It’s not easy to become a senior leader in the competitive world of Silicon Valley. It requires vision, tenacity and the ability to build teams that repeatedly achieve big results. But Monica Kumar argues it takes more: a little Bollywood flair plus degrees in mechanical engineering and business.
“Sure, you need grit, determination and the ability to juggle many things at once, but keeping the focus on people, both employees and customers, is the key to success.”
Kumar grew up in Rajasthan, India and got hooked on Hindi cinema at an early age. For her, the traditional Bollywood plotline was and remains irresistible: it’s vibrant, full of triumphs and tribulations, filled with larger-than-life characters overcoming unforeseen challenges using ingenuity and grit, along with colorful outfits, sparkly jewelry and a few over-the-top musical numbers for literally any occasion.
In her favorite film, the classic Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham, which translates roughly to “sometimes happiness, sometimes sadness,” Kumar said she’s found a recipe for work and life.
“The great thing about Bollywood movies is that they are full of emotion and drama, ups and downs, just like in life, ” said Kumar. “But no matter how much drama and how bad the situation, things always work out in the end.”