“I don’t enjoy things that can be easily accomplished. I’m not a clean-desk-at-the-end-of-the-day sort of person.”
Whip-smart, thoughtful, grateful, driven, passionate. These attributes all describe Priya as she talks about being named a founding Temenos Fellow—attributes she also brings to her latest role in the company as Product Director.
Priya, based in Chennai in India, leads the team that turns the software Temenos sells into the services that banks want now, and will need in the future.
“Banks are moving to the cloud. They don’t want software packages that have to be implemented and tested. They want point solutions. They want it like fast food, and they want it now. We want to move Temenos from being a software company to being a software-as-a-services [SaaS] provider,” she explains.
Ultimately, her role and the project she’s leading will redefine Temenos—a huge responsibility, but one she wears lightly. “I enjoy the challenge,” she quips. “I don’t enjoy things that can be easily accomplished. I’m not a clean-desk-at-the-end-of-the-day sort of person.”
It’s this level of commitment that has helped confirm her as a Fellow. That and her ability to thrive in potentially stressful situations. “Some of my best work has been under pressure,” she says. A good example is when she wrote automation testing framework within the product —Temenos’s regression testing framework—which laid the framework to how product is tested.
“We were discussing the idea of automating testing scenarios for a project with André Loustau [the then CTO] and Srini (my manager at the time). They asked me how long it would take to write. I said a couple of days. We wrote this framework and wrote the first few scenarios and established the first regression test. That was in 2006/7,” she says.
Writing code overnight may be an exception these days, but working long hours is not. Priya admits to putting in long hours, although she now plans her day to include some quieter, more reflective time. “I get up an hour earlier to give myself some personal time, and I try to include a few calls a day when I’m not the one taking notes or contributing, just listening,” she says.
She believes her drive is complemented by the entrepreneurial ethos found at Temenos, that if you have a good idea, you have the independence to do what you need to define the problem and find the solution. “You can talk to anyone you need to while you’re doing it. It’s a fairly flat organization. It’s easy to take that for granted, but it’s very important. It makes Temenos what it is,” she says.
“It will give people a channel to offer new ideas and reach the top. It’s a balancing pillar for the company.”
Perhaps even more important for Priya is that she believes the Temenos Fellows Program—with its mentoring angle and remit to recognize brilliance across the company—will reinforce that ethos. “It will give people a channel to offer new ideas and reach the top. It’s a balancing pillar for the company,” she says.