Aruna Pidikiti

Hub Chief Technology Officer (South & East)

16 Engaging Years

The 16 fruitful years with Airtel have been really exciting; I have witnessed growth from close quarters from a small team to over 25,000 employees worldwide. Over the years, I have donned various roles at Airtel as every 2 to 3 years brings in a new challenge and a new opportunity that keeps me engaged and energetic as ever.

Early Life

I belong to Kandukur, Andhra Pradesh where I did my schooling. Post my engineering from JNTU Anantapur (AP) I pursued M.Tech in Digital communications from Osmania University, Hyderabad. My father has been a great influence on me. He worked in BSNL and helped me shape my career path towards the communication field. In 1992, I started as an R&D engineer with real time systems New Delhi. Post a year of maternity break, I rejoined STPI in 1995 and worked there for 5 years before joining Airtel in Dec 2000.

Journey at Airtel

In 1996, while at STPI, we were service providers for Airtel’s Mantra online, providing internet backhaul capacity. Having the skill set of managing an ISP set-up, I joined Mantra online as DGM in 2000. Over the years, I have worked in various profiles and divisions. I started with Mantra online, went onto head Data Operations of Bharti Infotel, head of Network Operation Center (NOC ) of Transport Network Group, then moving from wireline technology to mobile technology in 2010 as AP circle’s CTO and in 2013 as Hub CTO for South and East.

Kbps to Tbps

My bosses and my life partner have been great mentors and my support system, helping me grow as a successful professional. N. Arjun was head of Bharti Infotel in 2001 and has had a profound influence on me. Over 16 years, I have seen Internet services provided by Airtel grow manifold - from Kbps (Kilo bits per sec) to Tbps (Tera bits per sec). Airtel‘s organic growth in network infrastructure makes me feel proud as I have been an integral part of it. I feel a great sense of achievement having built Airtel’s ISP backbone network and MPLS network in almost 120 locations.

Support System at Airtel

Airtel’s support system for women has grown as the company grew. While we always had work from home and flexi timings, addition of facilities like day care has made work life more manageable for career-oriented mothers. The openness in culture is really refreshing and all my male colleagues have been pro-women and very supportive.

Wisdom for working women

My advice to working women is to never get bogged down by work-life pressures. Set your own priorities and keep adapting to various situations. Never feel that family responsibilities in addition to work commitments can hold you back. It’s a fine balance one needs to achieve. I juggle between my work and taking care of my son who is pursuing Engineering, a daughter who is preparing for her boards exams and a husband who is an entrepreneur. With an appropriate mix of passion, commitment and prioritization you can do it all!