This year, itaas president/CEO Vibha Rustagi has focused on how best to “fuel” innovation and bring advanced technologies, additional engineering and development capabilities to support customers’ business strategies. “Technology is an enabler. As a result, cable companies are not as insular as in the past. They look for ways to bring diverse perspectives, thinking, and solutions—whether it is going to different geographic regions or different industries— to find talent and innovative thinking,” she says. Vibha has had quite a few mentors since she joined the industry 24 years ago. “I look for mentors who are very direct in their communications and will tell me when I need to take another path or share with me their experience,” she says.

What’s the definition of diversity in 2014, and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?

I think diversity of experience is important to the cable industry. Bringing experience from different industries and technology verticals can fuel the innovation of our industry.

What’s been your company’s biggest innovation this year?

This year we focused on how best to “fuel” innovation and bring advanced technologies and additional engineering and development capabilities and skill sets to support our customers’ business strategies. This focus led itaas to make the decision to become itaas, a Cognizant Company. We now have the combined itaas strengths with a global leader who consistently invests in innovation that accelerates customer solutions.

Who has been your strongest mentor, and why?

I don’t have a single mentor. However, all of my mentors have two key qualities: honesty and experience. I look for mentors that are very direct in their communications and will tell me when I need to take another path or share with me their experience. I want a mentor that can provide guidance in unique situations.

What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?

I look for a combination of intelligence, fire in the belly and a desire to challenge traditional ideas.

Name one emerging trend in cable we should all have our eye on.

Now more than ever, the industry realizes that they must keep their eye on the consumer. Consumers are much more engaged with the experience, are diverse in their thinking and express their opinions. FTechnology is an enabler. As a result, cable companies are not as insular as in the past. They look for ways to bring diverse perspectives, thinking, and solutions – whether it is going to different geographic regions or different industries – to find talent and innovative thinking.

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