Deemed by influential Fortune 500 leaders as the “Woman in AI to Watch out For” and featured on Entrepreneur.com as an Influential Woman in AI, Aakriti Srikanth is a pioneer for women in technology and a champion for human connection in the world of artificial intelligence.
“Aakriti’s impact in the technology space is unique in that it embodies everything Silicon Valley stands for,” said Luis Serrano, Head of Content AI at Udacity. “Her knowledge in AI and other technical fields is very deep, her business and product marketing experience are top notch, and her will and passion to help others and contribute to the community are outstanding. She is a very complete leader, and certainly enriches the technology space with her talent and passion.”
Far from a stereotypical cold and calculated engineer, Aakriti has forged her career by combining technical product leadership with strong charisma and a desire for perfection. She has worked for leading technology and strategy corporations such as Red Hat, IBM Watson, Deloitte and D. E. Shaw & Co. Her charisma and drive has led her to be chosen as an AI mentor, judge, and panelist, all while still in her twenties.
“Aakriti is a unique talent. Her superpower is that she is a compelling and in-demand speaker. Add her experience to her communication skills to reveal the exceptional, effective person she is,” says Sherry Harmon CRO of ModuleQ who has been responsible for the success of startups such as WebEx and Digital Equipment as VP of Sales. “Each time I work with her I see the evolution of her own learning. Collaborating with her is an open and fun process. She is an explorer, and the journey is productive. She can take you outside of the box but maintain focus at the same time.”
With a tireless work ethic, Aakriti has made valuable contributions to her industry in a very short time. Her desire to forge connections has led her to become an inspirational voice for women making their way in technology and AI. “Traditionally, as women, we’re satisfied with what we want, and we don’t ask for more,” said Aakriti, “Something I learned from women tech leaders like Marceline Uttarkarand Sarah Clatterbuck is that if you don’t expect acceptance from someone, no one is going to give it to you.”
What’s important to Aakriti isn’t passing around business cards, but taking time to recognize the people behind them. She credits this lesson to her mentor, New York Times bestselling author Harrison Monarth, saying, “small things matter. It’s about treating people the way you want to be treated. Everyone wants to feel valued and recognized for the work that they do. We are all human at the end of the day.”
According to Monarth himself, “Aakriti will go far in her career because she has one of the Executive Presence characteristics that I consider to be a foundational trait for success, and that’s the ability to engage people at any level in any situation. Aakriti’s wit, friendliness, charm, and Chutzpah, coupled with her fearless eagerness to engage others are valuable assets that many senior leaders often strive to acquire.”
Aakriti’s association with artificial intelligence got started during the AI boom that kicked off after Watson won against the Jeopardy! grand champion. Aakriti participated and won at IBM Watson’s competition at OSU, where college students were tasked with asking Watson any question. Aakriti was a National Finalist along with her team.
Since then, Aakriti has launched AI and cloud computing products for companies on the Fortune 500, including IBM Watson itself. These products have been in high demand all across the world. Aakriti humbly credits this success to the team behind IBM Watson. Beyond her extensive scope of work, Aakriti tirelessly supported them and organized employee mentoring sessions and team events to help them grow.
In addition to her initiatives inside IBM, Aakriti led the Boston Data Science initiative. “It was inspiring to bring everyone together to share our experiences and help each other,” said Aakriti. This initiative grew to include over 800 members, including data scientists from companies such as Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Spotify and Amazon.
Through her roles at events like these, Aakriti’s influence has spread far beyond IBM. Tim Brandall, leader of Netflix’s international Product Management initiative, has been a mentor to Aakriti and has seen her grow, “The first words that come to my mind when I think of her are Driven, Good listener, Passionate, Hyper-intelligent.”
Senior Director of Salesforce Shanmugam Palaniappan commended how “Aakriti carefully follows through, and makes herself approachable and open to feedback in the spirit of continuous learning.”
She was recently invited to host a Personal Branding webinar for members of The Expat Woman. “[Aakriti] is incredibly professional and knowledgeable, and has gone above and beyond both as a mentor and speaker,” said Nyna Pais Caputi, CEO and Founder at The Expat Woman. “The quality of content, her insights and the mentorship she offered were exceptional.”
“I was impressed with her ability to quickly form relationships with C-level executives, and initiate business partnerships in a matter of minutes,” said Red Hat Director, Bill Wright.
Aakriti has made a great impact and played a critical role at Red Hat. “She is constantly thinking outside the norm and bringing forth highly creative ideas, which in turn add tremendous value to our organization,” said Wright. “Connective intelligence is her key virtue, and she is superb at creating partnerships. I feel that Aakriti has a great innate ability to contribute strategic vision to any initiative. She is an eternal optimist, and applies a very positive outlook to every task she takes on.”