Family Comes First!

"Work in any IT company would have meant working on
overseas projects abroad for long durations and that would have meant neglecting
my family and my son. And, with both me and my husband staying away from home,
raising my son would have been a problem," Madbhavi explained.

Born in New Delhi, Ritu Madbhavi, has been a globetrotter in the
real sense of the word. With her initial schooling in Tokyo, thanks to her
fathers posting in the Indian Foreign Service, Madbhavi has been influenced
by varied cultures. After completing her graduation in Statistics from Lady Shri
Ram College, Delhi, she went on to pursue post graduation in Applied Mathematics
from Carleton University, Canada. Later on, she enrolled for PhD as well. But,
during her holiday break in India, Madbhavi made the crucial decision of not
going back to pursue her doctoral degree. "After deciding that I would not
go back to Canada, I joined TCS as a trainee way back in 1987," she added.
Even as eyebrows were raised over the connection between IT and mathematics,
Madbhavi explained: "There is a connection between IT and mathematics since
both are about applying logic. And, after my PG in Applied maths, there were
only two options for meeither to go for research or join an IT firm, and I
opted for the latter."

Ritu Madbhavi, VP,
IT, FCB Ulka


Ritu Madbhavi

Working as:
VP, IT, FCB Ulka


  • Began her career from
    TCS as a trainee in 1987 where she left as senior programmer

  • Thereafter worked for
    NIIT into systems analysis and design

  • Joined Datamatics after
    a three-year break where she worked for a year in project management

  • FCB Ulka was her next
    stop where she joined as systems manager (IT) and has continued with
    the job for the last 10 years

Fond of:
Cooking for friends and family, and experimenting with international
cuisines. Baking and traveling (incidentally, Madbhavi has traveled all
across the globe with Australia being the only exception) are her other
two passions. Her idea of an ideal holiday would be chilling out with
family and friends at home

Motto in
Do everything you do with a

After working for TCS for some time, where she met her future
husband, Madbhavi joined NIIT from where she took her break for about three
years when her son was born. Before joining FCB-Ulka, she worked for Datamatics.
In Ulka, Madbhavi has stayed on for the last 10 years. Its surprising,
certainly, considering the frequency with which a majority of the IT
professionals change jobs.

Madbhavi laughs it off saying, "I never thought of changing
jobs in all these years because I have grown with this organization both as an
individual and as a professional. Also, perhaps, if I was working in an
organization where I would only be implementing readymade software packages, I
might have missed working on live projects. However, FCB being one of the most
IT-savvy agencies currently, even has its petty cash system automated. Even our
workflow and intranet have been developed in-house. Therefore, there has been no
question of missing working on the latest IT technology." Madbhavi,
however, hastens to add: "The organization provides excellent opportunity
in terms of respecting responsibility, with the organization being like a family
where individuals sincerely execute their responsibilities. Besides, my
responsibility as the IT head in the company is far different from what a
traditional CIO does; it is about leveraging technology in order to drive

With IT driving business at FCB Ulka, the last 10 years have
been extremely satisfying for Madbhavi. "Be it the workflow system or
digital archival or the e-mail system, with total consolidation and our shift to
Windows mobile, IT has driven business in the true sense of the word."
Madbhavi is currently working on the HR Information System project that seeks to
automate the employment process right from the recruitment stage to issuing the
recruitment letter. "It essentially covers the entire HR process right from
employee requisition to interview feedback to offering the letter of
appointment, and tracking the entire lifecycle of an employee."

When Not Working
Being the daughter of an Indian Foreign Service officer meant that Madbhavi
traveled extensively, and it is perhaps this exposure to various cuisines that
fostered in her an inherent love for various international cuisines. "I am
passionate about cooking, but I avoid making traditional Indian dishes and
instead love to experiment with international cuisines; continental being my
favorite," adds Madbhavi. Baking cookies for friends and family is one of
her other passions.

worked at FCB Ulka for 10 years has meant that Madbhavi has assumed the
role of a mentor for her team members

With her family topping her list of priorities, Madbhavi
obviously dotes on her 17year-old son, Mayuresh, who apart from being a
football freak is also IT-savvy. "In spite of being in the IT business for
so long, I find it difficult to match his questions about the latest technology
trends," she adds. Madbhavi, however, finds it difficult to single out her
favorite person in the family. She says, "I have just four members in my
family and it is very close-knit. It is difficult to name any one."
However, Madbhavis best friend is her husband, Santosh to whom she has been
married for the last 19 years. "We talk about all things including work
because working in the same work environment, he understands the demands of the
job fully well." For Madbhavi, however, her climb up the corporate success
ladder hasnt come easy, and she attributes it to her mother-in-law who has
been a guardian angel for her.

Handling the Team
Having worked at FCB Ulka for 10 years has meant that Madbhavi has assumed
the role of a mentor for her team members. "I am more of a mentor for my
team than a boss, and this is how I believe any senior should be. My team
members can walk into my room at any time for any problem." In fact,
Madbhavi tries her best to recognize the strength and weaknesses of her team
members and has allocated them work accordingly. "Although I hold their
hands and teach them how to walk, after that they are independent to make their
own choices."

Stuti Das

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