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From Childhood Curiosity to Real-world Impact, My Journey into Procurement

Meet Prasanthi Sathyaprakash, Vice President of Global Procurement

  • A lego enthusiast
  • A sponsor for getting children into STEM
  • Joined Hitachi 2 years ago

“From Childhood Curiosity to Real-world Impact, My Journey into Procurement”

Prasanthi Sathyaprakash , Vice President of Global Procurement - Los Angeles, United States

Childhood curiosity

It all started with Lego, believe it or not. My grandmother used to live in the United States, but every time she’d visit us in India, she would come back with a box of Legos for me. Over time, I learnt that Lego wasn’t made or available to buy in India - this stuck with me for years.

Fast forward to my teenage years, when the first X486 computer arrived in our school, this shiny new special equipment, I was enchanted and curious to use it – but access was restricted. Out of frustration and curiosity, I asked my parents why we couldn’t all have access, or if I could get one on my own. They of course explained, it's not possible as they are not available for purchase in India or even made in India.

I was stuck with questions – who builds them, where do they do it and so on – which is how I developed my passion to become Mechanical Engineer, build computers that could be delivered around the world.

Landing in procurement

I moved to the US to study for a master’s in industrial engineering, which led to the turning point in my life – an internship with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in their planning for microprocessors department. I wanted everyone to have access, no matter where in the world they live. I realized early on that procurement played a key role in a product’s lifecycle, procurement has a say in how things are made, where things are made, how they’re supplied. Going back to my childhood curiosity, knowing I could have an impact in accessibility and affordability led to my passion for procurement.

Teamwork delivers amazing results

Working as a group has always given me energy and kept me motivated, we can deliver amazing results as a collective. It was still early on in my career when an opportunity arose to lead a big team. Suddenly, I’m leading a seasoned procurement team, various ages and experiences, people who had defined processes, systems – it was nerve wracking. So, I focused on bringing the team together, slowly, and steadily, one day at a time, one person at a time and then two people, three people, all of us, we got together and delivered impactful results for the company. The path is not always easy or linear, but we realized with our different skills and experiences would lead to amazing results. It did and there was no stopping us at the point.  

Advise to my 25-year-old self

Never give up, work hard, be sincere and do what's right. There will always be testing times in life, but if you apply these intentions in every aspect of your life – whether its family, work, then it will bring you the best outcomes. Follow your passion, whether that’s dancing, art or in my case engineering – go with it, I stuck with and took the opportunities I was given.