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Illumio Culture

Illumio’s Ruchika Chopra Named a Top Woman Leader in SaaS

We’re excited that Ruchika Chopra, Illumio’s VP of Sales Operations, has been named a top woman leader in SaaS by The Software Report.  

The list honors women leaders at some of the top SaaS companies in the industry for their leadership and expertise. “Through their demonstrated excellence, they highlight that robust and innovative leadership is instrumental in fostering the success and rapid adoption of top-notch software solutions within the globalized digital economy,” The Software Report says.

We sat down with Ruchika to discuss the award, what she’s learned in her career, and her advice to women getting started in tech.

What do you do at Illumio?

I lead the Sales Operations Team at Illumio. My team’s mission is to drive growth and deliver simplicity and scale across all the GTM functions.  Simply put, my team is committed to optimizing the sales process, improving sales performance, and increasing revenue.  

My role is both challenging and rewarding. It is inherently cross functional, requiring collaboration across departments such as Finance, Sales, Channel, Customer Success, and Marketing. This ensures alignment on strategy, priorities, and goals. And while I am laser-focused on driving growth and increasing revenue, I am equally focused on productivity and spend.

What does this award mean to you?

I am both humbled and very excited to receive this recognition! This award holds multiple dimensions of importance for me:

Firstly, it's inspiring to see an exceptional list of accomplished women across diverse roles. I am excited to see women in the forefront excelling as CEOs, CFOs, CROs, CMOs, and Presidents – highlighting their expertise across a broad spectrum of leadership. I am grateful to The Software Report for not only shining a light on these high-achieving women, but also for inspiring the women workforce at large.

Secondly, I view this award as a recognition of Illumio as being at the forefront and leading the way with Enterprise SaaS in the area of Zero Trust Segmentation! I believe our collective wins as Illumineers have contributed to us being listed as a winner.

Last but certainly not least, this award has finally helped me build some credibility with my high school kids!  

What's the most important thing you've learned in your career?

I have always believed that I am only as good as my team. I am very proud of my team and the cohesive, collaborative work culture that we have built in a short amount of time. As individuals, we spend a significant amount of our time at work, so it’s critically important for a leader to have a people-first mentality. The human element and relationships cannot ever be substituted, notwithstanding the AI era.

During high-pressure times, our focus tends to center around projects, deliverables, data, problem-solving, etc. However, I have learned that authentic, life-focused interactions with people play a crucial role in building trust and commitment. Going beyond the obvious business-related questions may push you out of your comfort zone, but it will take your team to places it might never otherwise reach.

I’m inspired by leaders like Simon Sinek and have learned a great deal from his books and podcasts. He aptly states, "Leadership is about influencing others to do great things, and the more we know about the people we lead, the better equipped we are to bring out the best in them."

What is your advice to women getting started in the tech industry?

My advice would be to commit yourself to a lifetime of learning and curiosity. We live in a world of fast and rapid change, making continuous learning essential. Look for opportunities to learn, network, and challenge yourself.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Discomfort serves as a catalyst for growth. Each new chapter in my career introduced both challenges and learning experiences. The mantra I've embraced is that if I'm cruising, I'm not growing.

Taking on new and challenging projects, seeking feedback, and pushing yourself to develop new skills and abilities can help young women advance in their careers and achieve their goals. So, young ladies, embrace the discomfort, as growth happens on the other side of our comfort zone!

Interested in joining Ruchika or other Illumio teams? Check out our career openings.

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