We approached Shahnaz Parveen, Business Development Executive at Scanpoint Geomatics Ltd, to share her experience in the geospatial field. Know about her journey to success and what insights she gave into the future of geospatial technology in India post-Covid-19.
1. Please share your journey to pursue a career in the geospatial industry
For me, I went with the flow at the beginning. I come from a geography background where I was first introduced to GIS and Remote Sensing after that I followed the trend amongst my people at that time and I was convinced to pursue my Masters in Geoinformatics from a renowned institution like Symbiosis in Pune. So that’s how I moved from my hometown, Kolkata to Pune. Choosing to come this far for further studies has helped me evolve as a person and I am thankful to my parents to lend their support all throughout.
After that began my next phase, which was my professional career and I landed in Mumbai, the City of Dreams. I started off as a GIS Analyst and got to work with ArcGIS Enterprise suit. Here I had the opportunity to learn IT and work with GIS Enterprise, technical troubleshooting, documentation and customer service and opportunity to work with global accounts and their projects.
I realized I always had a strong liking to interacting with people and public speaking. I was eager to know how the world of business operates. Soon I was offered a Business Development Executive role. This opportunity has helped me gradually in evolving into a techno-commercial person and develop new perspectives and showcase my leadership skills and now I help my company to grow its GIS business in the education sector. Definitely there is a lot more to BD and its an extremely challenging job. But one thing that allows me to hold on to this is public speaking and public interactions. So here I am, a progressive geospatial professional and I absolutely love what I do!
2. Please suggest us the things that every geospatial business developer must adopt
Every Geospatial Business developer must adopt:
- Geospatial technology. It is a must to have knowledge about GIS when you are specifically in geospatial business.
- Work from home strategies.
- Create a structure in your work process and be disciplined.
- Great listening and communication skills.
- Fearless Attitude.
- Self-starter and Self-motivated personality.
3. With your prior experience can you enlighten us regarding geospatial business opportunities in India?
There is a lot of scope in geospatial technology. Government of India and Educational Institutions and Research Organizations, Consultancies and various other Industry verticals like agriculture, forestry, defense, Water Resource, marketing, etc. have started accepting geospatial science and technology more and more as it realizes its importance and capabilities.
Local governing bodies and the central government encourages innovative technologies like GIS, which helps them improve their working efficiency and connect with the citizens more efficiently.
The educational sector has taken interest in training in GIS and Remote Sensing and develop its geospatial infrastructure.
When the Government of India was challenged to manage the pandemic, GIS Technology has helped a lot in monitoring the COVID-19 situation, mapping the hotspot area to tracking the quarantine patients, etc.
We would see an entirely different world post-COVID-19 wherein the socio-economic behavior will change. There will be changes in the ways businesses will conduct. So innovative technologies like geospatial technology will play a significant role in becoming a solution to the change.
4. Any career advice for geospatial career aspirants?
Earlier in my career, one of my mentors told me that ‘the process is more important than the end result. ‘So my advice to the geospatial career aspirants would be to Believe in Yourself and Trust the Process and don’t forget to enjoy the process. The results has to follow. My best wishes to all geospatial career aspirants!
5. How do you deal with a lack of awareness among people while doing business development work? Do you think of it as an obstacle?
I keep in mind 3W’s that is WHY, WHAT and WHO. Whatever business you do you got to educate your clients about who you are and let them know why you do what you do and how it’s going to solve their problem.
So, creating awareness among the target audience about the importance of geospatial technology and the relevance of it in their work is a part of my business developers’ job. I take it as a healthy challenge and a great opportunity to impart valuable education to my clients and attract long term business.
6. How do you see India as an emerging trendsetter for geospatial technology?
India is emerging as a global superpower in creating geospatial capacity and infrastructure. GIS and Image Processing are two of many geospatial technologies for scientific data analysis and visualization. And India has got its own indigenous geospatial platforms for the same. So it is in the process of creating its own path to the geospatial industry.
Geospatial technology is a great concept with location intelligence making it unique. And, its interdisciplinary nature makes it go hand in hand with all other technologies. The heartbeat of it, being the domain knowledge and data information.
Government and Smart Cities are also relying on geospatial technology solutions for both problem solving and decision making. Now people are focusing on creating geospatial strategies for New India to lay down strategies and mechanisms. Experts are making efforts in standardizing spatial information and data and methodology for the country leaving adequate scope for customization as per specific sectoral needs. So, all these will generate more needs for GIS trained professionals to execute the plan.
We have seen how GPS tracking, mapping information and real-time location-based dashboards, drones all these geospatial technologies have come into the rescue to tackle COVID-19. Even post-pandemic, I see huge utilization of GIS technology to manage and monitor things in different sectors. Not just this, since it is an emerging concept or trend in India, there is a huge scope of research and innovation as well.
How Geospatial Awareness Hub can keep up the momentum and develop the community, any suggestions?
I would say Geospatial Awareness Hub is already doing a great job of spreading geospatial awareness by getting in touch with the people of this industry, creating a community and publishing relevant content in a simplified manner, as I can say by observing the content you put up. These days we have a privilege of social media platforms to connect with people easily and we have to just leverage that to great opportunities. My suggestions would be to keep doing the great job and bring in as many great opportunities as possible to help the cause.
Last but not the least, I would like to thank you for reaching out to me and giving me an opportunity to share my experience with your audience. I hope I have been able to add some insights and keep up to your expectations.