In the world of tech and innovation, Kirthiga Reddy stands as a shining example of determination, vision, and success. Born around 1971, she is an Indian-American businesswoman renowned for her groundbreaking roles in the tech industry. Kirthiga Reddy is not just a name but an embodiment of the belief that with hard work, dedication, and the right mindset, anyone can achieve their dreams.
The Early Years of Kirthiga Reddy
Kirthiga’s journey began in the heart of India, where she was raised in a middle-class family. Her father, a government employee, instilled in her a strong work ethic and the importance of planning and execution. Her mother, on the other hand, taught her to embrace positivity and maintain a can-do attitude, regardless of life’s challenges.
Kirthiga’s initial exposure to the world of technology was shaped by societal expectations in India that often pressured young minds into pursuing careers in medicine or engineering. However, her passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) quickly took root.
Kirthiga Reddy found inspiration in remarkable female role models like Padmasree Warrior and Sheryl Sandberg. Moreover, Kirthiga credits her success to the mentorship and sponsorship she received from countless individuals across all levels, emphasizing the importance of paying it forward.
A Trailblazing Career
Kirthiga Reddy’s journey through the tech industry is a testament to her ability to seize opportunities and drive change. After completing her Bachelor in Computer Science and Engineering from MGM’s College of Engineering, she ventured to the United States for higher education.
She earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Stanford University and an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. These educational milestones laid the foundation for her illustrious career.
Kirthiga worked with established tech giants like Silicon Graphics and Motorola. During her time at Silicon Graphics, she achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the youngest director of engineering in her team, all while being the only woman at that level. Her passion for technology, coupled with her innate leadership abilities, propelled her to these extraordinary heights.
In 2008, Kirthiga returned to India to work with the US-based Phoenix Technologies. Her journey took a significant turn in July 2010 when she joined Facebook. She was not just an employee but the first employee in India, tasked with building the company’s operations from the ground up.
Under her leadership, Facebook India not only expanded its user base but also made substantial contributions to the company’s global business through strategic ad sales partnerships with major brands like Coca-Cola India and Yepme.
Kirthiga’s career is marked by her commitment to challenging the status quo and breaking boundaries. She faced a pivotal moment when she decided to step down from her role at Facebook, a day after the shutdown of the ‘Free Basics’ scheme in India. She shared her decision to relocate to the United States, driven by her daughters’ educational needs, which served as a natural transition point.
Her story is a testament to the balancing act that women often find themselves in, juggling personal and professional aspirations. Kirthiga’s message is clear: why choose one over the other when you can do both? She encourages women to push the boundaries of the options available and transform ‘Or’s into ‘And’s.
There’s never a perfect time for personal milestones, but with passion and hard work, it can always be the perfect time to pursue your dreams.
Kirthiga Reddy’s journey exemplifies the notion that dreams can come true if you’re passionate, work diligently, accept help, believe in yourself, and surround yourself with those who believe in you. Her story serves as an inspiration for women and men alike, demonstrating that perseverance and dedication can lead to extraordinary success.
A Visionary in the Tech World
Today, Kirthiga Reddy is the Founder and CEO of Virtualness, a high-growth, venture-backed web3 startup. Her exceptional leadership and expertise have attracted investors like Randi Zuckerberg, Stacy Brown Philpot, and Nuseir Yassin (Nas Daily).
She is also the President of Athena Technology II, the third in a series of women-led SPACs, bridging the gap between talented individuals and the equity capital markets.
In addition to her current roles, Kirthiga is a Founding Investment Partner of the F7 seed fund and the co-founder of Liftery, a social impact initiative dedicated to empowering working women and enhancing the careers of mothers.
Before her current roles, Kirthiga Reddy made history as the first female Investing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, managing the $100 billion+ SoftBank Vision Fund.
She focused on investments in frontier, enterprise, and health tech, overseeing a portfolio worth $5 billion. She also served on the Board of Directors for WeWork and the Investment Committee for Emerge, a global accelerator for companies led by underrepresented founders.
Throughout her career, Kirthiga has garnered numerous accolades, including being recognized as one of Fortune India’s “Most Powerful Women” and Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.”
Kirthiga Reddy’s life and career journey are a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and an unrelenting commitment to making a difference in the tech world. Her story serves as an inspiration for individuals who dream of making a lasting impact in their chosen fields.
In her own words, “There is never a perfect time for getting married or having children, but if these are important life goals and one feels ready, I believe that the converse is true – it is always a perfect time! Prepare as much as you can, and then take the plunge.
Nature conspires to make dreams come true if you feel passionate about them and are willing to work hard to make them a reality. Accept offers of help, believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who believe in you almost more than you believe in yourself, and celebrate milestones along the journey.”
Kirthiga Reddy’s journey is a testament to the limitless possibilities that await those with a clear vision, unwavering determination, and the courage to pursue their dreams, no matter where they start.