Women in Technology | Natasha Tamaskar, VP, Global Marketing, Channels and Sales Strategy at Radisys | TelecomDrive.com
Whether it is the professional work space or personal side – simplifying complexities of life can solve the most difficult of challenges that one may get and this has been the mantra to succeed in life for Natasha Tamaskar – the Vice President, Global Marketing, Channels and Sales Strategy at Radisys Corporation.
She has been constantly working towards simplifying complexities of life and in the way – making ideas and products simple and more understandable for the audience. She has applied ‘simplicity’ as a winning formula, in all facets of her career as well as personal life.
As part of the special content series on Women in Technology – Natasha Tamaskar talks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about her professional as well as personal life.
Describe your journey that has led you to Radisys/where you are today.
I started my career in academics working on a Ph.D in Computational Physics from the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State. While the work was rewarding, I also realized that any real-world results would be 10+ years out. I wanted to be able to make an immediate impact and transitioned to the commercial sector where I worked for the defense industry on communications projects. This ultimately led me to the telecom and technology industry and my current role as Vice President of Global Marketing, Channels and Sales Strategy at Radisys.
What is the best piece of professional advice you have received or given?
Keep it simple. While working on my Ph.D., I was working on deeply complex subjects and being published in different academic publications. The work we were doing was truly impressive, but my professor asked me, “Can you explain this to your grandmother?” By simplifying the complexity for your audience, you are targeting their interests in ways they can understand. Making ideas and products simple, makes them fundamental as well. I have applied simplicity in all facets of my career, from building products to developing messaging to driving strategy.
What are three qualities that you have that have led to your success?
My career has ranged from academic research to defense technology to the telecom industry. The three qualities of a successful person I have learned over my career across these different industries include 1) understanding any topic completely, 2) understanding that no one person knows everything, and 3) knowing you can’t do it all by yourself.
My approach to any topic is to understand it in-depth and look at it in the context of the bigger picture. Having a complete grasp of the topic allows me to solve problem and find unique, creative solutions. As I have moved through my career I have also come to the realization that I cannot possibly know everything about everything. Fundamentally, we are part of such a large ecosystem that we need to collaborate and gather knowledge from others around us in order to be successful. Finally, you can’t go all the way alone. You need to surround yourself with a team of technical and creative people to produce diverse ideas and perspectives. No one person is an island and by leveraging the different perspectives and ideas of those around you, you can elevate your understanding of different topics and apply that to your personal and professional life.
Do you have any role models that have been influential in your life?
I have surrounded myself with people who have also inspired me in different areas of my life. My parents gave me my strong work ethic that has stayed with me. They instilled in me that you have to put in the extra effort to get the results you want. My professors influenced me by significantly challenging me to elevate my thinking, always telling me to take it up a notch. This helped me find different ways to look at and solve problems. My business mentors have helped me step out my comfort zone and push the limits that I had set for myself. Lastly, but most importantly, my daughters inspire me every day to be a better person. They are stronger, more socially conscious, have more humility and are bolder than any other people I know! By watching them grow and mature, I am inspired to become more like them.
How do you define success? How do you define success for your role at Radisys?
For me, success is simple. Success in anything means exceeding the goals that you have set, whether that be short-term, long-term, at work, at home, small or large. At Radisys, we have set out to drive disruption in the telecoms industry with new open architecture business models, while accelerating time-to-market for new services. I’m focused on driving industry and customer mind share globally around Radisys’ leadership role in delivering open telecom solutions to improve the company bottom line while helping the telecom industry transform. For example, we just launched our Open Business Accelerator program to collaborate with go-to-market solution partners to accelerate and expand our sales of disruptive open telecom solutions to service providers globally. By partnering with other industry leaders, we are listening to what our customers want from their telecom solutions and delivering those solutions to the market, enabling disruptive and forward-thinking technologies.
What have been the biggest turning points in your career?
After completing my Ph.D., I realized that I wanted to shift from a research and educational track to a commercial path. I wanted to be able to make a difference in the near-term by leveraging my skillset that I developed in academics and applying it to the commercial sector. My first job outside of academics was with Mei Technology, a defense consulting company. There, my role was to help digitize the military’s artillery, navigation and communications systems. My work in the communications sector of defense technology led me to the telecoms sector, finally settling here at Radisys. My shift in career was in correlation with an industry shift in the telecoms sector, including the emergence of mobile technology, moving towards 5G and how challenges with next-gen networks can be solved through disaggregated, open solutions.
What are some of your short and long-term goals at Radisys?
My short-term and long-term goals at Radisys are related to my definition of success. For Radisys to be successful, we must surround ourselves with a diverse group of individuals who bring their wide range of ideas and thought processes to the table. We continue to keep our finger on the pulse of the telecom industry, simplifying our goals and solutions that bring disruptive, open telecom solutions to customers. By bringing the voice of the customer and the market into the company’s goal setting and product planning, Radisys is allowing that data-driven insight to shape what we have to offer the market.
We are making Radisys synonymous with open telecoms and technologies, creating global awareness that leads to new revenue through 4G and 5G network evolution, media intelligence, and SDN and NFV cloud networking. As we raise this awareness, our footprint and customer base in Asia and around the world will continue to grow.