Deepa Narasimhan, Making people believe in your Abilities at IIS 2015

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Diversity and Inclusion Thought Leader Deepa Narasimhan talks how making people believe in her abilities resulted in a career of creating impact.

Deepa was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy when she was just 2 months old. Her parents were initially clueless when doctors told them that she would need support all her life. But growing in a tambram (Tamil Brahmin) joint family meant strict focus on academics. After completing her high school, Deepa had to drop out of day-schooling due to inaccessible colleges. She pursued higher education through correspondence and during that period, stepping out of the house on exam days were like an outing for her. Also she recounts how her father has been her ‘Venture Capitalist’ and kept on ‘investing’ in her. This got Deepa hooked on to computers and technology. At home, she was the go to person for all tech problems her family had. It was easy for her family members to identify and believe in her abilities, but Deepa realized that out there in the world outside, people whom she interacted with needed to recognize and believe in her abilities. At the age of 22, Deepa decided to start working. She wrote blogs, built websites and started making money. 7 years ago, Deepa got an opportunity to work for EMC and that started her corporate career into marketing communication which eventually led her to head Diversity and Inclusion at EMC’s Asia Pacific division. Today Deepa is championing for change in ways organizations can accommodate people from various walks of life. That’s because, for her disability is like a metaphor that represents the impact one can make in the world.

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About Deepa Narasimhan:
Born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Deepa Narasimhan leads the Diversity & Inclusion initiatives at EMC for Asia Pacific and Japan. She has been instrumental in launching of EMC DERG (Disability Empowerment Resource Group) India network to create an environment of equality in the workplace. She has been engaged in advocating disability rights and gender equity in various capacities. She is member of various D&I Forum, and partner of KickStart and Wheels of Change, an accessible cab service in Bangalore and proactive accessibility evangelist.

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