Employee story

A shared purpose in engineering - Meet Surekha

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Published: 2024.03.26.
“What do you do?”, a 7-year-old asked me during the “bring your parents to school” event. I converted “Doing NOW what patient needs NEXT” to what I thought was a tell-me-like-I-am-five phrase. “I help improve  patients’ lives”. My son was quick to point out “You are an engineer, not a doctor. So what do you do?” The response to that will pretty much answer my calling and the sense of purpose I feel while working with Roche.

I am Surekha Mandadi, engineering manager for the teams working on the Provider Insights Oncology domain. I grew up in Bangalore amidst the lush greenery of the garden city and spent a lot of time in the libraries of acclaimed science institutions. My love for software started in primary school when I wrote a small snippet of code to draw a circle using Logo, an educational programming language. Watching the turtle move across the screen and “draw” the shapes pulled me into the field of science and programming. I pursued my education in Engineering and landed my first job as a Java programmer after completing my graduation.

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to play multiple roles: programmer, technical leader, architect, and engineering leader. Each of these roles has helped me develop not only deep skills in technology but also broaden my people skills as a leader. I always find it difficult to choose between a technical or management path when someone asks me which one I prefer. I have a strong affinity towards both and fortunately, my role at Roche does not force me to choose one or the other. As an engineering manager, I get to work with enthusiastic, collaborative teams and help them reach their potential. As a technical person, I always get a choice on how deep I get to work with the teams that are building impactful digital solutions that will help in the area of oncology.

"My role at Roche does not force me to choose between a technical or management path. I have been given opportunities to balance my strong affinity toward both."

Surekha Mandadi
Systems Design Architecture - Engineering Management
The turning point in my career was when I came across an opportunity for a Senior Engineering Manager position at Roche that required building a team in India from scratch. The possibility of putting together a new team, bringing in a culture of software excellence and at the same time developing cloud-native solutions that help in a patient’s journey was an exciting opportunity. The experience of identifying the appropriate skills and people as well as coming together as a team has been rewarding. Well, as the famous quote from Henry Ford goes, coming together is a start, staying together is progress and working together is a success. As a team, we identified our team vision, purpose and core values at the very beginning. This helped us to operate in an independent way whilst not deviating from the purpose.

I have been working in this role since 2022, and every day is a new opportunity for learning. As part of the Provider Insights Oncology team, we develop solutions that help physicians make informed decisions on treatment plans for cancer patients. Our technical stack includes the latest technologies, and we learn continuously to stay up to date. The best part of my job is
working with globally distributed teams. I love the fact that despite the challenges of distance, time zones, and language, our shared purpose, collaboration, and commitment unite us as a cohesive team. We “Do Now What Patients Need Next” with a huge sense of pride. 

If the work we do, our culture as well as our team dynamics resonate with you, check out our open positions to explore roles you might be interested in.