Physical Stamina in Men is Matched by Women’s Mental Strength: Navyashri N V

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bharat fritz werner
Navyashree NV of Bharat Fritz Werner

Navyashri N V’s story is a remarkable journey from a small village to the garden city of Bengaluru. Her path has been full of challenges at Bharat Fritz Werner Limited, including overcoming language barriers and adapting to new environments. Navyashri has always believed that what men can do regarding mental stamina, women can match with mental strength. Her story concerns hard work, adapting to changes, and meeting and exceeding expectations. She’s a living example that women can break stereotypes and thrive in any industry with the right mindset and support.

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Navyashri N V belongs to Neralekere of Ramanagara District in Karnataka and is now working with India’s leading machine builder Bharat Fritz Werner Limited (BFW). Her innate drive for learning and passion for research opened the gates to the R&D sector within BFW, a company that’s been a manufacturing powerhouse since 1961. Navyashri, embracing her role in the R&D Mechatronics Department, has successfully integrated novel technologies on the production floor. For seven years, her diligence and commitment to innovation have led her to not only work within the confines of BFW but also to engage actively on-site during machinery installations, ensuring that the products meet and exceed expectations. Her efforts reinforce BFW’s ethos of technological advancement and precision, a testimony to their extensive range of CNC machines, turning centres, and milling machines that cater to diverse machining demands.

“I’m from rural Bagram,” she begins with a note of pride in her voice for the roots that have grounded her. “Where I come from, I completed my education up to the 10th grade in Kannada, my local language.” Delving into her past, she shares, “My teacher used to say—if you want to make strides in technology, start with science.” The simplicity and certainty of that advice struck a chord with her, kindling a lifelong pursuit of scientific knowledge. “That’s why I joined the science stream, and eventually, it led me to engineering. It’s where I discovered the opportunities to work with technologies and become an inventor within the technology department.”

Navyashri enthusiastically shares her realisations: “What can I say? In India, as engineers, we’re not just using technology but inventing it.” This declaration of her belief in the transformative power of her chosen field is a declaration of her belief in the transformative power of her chosen field. “And that is what propelled me into engineering.” Her journey didn’t stop with her education; it extended to shaping the minds of others as a teacher, where she influenced the next generation of thinkers and makers. She also worked with the Government for a very short time. “And then, I joined BFW,” she states with a sense of arrival, having transitioned from disseminating knowledge to applying it hands-on in the bustling metropolis of Bangalore, pushing the boundaries of innovation at the cutting edge of the manufacturing industry.

Seamless Transitions and Newfound Opportunities

“A month after I joined at BFW, I felt a pull towards R&D,” she shares, hinting at a restlessness for growth and her innate drive to innovate. Her proactive approach was noticed. “I brought this up with the senior team members,” Navyashri continues, a tone of appreciation evident as she recounts the support she received. “They gave me a chance—a month to prove myself in manufacturing R&D, starting from IT.” Embracing the challenge, she reflects, “It was a significant moment for me, embarking on this journey with the encouragement of many.” Navyashri’s timeline at BFW is marked by continuous growth: “Since 2017, every day has been about engaging with new technologies and tackling daily challenges.”

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“Our development isn’t confined to just a lab; it’s rooted in the shop floor’s reality,” she explains, talking about the importance of real-world testing for BFW’s innovative solutions. Visiting customer sites is a routine yet an essential aspect of her job. “The validation of newly implemented products is crucial before market release,” she asserts. “The contrast between a laboratory and a bustling shop floor is stark, and confidence in our products is solidified in the latter’s challenging environment.”

She finds solace in the supportive network within the company’s premises. “Inside, it feels like home. The support among the team is a backbone that braces us for any challenges,” she remarks. However, customer visits come with challenges, especially in male-dominated spaces. “The endurance required on-site from dawn till dusk, amidst an environment designed for relentless standing and working,” she states, acknowledging the rigour of her fieldwork.

Her initial ventures into unfamiliar territories were marked by adaptation and learning. “Facing a new place, new language, and new ways of working was daunting at first,” she admits, reflecting on her growth. Her team’s unwavering support has been her pillar. “I’m particularly thankful to Hari Sir for teaching me to approach every challenge as an opportunity to achieve expected outcomes,” Navyashree says with heartfelt respect. This encouragement, she believes, has empowered her to speak up and stand out, “Their faith in me has bolstered my confidence to voice my thoughts, anywhere and everywhere.”

Make-in-India

“In my hometown, Kannada was my solace, but at BFW, I stepped into an arena where Hindi and Tamil echoed across the shop floor,” she recalls, reflecting on the initial challenges that language differences presented. Her rural roots, though doused in simplicity, proved to be a crucible of resilience, equipping her with an innate ability to thrive in challenging settings. She fondly recounts her mentor Hari’s advice, “Even if you falter in English, keep speaking.” His guidance led her out of her language limitations. Navyashri’s journey of self-improvement was not a silent battle. Her colleagues became her allies, patiently listening and responding, helping her craft and recraft her dialect until she could confidently present in front of a customer. “Every word I stumbled upon, every sentence I rephrased, they were there, bolstering my courage,” she shares with gratitude.

Physical Stamina Versus Mental Fortitude: Navyashri N V

Navyashri brings to light the intrinsic strength required in the manufacturing sector, emphasising an often overlooked necessity for mental resilience alongside physical strength. She suggests reimagining the workforce’s capabilities: “We need to cultivate bravery, not just physically but mentally,” she states. She challenges the traditional belief that enduring long hours is a man’s domain: “Why shouldn’t we, as women, be able to handle the same challenges if we’re equipped with the right facilities?” She argues that physical stamina, often associated with men, can be matched by women’s mental fortitude.

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Navyashri reflects on the importance of a supportive work environment: “The team and the environment must be welcoming. Encouragement from our peers is the catalyst for us to thrive in any setting.” For Navyashri, the essence of BFW goes beyond just the work. “What I truly cherish here is the working environment,” she notes fondly. The respect given to women, regardless of position, age, or experience, is genuinely impressive and welcoming.” Her conviction is straightforward; with the right support and recognition of their intrinsic strength, women in manufacturing can excel.

Navyashri shatters the stereotype that women shy away from challenges. When first asked if she was willing to travel to customer sites, her affirmative response was met with surprise and admiration from her senior colleagues. “Yes, I’ll go,” she declared, demonstrating a readiness to take on responsibilities typically reserved for her male counterparts. She recounts late nights working by the machines. Her efforts were not in isolation; they echoed a broader change within the industry. “Seeing more women being recruited in manufacturing filled me with joy. It’s a sign that we’re heading in the right direction,” she proudly says.

For Navyashri N V, the idea that gender should dictate one’s role in a professional environment is outdated. “We shouldn’t let our gender be a limiting belief. We must embrace challenges and show our mettle,” she asserts. She believes that with determination and competence, women can seamlessly integrate and excel in any workplace, dispelling any notions of favoritism or undue concern due to their gender. Her philosophy is clear: success in the manufacturing sector — or any sector — comes from the will to rise to the occasion and prove oneself. “If we hold ourselves to high standards and meet challenges head-on, we can be effective anywhere we choose to be,” Navyashri concludes, her words reflecting a drive that transcends the traditional boundaries set for women in the industry.

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