After completing her Ph.D. in Poultry Science from IVRI, she started her career as an R&D Manager at a private firm. But the turning point of her career was taking the Technical Role. In an e-interview with Think Grain Think Feed she shares more about her journey, the industry, and tips for girls who are starting their careers in the industry. Please read the below excerpts.
You have been working in the industry for more than a decade. Would you please share about learnings or interesting incidents?
The most exciting thing about working in the poultry industry is its dynamic nature. We are part of the food chain and we have the responsibility of “feeding the future” in a responsible and sustainable manner. After my Ph.D. in Poultry Science from IVRI, I started working as an R&D Manager at a private firm. Then the organization asked me to take up a “Technical Role” instead of R&D which was a big turning point in my career.
I liked the idea and since then have been enjoying meeting new and varied customers from different geographies, discussing with them industry challenges, and coming up with potential solutions. I was very fortunate that in my very early career itself, I had the opportunity to work with some bright minds and great legends of the industry. Sharing the stage with Dr. Leeson as a speaker was the highlight of my career so far.
Please share about challenges you faced including work-life balance.
I am a firm believer that challenges are part and parcel of life and the key lies in converting the “Challenges” into “Opportunities”. It is all about making use of opportunities, setting your own standards, and live by them both on a personal and professional front. I have been very fortunate that my mentors in various organizations gave a lot of freedom in work that provided a great learning opportunity and as well helped me to manage my personal life.
My family had been and continues to be a great support in managing this work-life balance, during my travels. Of course, then you have friends who unconditionally support you whenever needed. Working in the poultry industry has been rewarding to me and I must say that I was never subjected to any gender discrimination at either workplace or in the industry.
Where do you see the industry going 10 years down the line?
The Indian poultry industry has the highest potential for growth in the world. In the last few decades, it has grown tremendously despite many challenges. To bring in more efficiencies and consistent performance, the industry will gradually move towards automation in each sector. Digitalization is picking up across the globe, and the Indian industry will adopt this technology across the value chain, which will play a big role in addressing the food safety and traceability challenges.
Big data management and artificial intelligence is another trend the industry will move towards and will gain momentum over time. Getting the right price for animal produce is still a big concern. As the cost of production is increasing, our produce should get a consistently better price. Therefore, I feel there should be innovations in the way we market our product. This along with increased chicken processing will certainly help to standardize the volatility in end-product pricing.
Tips for girls who are looking to pursue their careers in the industry.
As I said before, the poultry industry is very dynamic and exciting. Young girls coming out of Universities should have big dreams and clear goals. The livestock industry will certainly be a platform for them to achieve their goals. According to me, young girls should develop 3 C”’s – Courage, Confidence, and Communication. Maybe I can add another “C” – be curious and ask questions and guidance from industry leaders. We need more girls and women to join our industry to make it more vibrant. In today’s world wherein we talk a lot about diversity and inclusion, women deem to be a good fit in this by bringing in a lot of varied thoughts, dimensions, ideas, etc., for a given scenario.
At the start of my career at many a place, I would be the only lady industry representative and nowadays it is good to see the trend changing. It is heartening to know that many company owners and managers cite me as an example to their female staff about how we need to be courageous to travel and be dynamic at workplaces. I would like to sign off by saying that gender discrimination should not happen in any industry and an opportunity should be given solely based on the potential of the candidate. I think India has advanced leaps and bounds already in this direction.
by Sabiha Kadari, Trouw Nutrition