Gauri Bajaj brings to the table over 15 years of experience, ranging from consu­m­er-oriented services to the IT and telecom domains. She st­a­rted her career as a program analyst at Cognizant Techno­l­ogy, before joining the Tata Group. “I have worked in seve­ral roles, right from a ma­nag­ement trainee at Tata Adm­inis­trative Services to a brand and product manager at Titan and Tata Tele Services,” she says. In her current role as di­rector, Cybersecurity (APAC) at Tata Commu­nicati­ons, Bajaj is res­ponsible for planning and executing the security strategy for the company’s APAC operations. She primarily focuses on enhancing customer en­ga­g­e­­m­ent, identifying business nee­ds, driving growth in the market, and building partnerships and services to deliver solutions.

Bajaj’s association with the Tata Group dates back to over a decade now. She recounts her most memorable assignment as Tata Communications’ pro­duct manager for MDDoS service. “There were many firsts for me in this assignment. It was the whole process of working closely with the business de­velopment, engineering and operations teams, and watching the practice grow steadily, crossing one milestone after an­­­other,” says Bajaj.

She believes that the telecom industry has undergone a sea change, witnessing events such as the shift from a voice-centric to a data-centric market and the early adoption of technologies such as AI, IoT and automation. “5G, when clubbed with these technologies, will potentially become the backbone for connecting all devices, as it will revoluti­onise the current perfor­man­ce in mobile connectivity, br­ing down costs and increase sp­e­ed,” she adds. However, im­­­­­plementing new technologies presents its own set of cha­llenges such as exposure of sensitive data to cyberthreats. This is amplifying the need for businesses to look at cybersecurity as part of their core stra­tegy and shift the focus from prevention to resilience. “New regulations such as the Gen­e­ral Data Protection Re­gu­la­tion have made enterprises rethink their data protection policies.”

Bajaj believes in practising a participative management style. “I strive to create a conducive work environment wh­e­­re my team has the freedom to share views,” she says.

An engineer by trai­ning, Bajaj holds an MBA degree in marketing and finance from XLRI Jamshed­pur. She is an avid reader and likes to ex­plore new places. Her family comprises her husband, who works with an FMCG company, and their six-year-old daughter.