'Sweet 16': SRIBian Completing Sixteen Years Talks About Opportunities and Challenges that Helped Her Grow

Choosing your first job like it will be your second home for decades? That may not be an obligation for many IT professionals. Lucky are those who find the perfect workplace in their first go and get exposed to several opportunities to discover their interests, build on strengths and grow in the same organization. Kartika Sharma, Technical Program Manager from the OnDevice AI Team at SRI-B is one such woman who joined the R&D center as a campus fresher and never looked back since.

A telecommunications engineer from BMS College of Engineering, Bangalore, Kartika says Samsung was her dream company. She joined SRI-B in 2007, and that was the time when the mobile industry was revolutionizing from feature phones to touch phones. Samsung was quick to adapt to the changing trends and amazed consumers with its smartphones. In her very first year of joining SRI-B, Kartika started working towards filing her first patent and even got a chance to travel to Suwon for work. She feels lucky to get such an exposure in the early stages of her career and taste the true flavor of R&D work in SRI-B.

Starting with a clean slate as far as job experience goes, Kartika never imagined that her first company would give her the playground to explore 4 new domains and 6 operating systems right at the outset of her career. SRI-B, Samsung’s largest software R&D center outside South Korea, nurtures a #DoWhatYouCant culture, encouraging people to think beyond boundaries, giving them the freedom to experiment, fail fast, learn and rethink to innovate.

Kartika 4th from left in picture

Talking about challenges, Kartika feels that the R&D culture is competitive and requires people to keep pace with the evolving technology. She remembers an anecdote when one of their projects, the one her team worked on for months, had to be completely revamped. “As an engineer, it sometimes crushes you. You start a research project thinking it will be a game changer. But, since the mobile market is so volatile and consumer trends change quite often, sometimes we have to go back to the drawing board. It is difficult to accept that and move on to rethink the whole product and strategy.”

16 years is a long association, but when asked what keeps her going, Kartika said it is the vast pool of opportunities inside this building. “Even before I got bored with a technology or thought there is nothing more to explore or learn, my friends and mentors guided me to move domains and made my transitions easy. Recognizing my core strengths and assertiveness, I was offered the opportunity to change my role from developer to Technical Program Manager. While I enjoyed the initial years understanding project execution, looking at the macro level rather than micro, I felt that I may need some more skills to better my work. When I approached my mentors to express the same, one of them suggested pursuing executive MBA. Determined to do it, I got into IIM-B. My manager and team supported me in this phase, because of which I was able to manage higher studies along with work.”

In picture from left to right: Dipesh Shah, MD of SRI-B and Kartika (taken on 14th July 2022)

Another advantage that Kartika has earned as a long-term employee is being a witness and contributor to company’s transitioning phases. She has seen this organization transform from a mere Software Operations Centre to an Advanced R&D organization, which is now leaping towards creating the New Valley. Interestingly, Kartika says she has seen her work and action reflect these transitions very clearly in terms of quality of projects, ownership and deliveries. “These moments keep you on your toes, but at the same time also help you grow professionally.”

Read more such stories about "Life at SRI-B" on https://research.samsung.com/sri-b

If you love taking up challenges and want to work on cutting-edge technologies, find your tribe here at SRI-B: https://www.linkedin.com/company/samsung-india/jobs/