Chaitra Vvedullapalli is an accomplished Digital Officer who thrives on conceptualizing, analyzing, and executing strategic business initiatives to increase customer loyalty, margins, and maximize sustainable competitive advantages. Recognized as an influential Digital Business Leader with a passion to enable digital equality and access to achieve economic prosperity in our communities. She is the Co-Founder and CMO of Meylah focused on helping customers to modernize their business with Cloud solutions. She is also the Co-Founder of Women in Cloud, sits on the board of several companies, and drives global conversations with the United Nations and top corporations.
Using the power of AI, Cloud, and IoT, Chaitra is fiercely committed to empowering business owners to access the digital economy. She is also recognized as an author, speaker, change leader, holds a patent, TEDx and United Nation speaker, and recognized as the Woman in Influence. She has connected lives by the values of ‘the rising tide lifts all boats’ and believes that together we can go further.
Learn more: https://chaitravedullapalli.com
What drives you to do what you do every day?
According to Boston Global Consulting, when women and men are given equal access to economic opportunities, we can add an additional $5 Trillion into the global GDP. The reality is women are not given equal access and equity to contribute to the economic development of our societies. I am dedicated to defeating ‘What ifs’ that I constantly encounter and my desire to transform the industry to be inclusive is now a way of life.
If you could develop new technology without any limits what would you build and what impact would it have?
There is a saying “Health is wealth”. Conquering health is the ultimate frontier for me. I ponder ‘What if humans could detect their health issue and use technology to create the perfect meal to address that issue?’ ‘What if our breath could tell us what is the state of our health and what habits we need to change to get into perfect shape?’ ‘What if we can stand in front of the mirror and identify the areas of tension and create a daily prescription to manage it effectively?’
The another area I focus on is creating economic access. Thinking about technologies that help people can easily get connected to move up the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The attempt to build Speaker Engagement Platform to enable speakers to easily connect with attendees to create infinite opportunities is one of the first steps I have taken. This will be an area where I will spend the majority of my time to think and explore new ways to drive economic access.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken? If you had another chance, what would you do differently?
The biggest risk is marrying a person meeting him for an hour and getting married in 8 days. I learnt from that experience that you base decisions on the situation. We are celebrating our 25th anniversary and have had an adventurous life. I have no regrets marrying him. I have nothing to change. It was perfect the way it is.
How did you keep yourself motivated through the toughest time of Covid-19?
COVID-19 crippled our health, social, and economic structure built over decades. I was worried for my family, for my friends and colleagues who are based all over the world. While it was scary, it was also my responsibility to focus on the silver linings and hold the fort. I took up Calligraphy, Knitting, and Painting; this helped me relax and nurture my creativity. Cooking was another activity that I religiously undertook; it brought the whole family together.
I would often host virtual happy hours with my friends and the community to connect with others and ensure mutual support. It is extremely crucial to stay connected and be each other’s emotional and mental rock during the pandemic.
Who do you most respect in the tech industry and why?
I admire many leaders in tech. When I think about people I respect there are many of them. The people who changed my life are my teachers who were invited to learn the cobol and oracle database. They taught me to see the invisible and invited to dream possibilities. The first set of people who are hired in the tech industry and believe in me that I can create infinite opportunities for others.
If you could change something about the technology industry what would it be?
My personal mission is to make sure the technology industry becomes gender and race inclusive. For decades, technology has been called the industry for men, while in reality, women contribute equally or more for its success and transformation. I believe, the credit, recognition, and access ought to be given to more women to ensure this industry caters to all the people in the future.
I would lead the charge to ensure every aspect of technology from supply chains to boardrooms are inclusive and women are given opportunities in collaboration with world organizations like the United Nations and governments. We are already undertaking this effort in Seattle and New York but I would want Women In Cloud to become a global movement.
How do you manage the stress of gender inequality in your industry?
Gender inequality does exist, but the effort to curb the lack of equality is also on the rise. Over the years, I have made conscious decisions to serve people and add value. I function with clarity and am critical about analyzing a situation if I am invisible. I believe in understanding ‘why I was not invited’, ‘why do I lack certain equity’, and ‘how can I do better to overcome challenges.’ Some scenarios simply require the courage to walk away.
It is no longer about one or two women. We are a global community of 100M women and we make sure we do not leave anyone behind.
What made you get into the technology industry?
I was convinced I lacked the imagination to develop technology code until I learned about Oracle Databases and Windows. The colorful and effective interface intrigued me to explore more. I could see the invisible with technology and I decided to defer my plans to pursue post-graduation in music to explore technology as a pathway for career opportunities. This shift opened up opportunities that previously seemed impossible. I desired to work with Microsoft since they were able to impact a billion lives with technology. When the opportunity came calling, it was beyond exciting since there was a sheer enthusiasm to learn about creating a billion-dollar strategy which Microsoft mastered.
Currently, I am a part of a community organization that is on a mission to create $1B in economic access for female-tech entrepreneurs. At Meylah, my husband and I are striving to build an enterprise-ready business to serve our customers with Cloud & AI solutions. The shift from dismissing technology to now operating in the largest industry has been extraordinary.
Have you ever had a now or never moment?
I think every day is now or never moment. I believe we need to live with the attitude that today is one’s last day on this planet. So, the question to ask is how do I plan to spend 86,400 seconds every day gives me. This abundance mindset helps me ground myself and contribute daily to society.
What legacy do you want to leave for the next generation of tech enthusiasts?
I want the future generation of female tech enthusiasts and leaders to know that anything is possible with technology. I want their fight to be to contribute to a better, sustainable and transformative industry rather than to fight for access and opportunities. I want to ensure we create access and opportunities for every woman and let them know that technology is accessible and within reach.
I believe, “Infinite opportunities are created when you are dedicated to serving people daily.”