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“It’s more of a passion than a job”

As a young girl growing up in different cities in northern part of India, Garima Singh had her head in the stars – she wanted to be an astrophysicist. An introduction to computer programming at the age of 12 rocketed her into the digital world and eventually an international career.

Enterprise architects are generally responsible for an organization’s technical strategy and architecture disciplines, ensuring that technical strategy supports the company’s business goals. Garima Singh is new Head of Enterprise Architecture at Sandvik with a mission to enable the company’s digital shift strategy and commercial objectives.

What do you want to achieve in your new role?

My short to mid-term goal is to strengthen our digital strategy with a clear view regarding which digital enablers and platforms are needed and how to operationalize that for Sandvik. Another goal is to foster a culture of innovation in the engineering teams to add business value, reduce complexity, and drive competitive advantage through engaged and contributing tech communities.

How are you planning to implement that?

We will do this via two initiatives: The first one is to create common digital platforms which will act as digital enablers for engineering teams so they can focus on building customer-centric products. The second initiative is to create communities of practice (CoP) and architecture collaboration forums. These will bring together engineers and architects from diverse backgrounds, different business areas and divisions, to share learnings, evaluate technology trends, and innovate creative, out-of-the-box solutions to different business problems.

"My goal is to strengthen our digital strategy with a clear view regarding which digital enablers and platforms are needed for Sandvik."

How would you describe yourself?

I’m an explorer and a tech enthusiast – explorer because I do not want to restrict myself within one kind of tech area or a business domain. I want to learn more and more, experience different sets of challenges, and be a problem solver of those challenges. We need to be in constant learning mode since the tech landscape around us is extremely dynamic these days.

Why did you choose a career in tech?

Tech is where my soul and heart belong – it’s more of a passion than a job. I’m inspired by how technology is solving some key challenges within society and sustainability and yet bringing in new revenue streams, and creating business growth opportunities. For example, smart building solutions powered by IoT, data and AI techniques, have made many commercial buildings (hospitals, malls, airports), much better in terms of energy efficiency and a lower CO2 footprint. The same solutions are also designed for better tenant comfort and safety.

And where did your interest in technology come from?

I come from a very non-techie family, but while growing up I was always interested in math and science. At one point I wanted to be an astrophysicist working with space, stars, and galaxies. But at the age of 12, I was introduced to computer programming and was amazed at how quickly you can automate with a simple 4-10 lines program and solve the most complex mathematical problems. That was very inspiring.

"We need to empower women so they can lead the tech industry with compassion and a diverse perspective."

As a tech leader, you are also a role model for women. How can we ensure that more women are represented in the industry?

I think we need to work on two levels: First, with young girls in school, by designing a step-by-step tech program so they can see the value that technology brings to the table and so the phobia of thinking that tech is complex goes away at an early age. Secondly, we need to support the women who are already part of the tech industry. We need to empower them through networking, mentorship, and support channels so they can stay in the tech industry and lead the industry with compassion and a diverse perspective.

Finally, what trends do you see within the tech industry?

Data will play a very important role. Treating data as an asset but also turning data into a commodity that you can commercialize will be important. And then adding additional intelligence on top of it in terms of artificial intelligence – that is the future. Another important trend is seamless integration to the external ecosystem. In the future we need to be able to seamlessly integrate with anyone, including customers, by being more integration driven.

Meet Garima Singh

  • Head of Enterprise Architecture at Sandvik Group
  • Mother of a young son
  • An avid reader of astrophysics books
  • A runner who also plays badminton for fun “to keep sane!”
  • Began her career as a programmer in 2005, and has held different roles including solution architect, platform architect and enterprise architect. She worked in telecommunications, retail, finance, and the automotive industries before coming to Sandvik.
  • Born in India and has lived in the UK, US and now Sweden