The “Meet the Envisionaries” series introduces team members from across the company. Shashikala Ravikumar, Project Manager, says “On any given day, I manage at least 100 moving parts, including both planned releases and support tickets. As a project manager, the question I hear most is ‘When can you deliver?’”
Q: What’s your role at Envision?
I manage projects and software delivery for Envision’s investor recordkeeping product suite used by our mutual fund, alternative investment, and 529 plan clients. This means I coordinate and plan all software development releases that come out of Envision, including main releases and roll-ups.
My primary responsibility is being a bridge between our US-based client-servicing and product-management teams and our India-based delivery teams comprising developers, testers, and requirement gatherers.
This requires me to understand our clients’ priorities so I can schedule and manage development projects to ensure client commitments are met within agreed timelines and cost. I also provide post-production software support as well as client configuration management.
My role also requires me to thoroughly understand how our clients use our products to meet their needs, whether that’s core recordkeeping, tax, internet portal or other components. I take pride in working directly with major clients, understanding their needs, and ensuring they receive their packages on time. This entails collaborating with customer support and the client servicing team to ensure timely delivery, testing, and updates.
Q: What has your career path looked like?
My career path has been a fulfilling journey of learning, growth, and contribution in the financial services sector. Before joining Envision, I started my career at KARVY—at the time the largest transfer agency (TA) and mutual fund distribution firm in India. Building on my mutual fund background, I joined Envision in 2007 as an Associate Business Analyst.
Over my first seven years or so, my primary duties involved working with the tax and regulatory group, as well as focusing on data migration for new clients. Then I transitioned into project management, initially with a focus on tax and other regulatory topics.
Later, I took up the responsibility for project management across the entire transfer agency (TA) software business line. In this work, I’m responsible for release management, delivery management, post-production support and, for certain clients, configuration management.
Q: In your work with Envision’s clients, what are you most proud of?
Timeliness. I ensure client-driven and business-critical projects are delivered ahead of their commitment dates, which provides sufficient time for client testing and feedback.
When a client can reach the testing stage even earlier than anticipated, that means better business outcomes for the client. It also means a strong partnership between clients and Envision, which benefits everyone.
Q: What’s an interesting question you’re asked in your work?
Our software and services are very flexible and versatile. So, on any given day, I manage at least 100 moving parts, including both planned releases and support tickets. As a project manager, the question I hear most is “When can you deliver?”
To answer well, often requires a lot of groundwork and a deep knowledge of our products. For every project, I ensure that I thoroughly understand the client requirements, the priority of tasks, the desired delivery timeline, and how both Envision and client-driven software changes are expected to benefit the client's business. I only give a delivery commitment to client support and product management teams, or to a client, once I fully comprehend all these aspects.
Q: What advice would you give someone starting a career in your specific field?
Cultivate a strong desire to learn and keep upgrading your knowledge. The landscape of financial services, especially compliance, changes quite often, so it's crucial to stay abreast of these changes. Strive to learn something new every day.
Focus on understanding your clients’ businesses. That’s the foundation of your work and helps you deliver solutions that meet their needs effectively.
This field is demanding, but with a positive attitude and thirst for knowledge, you'll find it rewarding and full of opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Q: What hobby or pastime do you enjoy away from work?
Living in the bustling city of Bangalore, surrounded by tall buildings and heavy traffic, I've found solace in two physical activities—trekking and long-distance running. I absolutely love spending time in nature, including trekking through hills with my kids, which allows me to disconnect from the urban environment and reconnect with nature and family.
I'm an avid long-distance runner. Every weekend, I go for long runs, which I find invigorating and refreshing. To date, I've participated in several running events and I'm also part of a group that organizes inter-city running events. One of my most memorable experiences was covering a distance of 350 kilometers between two cities (Bangalore and Hassan) on foot over the course of four days.
The appeal of such an endeavor lies in the self-reliance and the challenge it presents. Starting our days at 4 a.m. and ending around 6-7 p.m., we aimed to cover at least 30 miles each day. It was undoubtedly challenging, but also an amazingly rewarding experience. I also have a deep affinity for the Himalayas. I had the opportunity to go on a trek that started at 12,000 feet and reached 18,000 feet over a span of 5 days. The sheer beauty of the Himalayan landscape is mesmerizing, and I always find it refreshing and rejuvenating. For me, spending time in nature, whether it's running or trekking, is not just a hobby—it's an essential part of who I am, and I love every moment of it.
Q: What would you say makes Envision special?
I view Envision as a family, and as we all know, family is always special. What makes Envision particularly extraordinary are the many talented and committed employees who are dedicated to meeting client expectations. We all work together to put forth our best efforts and make a significant difference. Every individual's contribution is valued, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.