Meet the yet2 team – Seetha Ramnath
This is one in a series of blog posts where we highlight members of the global yet2 team. We recently spoke with Seetha Ramnath, innovation project leader, in our worldwide headquarters, in Waltham, Mass.
Q: How long have you been with yet2?
I’ve been with yet2 just under a year. Prior to joining the team, I led my own business consulting firm focused on helping international startups interested in expanding into the U.S. market. I’ve also held roles as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for a digital health startup, and as CMO for a medical device firm with a joint venture offering in telehealth in the international marketplace. These opportunities followed the three years I spent as an expat with my family in Singapore.
As a result of my background, I’m very interested in digital health, artificial intelligence, medical devices, and consumer goods/personal care. This fits nicely with yet2’s client base.
Q: What books do you recommend?
It probably sounds like a cliché, but I definitely recommend “The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovation,” by Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and the late Clayton Christensen. The book takes the reader through an introspective look at what qualities great innovators have, and what makes one person more creative than another. It’s interesting to compare the qualities against your own, or to think about the personal qualities larger organizations need to develop innovative strategies.
I also recommend “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement,” by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox. This is an excellent read for people in business and those fascinated with process improvement, particularly in manufacturing. The lesson about “feeding the bottleneck” can be applied to many subjects.
Q: You’ve had a diverse career so far, starting out with a Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT before delving into the consumer space. Could you talk a little about your career trajectory and the factors that played into it?
Yes, when I was at MIT, I became increasingly interested in technologies that solved business problems, whether it be in design or system dynamics. I had an internship at Ford Motor Company, which really shaped my interests in technical software (for automobile closure systems signal processing) applied to solve big business problems. In this case, we were designing the optimal sound for a car door to produce when it is closed. The general engineering degree at MIT, with pre-med requirements, gave me a head start in software innovation. I worked at Accenture after college for seven and a half years helping large Fortune 500 companies with the biggest consumer brands improve their performance with strategic technology-led solutions in supply chain and working capital/operations planning. Mainly, I was helping companies improve their market forecasting accuracy while simultaneously managing inventories efficiently under tight customer service guidelines. Along the way, I gained a deeper appreciation for branding and the emotional factors that draw people to purchase products. So, I decided to get my MBA at Columbia in Marketing in the Executive program while working at Accenture. It was a pivotal decision for me as it opened doors for me and allowed me to actually work directly in companies like J&J Cordis (medical devices) and L’Oreal Paris, where I had a significant leadership role managing a department of brand forecasters predict future sales for new and existing beauty products. I was also fortunate to have been CMO for a couple of small digital health startups. Today, with this mixture of skills, I find myself excited bring innovative technology-based ideas to our consumer, medical, government and other yet2 clients.
Q: What do you do when you are not working:
I enjoy playing with my 8-year-old son, Deven, swimming, and playing tennis.