Executive Voices in Sustainability 2018:

Executive Voices in Sustainability: Shalima Bhalla


What brought you to Yale?

Conversations with Yale SOM alumnus, Jeffery Ball (one of my Customers), Vice President of Procurement at Digital First Media first introduced me to the program. His first word was “thinking”–
that the program shaped his thinking process. He shared experiences - from the enthralling international seminars to student clubs and attributed his leadership skills largely to the program experience. I was satisfied to learn that in addition to Yale EMBA unique integrated core curriculum and raw case approach, which will help me in the current job as well as in next level leadership roles, being part of the large Yale alumni network will connect me with leaders in our customer base too, leading to new business opportunities. In addition, connections at the Media and Entertainment Club and Technology Club will provide me an opportunity to stay abreast with latest events and trends. This exposure will give a fillip to my career pursuits by enhancing my network and building my strategic acumen.
Yale’s women empowerment initiatives as part of the Women in Management immediately caught my fancy. I hold this aspect very close to my heart and hope to give a formal shape to my efforts of enriching women through education.

How have you impacted sustainable practices in your career?

Not as much as I would like to. I work in technology industry and customers in Media and Entertainment vertical. Most of these customers have big data centers occupying large spaces with racks and racks of servers consuming electricity. These customers are now looking for green data center solutions. I have been able to help them to some extent to consolidate these data center by proposing more efficient solutions which can scale well and support many locations at the same time. But there is still a long way to go as most of us in the technology industry do not have any background on sustainability practices.

What challenges do you see for sustainability in your industry?

Over the course of this past year, Avaya has showcased its technology as part of the climate change solution at high-profile United Nation events in Warsaw, Poland and Nairobi, Kenya. While good progress has made over the years, there is still more work to do. With my experience in working with global customers, I have observed that Leaders of major corporations worldwide are increasingly facing the challenge of keeping the balance to meet the expectations of a broad range of stakeholders while still delivering a return to shareholders. As a result, sustainability is now an essential ingredient for a company's long-term success.It is no longer an add-on or good to have factor while selecting a solution.The problem is that there aren’t many resources available who truly understands the concept of sustainability and more importantly how to create strategies around sustainability in a highly competitive environment like sales. There is a large untapped opportunity for us and I am trying to figure out how I can leverage this opportunity to inculcate sustainability in the way we engineer our solutions?

Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise your classmates.

I am an amateur Improver!

Current Position

Firm: Avaya Inc.
Position: Pre-Sales Consultant
Duration: 10 Years
Responsibility: Manage Time Warner and former Time Warner Entities globally.

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