IWD 2018

2020 Vision

2020 Vision for International Women's Day

Malavika Athavale


Malavika Athavale

Vice President, Product & Engineering Services, Sogeti



I head the Product Verification and Validation Practice at Sogeti. When I entered the IT sector 20 years ago, I came from a non-IT, product industry, which was a complete career change for me. I was attracted by the idea of Quality Assurance (QA) and its importance in the product development lifecycle.

Now, two decades on, the digital wave has changed the approach to product development. As more and more products become smart and the Internet of Things continues to make its presence felt, there is an increasing challenge in testing these products. I feel that it has made a tremendous impact across all industries.

The need to verify and validate products from not only a functional but also a non-functional perspective, and beyond software to cover hardware and mechanical testing, has never been more vital. Safety criticality, security and regulatory compliance are just a few of the important non-functional aspects that must now be scrutinized.

Our Verification and Validation Practice carries out product testing in cutting- edge technology areas across the Automotive, Medical Devices, Industrial Automation and High-tech sectors. It’s not just about the cost of product recall or reputational damage for an organization; poor product quality can cost lives. Think about the technology in a connected car and what a failure might mean for driver or passenger safety. Or consider the impact of a defect in a pacemaker implanted in a patient.

Looking ahead, we will need to oversee greater uptake of artificial intelligence (AI), and predictive analytics; with increasing use of robotics and automation in the testing arena. This will lead to complex scenarios, for example using AI to test products containing AI. I am not alone in this thinking: according to the latest Capgemini & Sogeti World Quality Report, between 38% and 43% of organizations see cognitive automation, machine learning, self-remediation, and predictive analysis as promising emerging techniques for the future of test automation.

We are also going to face a growing skills shortage in terms of domain expertise. We need new talent to move across from the product industry – as I did 20 years ago – and pursue careers in product verification and validation. This need will only grow as digitization programs bring about a complete change, both in the product space and across wider QA and testing operations.

Business leaders in roles such as my own must re-write their vision for verification and validation to remain industry leaders.

  • Deepa Bhulescarr
    Deepa Bhulescarr
    Head of Talent Management
    +91 2266 860 500

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  • Malavika Athavale
    Malavika Athavale
    Vice President, Head Product V&V
    +91 98 200 688 33