Being an avid participant of Tech Hackathons, Anam Qazi says it’s a myth that women can’t work or weren’t made to be in the tech world. “Women are intellectually the same as men or maybe even smarter; we are just not given the same chances or the spotlight. As women, we need to be more confident in our capabilities, especially when we are doubted. We can rule the world if we would want to!”
She chose to become an engineer because of her love for maths and keen interest in computer science. She describes this career path as the one that teaches logical reasoning not only when it comes to computers but also when it comes to applying scientific reasoning to your life.
Qazi, a Product Manager in Data Science, DAN, says ever since she was a kid, she was attuned more towards the creative side of life, whether it was sketching or writing short stories. She said, “My favourite past time was going to Crossword and immersing myself in the fantasy fiction section. And I was unapologetically a nerd!”
After her graduation, Qazi was offered a job in a FinTech company called Finoux Solutions as a Full Stack Developer in the ProductTeam. Describing her experience in the company, she said, “It helped me a lot in terms of growing professionally, owning up to my mistakes, and standing up for myself.”
At Finoux Solutions, while she was building a Stock Market Trading Platform, managing the product by herself, while working on otherproducts as well, she learnt how challenging the project was. She explained how the project had taught her a lot on how to deal with pressure and deadlines.
Having realised later that she wanted to get back to her creative space, she joined the Data Science team of Dentsu Aegis Network as a UI Developer. Now, after three years later, she is the Product Lead/Manager. “As the lead, I get to decide the user flow, the experience and the design. I work with a great team that motivates me to chase my goals. It is definitely challenging, but it keeps me going and I wouldn't have it any other way. I believe I'm still learning each day and there's always so much more to be done,” she said.
Becoming the Product Lead/Manager in such a short time by industry standards, she said it’s her biggest achievement as all leaders around her believe in her capabilities, and do not doubt her despite being a young woman.
Differentiating how her experiences differ in both the companies, she said, “My previous company helped me shape my career and my current company has given me a lot of opportunities to grow and get better in my field. One taught me to try things once before saying no to it, the other teaches me to have patience if things don’t go according to plan. There’s always a way out, you just need the will.”
Qazi was part of the team that created the DAN Explore tool, which helps in understanding the audience and brand really well. Explaining how this was the most fun project she has ever worked on, she said, “Building this tool was nothing short of a thrill. Had to set up web servers, create processes, decide the information flow/architecture and design, user experience, etc., within the deadlines.”
With a desire to learn more about Product Designing and User Experience, Qazi shared, “I want to think more like a user and less as a developer.”
She finds herself lucky to have had great mentors from the beginning of her career. Sharing her experience of working with Gautam Mehra, Chief Data Officer (South Asia) and CEO DAN Programmatic, she said, “I always look up to him and Shilpa Karkera, who was the team lead at my last job. She is now Founder and CEO of Myraa Technologies, an award-winning serial entrepreneur, an author, a global technology speaker and a researcher in AI, blockchains, XR and IOT. I consider them as my mentors, and, above all, as my friends.”
With a strong belief of ‘If you don’t fall, you never learn’, she said that while honesty is her biggest strength, she finds forming decisions, and indecisiveness equally challenging.
Asked where she sees herself if not as a Product Manager with DAN, Qazi said, “I would’ve definitely been in the artistic field, either as an animator or a novelist.”