Born to Indian parents in Africa, Bindu Santha Philip spent the first 12 years of her life in Africa. When her parents decided to move back to India, she found herself in a peculiar position. She was just 12, had completed her 10th, but couldn’t get to study further as the minimum age requirement to get into pre-university was 15 years!
After three years of “sitting around”, Bindu appeared for engineering entrance in Kerala. She got through the College of Engineering in Trivandrum, now Thiruvananthapuram, and opted for the mechanical stream. As was common back then, she was one among just three girls in the whole batch.
Bindu joined Ashok Leyland as a Graduate Engineering Trainee (GET) – incidentally, she was the first woman GET in the company – and worked for five years in the areas of engine development, optimisation of combustion engine as well as design for Euro 1 emission norms.
Bindu has over 25 years of experience in product design and software engineering & development across multiple domains, including automotive, industrial, aerospace and medical systems. Between Ashok Leyland and Bosch, Bindu has also worked with Honeywell Technology Solutions Lab and GE Medical.
Women must find a space that they love, learn as much as they can, play it big and go for the hard challenges, she says.