward whatever is going in his/her mind very clearly. The body language, a very important aspect because it helps me decipher certain behaviours of a person which words cannot. Self-confidence, it is necessary for a person to have in able to succeed, a person who knows to stand confidently again and again after failing will definitely go to great heights in the life. Ability to learn from their mistake, a person who does self-evaluation for the shortcomings and perform accordingly the next time can definitely succeed on the thing he/she desires. Ability to learn from others, a person who is ready to learn from anyone, be it a toddler or a person with great experience will be respected and heard everywhere. I also look for the answers on what failures they had and how they dealt with it. I also present them with many situational based questions to check if they are a team player or not, as a successful team cannot be made from persons who want to work alone, rather it consists of many individuals who can go to great lengths for the team and its members.
This wonderful conversation which I did not want to end but still has to, it ended with great words of wisdom from his side – “A leader who loves & helps the team in any situation is admired and followed”.
The interaction was wonderful and there are a lot of takeaways from it. Some of the major takeaways are: –
- Life is all about up’s and down’s, never falter from your dream/path. There will always be failure in the desired path but what you learn from those failures and how you convert them into the guiding stepstones of success is upon you and no one else.
- Be close to the team, do not let your team down with derogatory statements or attitude. Take care of the team, guide them, lead on the difficult path, walk the convenient path alongside them, follow them while receiving accolades.
- Knowledge is never sufficient enough; one can always learn during the journey of life. Never believe that you have more knowledge than some individual. Every species of life or any happening activity can help us in developing the knowledge base.