In an interview with CIOLook, Bita Milanian, the Senior Vice President of Ribbon has shared stories about her journey and remarkable achievements. Additionally, she has also shared her future plans, thoughts about women empowerment in this interview.
Below are the highlights of the interview between Bita and CIOLOOK:
Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a proficient leader.
Bita Milanian serves as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Ribbon & its Kandy.io division, a global technology company with more than two decades of leadership in real-time communications for service providers, enterprises, independent software vendors, systems integrators and developers in over 80 countries.
With over 20 years of marketing, branding and communications experience, Bita has held senior-level marketing positions at various companies, including TPx Communications and Global Crossing. Prior to joining Ribbon, she held the top post of Executive Director for Farhang Foundation and is also the founder of the creative and consulting agency Butterfly Buzz, which she still operates as a means to continue her humanitarian work, support up-and-coming artists, as well as non-profits, to enable them to increase their profiles and optimize their brands.
As a passionate community organizer, Bita actively volunteers her time and expertise in support of numerous causes and organizations and is a popular speaker at various conferences and programs on the topics of technology, philanthropy, art, culture, social justice and gender equality.
Bita has been a social media influencer and blogger since 2000, leveraging her expertise in online platforms for business to raise the profiles of global entrepreneurs, immigrants and artists alike who are being the change in the world they wish to see, building on Gandhi’s philosophy. In January 2020, she launched her radio show called B the Change on Radio Iran 670AMKIRN, featuring immigrant journeys of some of the most remarkable Iranian-Americans, from hardships to successes, and their positive impact in the world, being the change and inspiring the next generation.
Although an Angeleno for 30 plus years, Bita considers herself a global citizen and focuses her efforts on that scale. Bita attended California State University, Northridge studying Business Administration and Marketing, and Kaiserin Augusta Schule in Cologne, Germany. Prior to Germany, she spent the first 13 years of her life in Iran, where she was born.
She is fluent in Persian and German, and proficient in conversational Spanish, French and Azeri Turkish. As a seasoned traveler, she has had the pleasure of experiencing cuisines from various corners of the world. She enjoys trying new and bold flavors, and is equally as passionate about creating them in her own kitchen. “Food connects us,” Bita writes, “and when we are connected, we have the power to bring cultures together for positive change.”
Bita has won many awards for her professional work as well as her humanitarian efforts. Most recently she was recognized as part of the “35 World Changing Women” by Conscious Company Magazine and Global Women in Telco & Tech 2019 “Agent of Change” Award and shortlisted as part to of the Women in IT Awards in London as Business Role Model of the Year.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to entice the target audience?
At Ribbon we are always thinking ahead and, in fact, disrupting the market. We strive to find better and more efficient ways to support real-time communications – voice, messaging, video collaboration, unified communications and communications-as-a-service, all which are secure, reliable and scale to support the largest telecom and technology companies in the world.
We have a very proactive branding and marketing program that is designed to highlight our existing relationships with the world’s largest service providers and enterprises while attracting new customers with innovative campaigns.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
We study the market constantly, work with the top industry analysts, review the competition and grow our partner ecosystem – all under the guidance of a world-class executive team. We have many of the most experienced and successful leaders in our industry, from product and platform development, to partner ecosystem, systems integration, goto- market and more. We are a global organization so also have incredible people leading not only in North America, but in LatAm, AsiaPac, and EMEA.
Our goal is to be seen as innovators and industry leaders. To achieve this objective we leverage the knowledge and expertise of our senior leadership team through aggressive thought leadership programs. In addition to having close strategic relationships with all of the major market research firms, our executives are often asked to speak at global conferences and provide commentary on the trends that are shaping the technology industry.
Continuously innovating through forward-thinking solutions, providing best-in-class service, and working closely with our customers and partners, allows us to stay ahead of the market and the competition.
What are the vital traits that every businesswoman should possess?
Focus, energy and professionalism, always. It’s important to stay on top of what is happening in the industry externally, while also spending time developing talent and working with teams internally. Time management is a very important skill, as is networking within the industry and the community.
Have you in any ways contributed towards the cause of women empowerment?
I work with many fine organizations, non-profits, foundations, NGOs and more. But the greatest longterm successes have come from mentoring other women (and girls) as this is how we can scale together, by helping each other. As an immigrant from Iran, I have a deep understanding of women’s rights globally, and recognize how much work we have left to do – and I’m up for the challenge! We empower together – we support, we appreciate and we recognize all talented and kind people, women and men – let’s empower everybody to be productive and prosperous, without regard to their sex or sexual orientation, skin color, beliefs, or backgrounds. While women are still often encumbered by old ways of thinking and doing thing, let’s make progress for all.
I also try to stay involved in various organizations that champion women’s causes like Women in the Channel, where I served on the Board of Directors, and the Persian Women in Tech. It is important to not only mentor but to actively be engaged with others to help promote women empowerment.
How do you cope up with capricious technological trends to boost your personal growth?
Use the technology! I am a very curious person, I always have been, so technology is a perfect industry for me, but it is also amazing when it comes to my personal life. You will always find me lining up to try the latest iPhone, gadget and more, and to switch things up (for example on-demand entertainment, social media as my main news channel, and so much more). Embrace it! Some things you will enjoy, some you won’t but until you try – you won’t know. To be successful in the tech industry – use the tech and leverage it to your benefit – and study all of what makes that tech possible, from networks to the cloud to the Internet of Things to cool new applications. I freely admit – I’m a geek!
What are your future endeavors/objectives and where do you see yourself in the near future?
I will continue on this beautiful path; I have been so blessed with such an amazing family life and professional career, as well as a vibrant life in philanthropy and humanitarianism. I will continue to find the balance, to enjoy my passions (for example cooking and ballroom dancing) and will always find time to help others especially in times of need. I will continue to actively follow politics and social issues, to advocate, to contribute what I can to the world, and to do my level best to serve as a positive example. I am carried on the shoulders of my parents, who escaped Iran, and incredibly fortunate to have the unconditional support of my husband and be surrounded by amazing friends and colleagues I truly respect and admire. Life is good and I plan to keep it that way!