Trinity Mobility is a leading provider of IoT and AI-based smart city digital platforms and applications. The company was founded in 2010 with the mission to develop IP-led unique solutions and transform the way we LIVE and WORK. Trinity’s smart city software suite, based on IoT and AI technology, enables cities to build a city-level digital platform that seamlessly connects to various urban systems, automates core processes of various in-line departments, and uses advanced analytics to drive efficiency of the city operations. The smart city solution adds digital intelligence to urban systems and helps authorities to make intelligent decisions and deliver better outcomes, thereby increasing the liveability index of cities. Smartness is achieved using best-of-breed technologies such as IoT, AI, Big Data, Mobile, GIS, and Cloud.
The applications of the company cover public safety service delivery for emergency services, intelligent public transportation, solid waste management, smart street lighting, smart parking, smart utilities such as electricity, water management, and distribution, environment and disaster management, public health management, and more. These applications can empower departments to deliver civic services digitally. To drive the adoption of the services and enable various stakeholders, Trinity has developed applications such as city web portals for the city authorities to stay connected with the citizens, a workforce mobile app to empower the city workforce, a citizen engagement app to aggregate and digitally deliver all city services. Trinity has also developed Open Data Portal for cities to enable community-led innovation. These compelling solutions have equipped the city authorities to transform the delivery of citizen services, enabled citizens to spend less time commuting and equipped public safety authorities to quickly respond to emergencies.
A Leader with a passion
Mithila Holla is the General Manager who takes care of the product management and marketing at Trinity Mobility. With a strong educational background, she holds a Master’s degree in VLSI from Manipal University and a Master’s degree in Business Management from the European School of Technology, Berlin. In the initial years of her career, she worked in the semiconductor domain. With the hype over IoT and Industry 4.0 in 2015, she turned towards IoT fascinated with the latest technology and possibilities in the IoT and AI sector. After which she joined ABB as an Innovation Catalyst, there Mithila had the opportunity to develop a ‘Global Customer Experience and Innovation Program’ for Africa, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific regions from scratch to enable and accelerate digital transformation for ABB’s clients in various domains such as F&B, utilities, mining, textiles, metals, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, etc. This was ABB’s coveted program which enhanced the customer pre-sales experience through problem-solving, value discovery, and co-creation by applying principles of design thinking, Ux Design, lean start-up, and agile working across business lines and functions.
At Trinity, she now heads the product management, Ux design, technical publications, and marketing teams. Mithila is responsible for the products and solutions that the company offers across six segments – Smart Cities, Safe Cities, Emergency Response Management, Smart Communities, Utilities, Early Warning, and Disaster Management. She interfaces with key partners such as Honeywell, Motorola, HPE, Avaya, and Microsoft and consults city authorities to co-create solutions that truly solve the city’s challenges and improve the city liveability index. Apart from the functional requirements, she also oversees the user experience and user interface design of all products for better usability. Mithila’s background in product management and user experience design combined with business learnings has immensely helped her in creating solutions that address customer’s pain areas. At Trinity, she learned to create products that impact society at large. “Social innovation that provides a smart and safe environment for citizens to dwell in, adds meaning and purpose to my job”, Mithila adds.
Experiences of Value
A couple of experiences have shaped Mithila’s journey, for which she is grateful. Shifting domains from her core area of specialization in semiconductors to software was not easy for her. She had to reskill and upskill quite a bit to appreciate and apply technology in greater depths. Also, she asserts that the growth from an Engineer to a General Manager came with a lot of learning and unlearning of things. Mithila’s wide-ranging experiences in large global companies to the dynamic fast-paced start-up, working with clients across the globe have helped shape her career. Today, she takes pride in being able to develop teams and initiatives from scratch, streamline processes, establish new market and product segments and deliver customer success.
Overcoming the Challenges
Mithila always worked as part of teams in most of the companies that had just one or two women and significantly lower numbers of women in leadership positions. Thus, it was hard for her to find role models or mentors who could understand and appreciate her challenges helping in her journey. Mithila says that she would also be one of the youngest people in the room so many times. In such instances, she was clouded with self-doubt too. Being the only female Engineer in her family, she struggled with the career and life choices that she made without having to feel apologetic for them. She explains that living abroad for 2 years has helped in changing her mindset and carving her professional path. It’s when she actively networked with people who helped in shaping her perspective and approach. Mithila regularly seeks feedback from her teammates, bosses, and peers to overcome her shortcomings.
Necessary Attributes to Excel
Mithila explains three key attributes that every transformational leader should possess. One is the ability to take calculated risks. She explains that while bringing a transformation in the way things are done traditionally, there is some element of risk involved. If one does not take that leap, then the organization loses its ability to adapt and evolve.
Second, according to her, is identifying champions. Building a team to champion the cause and persistently drive that message is vital to success. So, she says encouraging a fail fast and failing early culture is important for innovation.
Thirdly, she stresses influence without authority to bring transformation that can transcend many boundaries. Mithila says that the support of different functions and departments is detrimental for any transformation to be successful. So, identifying the influencing levers is vital to advocate collaboration.
Balancing Technological Challenges
One of the biggest challenges for leaders today is to keep pace with emerging technology. Mithila thus asserts that the decisions and implementation times have to be shortened, else you could be too late to enter the market. She says that a huge shift in mindset is required so that one can no longer be resistant to change, as change is the only constant in today’s fast-paced tech world. The second challenge she believes in is creating products that are tailored to address customer pain points. As most people now have access to digital applications, consumers expect personalization. Balancing personalization, while trying to achieve scale in business is something that most leaders are grappling with today.
Future of Opportunities
Mithila believes that IoT and AI can have a significant impact on all city operations. With almost 55% of the world’s population now living in urban areas, there is enormous stress on the city’s political, economic, and social infrastructure. Adding digital intelligence to urban systems and equipping the workforce with technology helps city authorities to reduce commute time for citizens, reduce energy consumption, effectively manage waste, provide faster response to emergencies and avert fatalities, plan and prepare for disasters, and more. AI can truly impact lives by reducing the stress on authorities and help them plan and manage city operations effectively.
“The cities of the future will soon account for 90% of the global population. As per IDC worldwide, the global spending on smart cities will reach $189.5 billion in 2023. Trinity’s solutions are cutting edge and with over 50 deployments in India and globally, we are well-positioned to drive thought leadership for the next-gen cities”, Mithila adds.
Advice for Budding Leaders
Mithila believes that self-belief is very important. Women need to believe that they can change the world if they aspire to. They need to tell themselves that they deserve better and take charge of their professional path. She says one must be willing to take that leap of faith and challenge their comfort zone. As women try too hard to be perfect at everything – being a perfect student, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect boss. But many times, by aiming for perfection you set unrealistic and unattainable goals. Mithila instead says striving for excellence and creating a healthy support ecosystem through your colleagues, family and friends can empower women.
Mithila then stresses not to compromise one’s value system. She says having the courage to stand up for what you believe is right, no matter the consequences is important.
“There are a lot of young women out there looking for direction and opportunities to excel. Grow your tribe, by helping and guiding them”, says Mithila, encouraging other leaders.