Never Fear The New
Srividya (Sri) Ramkumar started her journey with Ecolab in 2017 as the senior director for Commercial Digital Solutions. Under her leadership, the Digital Product Development team built the next-gen industrial IOT platform ECOLAB3D™ for customers that want to manage risk and asset performance. Her team was instrumental in creating ECOLAB3D ecosystem that combines Ecolab’s deep-water expertise with the latest in digital technology. ECOLAB3D digital water solutions help companies operationalize their sustainability targets and combat water scarcity while harnessing opportunities for growth and efficiency.
Recently, Sri demonstrated ECOLAB3D at the “Digital for Net-Zero” Virtual Summit co-hosted by Ecolab and Microsoft, the latest milestone in her impressive career journey with Ecolab.
“Ecolab has been my life for the past four years,” Sri said. “There is so much we could do. Our ambition is to build a multi-billion-dollar business with Ecolab. I can see the journey to it, and I want to be a part of building that business.”
Sri’s trek to successful leadership has been a winding path. She has encountered many challenges and changes along the way. Back when Sri was in college, she majored in mechanical engineering. She was the only female student in her class. Beset by doubts cast by people around her, Sri admits she was a bit overwhelmed at the time.
“The only thing I ever heard was ‘what are you going to do alone on a shop floor?’”, Sri said. “After some time, I began to doubt myself and prepared for a backup plan. I enrolled in bioscience and I thought I was going to do research.”
Sri’s plan changed again when she learned software development and became a financial software engineer working for a retail bank. Through this experience, she developed important interpersonal skills, enabling her to embrace ongoing changes in her life. Sri left footprints in many industries, from banking, to manufacturing, to pharmaceuticals. Eventually, Sri joined Ecolab, where her leadership and technical skills gained from her past experience have truly shined.
Many desire a stable career path so that they don’t have to deal with constant change. Sri, however, sees change as an opportunity for growth.
“To me, not fearing the new is my superpower,” Sri said. “I am quick to learn. I can process a lot of information and distill it very quickly. That skill comes through practice as I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly going through many career changes in my life.”
Sri’s determination in the face of challenge defines her leadership style and helps her cast out any remaining doubts.
“To be a leader, you need to shed your stubbornness,” Sri said.” If I jump into a project, I will leave behind what I knew and start to figure out what I need to learn. That’s how I navigate through bias and find the most optimal solutions.”
For aspiring female business leaders who want to follow a similar career path, Sri provides three pieces of advice:
“Know your superpowers, have courage in your cultural identities, and don’t be scared to be different. These are the three principles that have guided me throughout the years and helped me become who I am today.”