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Faces of ISACA: Bhavani Suresh, CISA, CISM, CGEIT

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Bhavani SureshEditor’s note: This week, ISACA Now’s “Faces of ISACA” series is highlighting female members who have made outstanding contributions to the technology workforce leading up to International Women’s Day on 8 March. Today, we highlight Bhavani Suresh, CEO of Nbiz Infosol (UAE).

Join @isacanews, @justinembone @observacious & @shyama_rose for an International Women’s Day Twitter Chat on 8 March, 1-2 PM EST. Have your questions and comments ready. Use #ISACAChat and #IWD2018 to be a part of the live conversation.

Bhavani Suresh rattles off a list of her goals as if she has nothing but free time at her disposal.

She wants to establish new schools, a home for destitute widows, author a book and escalate her already considerable volunteer workload – all this on top of growing her company, Nbiz Infosol, of which she is CEO.

“Such are my ambitions,” Suresh said. “I am very positive I will achieve them soon.”

Based on Suresh’s track record, why set limits to what she can accomplish? In addition to her entrepreneurial success, Suresh was voted the first female president of ISACA’s UAE Chapter, a milestone that she considers to be “really a remarkable achievement.”

“In a male-dominated society, and in the field of information systems wherein very few females exist, it is quite challenging to rise up against all odds and become the president,” Suresh said.

Suresh grew up in India and entered the booming IT field there, capitalizing on a scholarship program to learn about the information systems field. She eventually earned an MBA from the Manchester Business School, and her thirst for knowledge continued by pursuing an array of professional credentials, including ISACA’s CISA, CISM and CGEIT certifications.

“If you say that you belong to the ISACA community, the industry adds a weightage score to your credibility, trustworthiness and your level of dedication,” Suresh said. “ISACA really means a lot to me.  When I gained my certifications, I really stood apart, as many men did not have such qualifications. It gave my career a great boost, and now in my own organization, it gives me additional strength as well.  ISACA has been close to my heart throughout.”

In search of expanded career opportunities, Suresh relocated from India to UAE in 1995. After some time working in the public sector, Suresh sought to develop her entrepreneurial skills, and she formed Nbiz Infosol about 10 years ago. Nbiz Infosol is an information solutions provider focusing on information security, governance, audit, assurance and training for enterprises in the Middle East. She is proud of many of the organization’s achievements, including gaining accreditation with multiple international bodies and winning a 2012 BIZZ award in the SME category.

The road to success has not always been smooth. Suresh has observed many challenges for women in the technology workforce – ranging from a lack of respect from men to a shortage of training and mentorship opportunities for women – and said, “it is quite challenging to overcome all of these and still stand upright.” Suresh, though, has prevailed and become a powerful success story in her region, and generally has come to appreciate life in the UAE.

“Everything from A-Z is available in a few steps, and you really create a comfort zone living in the UAE,” Suresh said. “The leaders are so thought-provoking, and there is a world of opportunities here. Also, the multitude of culture, language and religions really is an amazing achievement and experience by itself because I don’t think you will have such a variety elsewhere in a smaller region.”

Just as diverse is the set of goals Suresh has for the future, with an emphasis on uplifting those in need of education and housing. Suresh said, “energy is abundant with me,” and so are her ambitions.

“Time is always a precious thing these days, so I’m trying to juggle many goals,” Suresh said. “However, I am prioritizing and trying to achieve each one by one.”

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