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Date posted: 16th February 2021

16th February 2021

Stories from an Inspiring Leader – Aruna Ravichandran

Stories from an Inspiring Leader – Aruna Ravichandran

Aruna Ravichandran, VP/CMO, Cisco Webex Collaboration Marketing

Sometimes the hardest attribute to bring to work is humanity. When businesses are moving fast and focused on profitability, that oftentimes becomes the all-consuming focus. While Aruna is dedicated to driving business outcomes, she is, at her core, one of the kindest, most compassionate, and caring leaders at Cisco. She routinely checks in with the team on ad hoc calls, scheduled meetings, quick messages to make sure they are doing well and coping. She hosts monthly team activities, including trivia contests, to ensure the team is connecting and having a bit of fun. When members of the team experience personal tragedy, she is the first to reach out and offer support in whatever capacity is required. She regularly encourages time-o and vacations, and is respectful of that time, refusing to connect until they return to the office.

Aruna is at her core, a courageous leader. She is fearless in putting forward ideas, plans, programs, and activities designed to further the business and tell the broader story. She will always fight for what’s most important for the business and the team. Aruna ensured participation in a larger effort to donate video collaboration devices to hospitals and medical facilities. This allowed doctors to provide continuity in care while still protecting the vulnerable. During the pandemic, Cisco Webex offered its meeting services for free around the globe. Aruna was responsible for leading the charge to ensure the website was updated with not only the free offer, but important use case specific information (telehealth, education) so people could stay connected.

Aruna empowers the team to explore new ideas and bring forward new programs that benefit the business. Empowering can mean so much more than the opposite of micro-managing and while she fits in the first, she also creates an environment where employees feel free to express their true selves and contribute their best talents to the work at hand.


“While it was a critical time for our business to thrive, she helped make sure we all knew that we need to also find times for ourselves to relax and recover from this crazy busy time and balance the other important parts of our lives.”

About Inspiring Leaders

The extract above is taken from the Inspiring Leaders 2020 initiative which recognised exceptional leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can download the full eBook with all the leader stories here.

Inspiring Leaders was created as a vehicle to recognize people who stepped up to help individuals, teams and organizations navigate personal and business challenges, and make a contribution to make their business, their community and the world a better place.

Due to the success of IL 2020, we have brought it back in 2021. We are now open for nominations. For more information about how to enter Inspiring Leaders, dates and fees – click here.