Tech talks: Adinda Savitri

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In this special series in partnership with SG Women in Tech, a platform to bring the community together to attract, retain and develop women tech talent in Singapore, we profile female leaders in tech on everything from their career journeys and work experience to advice for those interested to join the industry.

Adinda Savitri; SG Women in Tech

We recently chatted with Adinda Savitri, co-founder of Nucon, an Entrepreneur First-backed start-up that uses AI to help construction companies learn from their mistakes. The 27-year-old computer science-trained engineer took the leap to start her deep tech business a year ago, and hasn’t looked back since.

I don’t have a role model; however, I like meeting people and distilling the best qualities of every single person that I meet.

On her tech journey
Growing up I really loved science, and I also looked up to my sister, who studied computer engineering. At the time I was looking to further my studies, my sister had a career in IT. She looked like she led a comfortable life, with great challenges at work and she got to travel the world… it just felt like a natural progression for me.

The study of computer science is so relatable to life – how do you approach a problem in a systematic way, and how do you break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable pieces? That’s what drew me to computer science – it’s always felt intuitive to me, and I was good at it. And I realised I could continue doing it, as a way of life.

On the importance of exposure
Early exposure for girls [to STEM] is important, to get them interested in science. At that pivotal moment when they’re deciding what they want to do, they should have the avenue to ask questions, to meet people who can inspire them.

On her role at Nucon
The company relies on me to be the visionary, to understand where we’re going next, but I also do the hard and dirty work on the ground managing customers on delivery of the product and managing their expectations of what we’re delivering.

On challenges she faces
Construction is still quite a male-dominated industry. The biggest challenge has been to turn people into believers – it’s not an overnight job, especially as a [relatively] young woman coming into the room full of more traditionally minded male executives. There will always be haters, but you need to view these people with compassion, be empathetic and earn their trust – I’ve learnt to highlight opportunities instead of focusing on the negative.

It’s been a difficult, challenging journey, but a very fulfilling one. I believe I’ve reached the point where I can confidently say I am delivering value and equalising dynamics.

What excites her
Working with Entrepreneur First and various other partners have helped me chart the growth of Nucon, and I’m excited to see how far we’ve come and where we’re headed. It’s a long process, but being able to change people’s mindsets and getting a shared sense of empowerment to solve problems is what keeps me going every day. What really excites me is the knowledge that if I keep doing this, I might eventually be able to change the world.

On women in tech
Funny thing about the women in tech who I regularly encounter – they’re either very technical, like coders and data scientists, or more skilled in business and marketing. From personal observation, it seems less common for a woman in tech to tout both technical skills and “soft” skills like communications. I feel young women should be open to learning both technical and analytical skills. The biggest skill any person in tech can learn is how to communicate – you’re selling your idea, your product, yourself. You’re always selling something.

We should work toward bridging the gap between tech skills and the ability to communicate effectively. I think that will help more women break into the tech industry successfully.

Entrepreneur First’s bespoke programme, the first of its kind in the world, invests time and money in outstanding individuals, helping them to find a co-founder, develop an idea and create a high-growth technology company from scratch. Check out the deep-tech founders to emerge out of EF’s latest Asia 6 cohort.

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