Electronics Weekly Women Leaders in Electronics Awards

Celebrating its inaugural year, Electronics Weekly Women Leaders in Electronics Awards recognizes outstanding women who have made significant achievements along with male allies, companies, and teams who have positively impacted the electronics industry.

An evening saluting dedicated individuals making a positive change in the electronics field, Kigen was represented by two leaders: Bee Hayes-Thakore, VP of Marketing for the Leader of the Year – Workplace Focused and Susmitha Sunkaranam, Director of Programme Management. As a relatively new company in an industry dominated by long-established giants, Kigen’s representation on the finalists underscores the company’s culture and commitment to nurturing talent and celebrating interdisciplinary leadership that benefits the electronics industry globally.

The Unsung Hero in a Leadership Role award acknowledges the invaluable contributions made by women in non-technical roles within the electronics industry. This category is dedicated to senior women in leadership positions who are making an exceptional impact on a business and/or the industry. She is guided by a clear sense of purpose and values, driving positive change in the electronics sector.

Susmitha Sunkaranam has made valuable contributions in her roles in Kigen for the last five years, working on some of the industry’s most complex collaborative projects that drive innovation across the industry.

The judges unanimously agreed that Susmitha epitomises the unsung hero, her remarkable ability to manage teams spanning across India and other countries and fostering both happiness and productivity is a monumental task.

Allow us to tell the story of what’s behind this well-deserved recognition: Susmitha embraced the challenge and opportunity to work with our team of very young, bright & talented engineers developing a product that needed to get to market very quickly. The technical chops needed to be carefully orchestrated with operational aspects such as comprehensive GSMA certifications, customer success processes while maintaining high standards.

Within 12 months, the product secured its first major customer and has become one of the primary revenue-generating product lines through Kigen’s growth in the last few years. Susmitha took on additional responsibility to mentor, train and equip new teams across both Belfast and India to serve customer success in region – to support Kigen’s vision of driving eSIM to support India’s digitalization

Susmitha was nominated by Kigen’s head of Engineering Partner Enablement, who has witnessed her collaborative work as an outstanding example of leadership with various allies across commercial, engineering, and operational teams that lead to the unanimous decision from judges.

Steven Heighway, Senior Engineering Manager, who provided a testimony for the award, noted: 
“Susmitha is very committed to her work, always willing to throw herself into every challenge – her work ethic is brilliant. She manages to juggle multiple high-priority projects very well. Susmitha is able to weigh up multiple factors (customer, internal…) to help her to consistently make good decisions, this is a skill that is used a lot within key engineering investment projects especially. Susmitha is always kind and friendly even under the highest pressures, which really helps towards getting successful outcomes.

Susmitha exemplifies the culture at Kigen of bringing the passion for customer success, thinking big and acting fast and being excellent to all. We couldn’t be prouder – and now the wider industry can also be inspired by Susmitha’s outstanding leadership as a Leader helping drive the Electronics Industry forward.

Kigen would like to thank the teams across Electronics Weekly, Women Engineering Society, all sponsors and all who supported the event –may Susmitha’s journey inspire many, many more! 

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