For Pallavi Ramchandani, the channel community’s quest for greater diversity and inclusion is up close and personal.
In January, Ramchandani upended her life and promising channel career in Dubai to move to Toronto, where she now works for Cognizant Microsoft Business Group.
New company, new country, new culture. And all in the middle of a global pandemic, no less.
“I took a brave decision of moving my very stable life back in the United Arab Emirates to Canada, a very new territory for myself,” she told CDN in an interview from her Toronto home.
That fearlessness is one of the reasons Koreen Ott nominated Ramchandani for CDN’s Rising Star award, which was presented virtually at Tuesday’s Women in the IT Channel (WITC) Recognition Luncheon.
“Pallavi is very persistent. In a very positive way, she’s trying to influence others, to show them a bigger picture, to be really relentless in the journey on ‘How can I actually accomplish this?’” said Ott, who is Cognizant MBG’s marketing director in Canada, as well as its client director for communications, media and technology.
Ramchandani is also at Cognizant MBG, as field marketing specialist, Canada region. Getting there involved a cross-border, cross-cultural journey that has spanned a total of five countries so far.
Journey to the channel
Ramchandani brings both technical and business acumen to the channel. After getting a bachelor of engineering degree in India, she earned a masters in global business in 2017 through an international course that allowed her to study in Dubai, Singapore and Sydney, Australia.
Her first job out of school was in marketing at the Dubai offices of British publishing and events company Informa. She then joined the channel by taking a senior marketing position at the Dubai headquarters of IT distributor Westcon-Comstor.
Next up was a role at Ingram Micro as Microsoft marketing specialist for the Persian Gulf region. Although Ramchandani’s channel career was clearly flourishing in the Middle East, she made the momentous move to Toronto.
In the eight short months since then, she’s won Cognizant MBG’s rookie of the month award, boosted the firm’s LinkedIn impressions by more than 3,000 per cent, and spearheaded an internal company art auction that raised more than $6,000 for Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.
Despite her impressive education and growing list of career accomplishments, Ramchandani continuously ugprades her skills and knowledge through courses and certifications.
“I do believe that one should never settle and one should always continue their learning,” she explained. “So I try to be a better version of myself every day. I always want to know what is out there, what are the best practices out there and how I can implement those best practices into my current day-to-day working.”
Less than a year after joining the Canadian channel, Ramchandani is already active in the Women in Tech Network and GET IT, Cognizant MBG’s Gender Equality Tactics and Inclusion Team.
For her, however, the journey to diversity and inclusion is an ongoing personal experience, not just an industry initiative.
“I’ve been undergoing a different cultural experience altogether,” she said of her recent move to Canada. “It has shaped and formulated into something really good, better than what I expected, honestly. In my professional life, I’ve been surrounded by various people who have made that change very normalized for me and it never feels like I’m in a different country.”
Tuesday’s virtual event also featured the induction of four women into the WITC Hall of Fame: Nancy Kierstead of Bulletproof, Noémi Labelle of ITI, Rose Marcello of VMware and Joanne C. Wilson of The Trainer’s Advisory Network. Wilson was also named WITC Mentor of the Year.