ISE Developer Blog


Image Preethi

Preethi Natarajan

Life is always about prioritization and making the best out of the cards you are dealt with. For Preethi, such a time came to make a difficult choice that many women face. After a decade in tech as a Dev, PM and manager, as she was on the path to peaking in her career, she chose to step away from full-time work to be home with her daughter.

Despite choosing to leave corporate work, Preethi utilized this time away to explore her passion for entrepreneurship. She took on the challenge of founding her own startup that gave her flexibility to work from home thereby balancing her passion and spending time with her daughter. She designed and patented a smart scale solution that involves hardware, app and data integration with the cloud to weigh your luggage and send the data to your phone. Travelers could figure out how much they may have to pay in baggage fees. Information could be given to airlines to help plan their cargo space, too. She single-handedly brought the minimum viable product (MVP) to market by collaborating with people across the world.

These experiences taught her a lot about how to learn when things did and didn’t work, including how to keep an idea moving ahead. It also gave her the experience of end-end handling of the complex process including dealing with contractors in China/India and airline partners in USA. Preethi’s product had some success, and she was able to fulfill her crowd-funding orders with her prototype, but she didn’t have the time to revise the hardware and pivoted away from the product. She realizes it was a huge period of growth for her because it gave her an identity as an inventor, founder, and entrepreneur. The lessons from this experience continue to live in what she does today.

While Preethi works in CSE, she continues to be an entrepreneur at heart and is constantly innovating within her role at Microsoft. She enjoys how projects span across a variety of industries and the collaborative nature of the crew model in which a wide range of engineering disciplines work together to tackle their customers’ challenges. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, acting and honing her hosting skills.