KJR Collective Catch Ups: Kalpana Balini

The Collective

17 March 2020

A couple of times a month, we like to get to know members of the KJR Collective a little better. Today we catch up with Kalpana Balini.

Years in the industry: 12

Started at KJR: In October 2015

Based in: Sydney, NSW

Currently working with: For the past four years, Kalpana has been working with Roads and Maritime Services on an ongoing project focusing on SCATS Spatial Data Integration (SSDI). She has recently started a new project for them as well concerning SCATS Data Services (SDS).

What Kalpana loves most about her job…

Being the bold thinker she is, Kalpana gets the most pleasure out of testing different applications with client organisations. “Planning, developing test cases with different scenarios and reviewing processes allows me to think in different ways to determine possible solutions”. She finds this opportunity to open her mind to new possibilities not only essential in her work life, but also as something she can carry over to her personal life. Exploring new perspectives and thinking in different ways helps Kalpana to “improve my personal life”, which she sees as a big benefit. Being in a position that allows her to take her professional knowledge and experiences and apply it to her own life in unexpected ways is “completely essential” and helps Kalpana to mediate her work-life balance.

How Kalpana got into this industry…

Kalpana studied for and completed her Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering. A “passion” towards the Australian lifestyle and the desire for a multicultural setting encouraged her to pursue her career down under, taking a journey from India to South Australia. She then received a Post-Graduate Diploma in Software Engineering from the University of South Australia and secured a position in testing at a start-up IT company. “I did work really hard to get into an Australian IT company, as they used to look for local experience over international”.

While working at another consultancy, Kalpana became acquainted with KJR through a client project. She was able to work at both consultancies for a few years, but eventually chose KJR. “I just felt like KJR was more reliable and more trustworthy”.

What Kalpana thinks about the future of tech…

While technology is an important aspect of her job, Kalpana tries “not to stress too much” about the amount of rapidly developing tech in the world. Perfecting a balance between her work and home life is her top priority.

Despite this, as part of the KJR Collective Kalpana is always learning about the new technologies she sees with clients, “updating with the different tools used at each client’s location”. While not being directly involved in automation currently, she sees this as a growing and flourishing world, open to explore. Kalpana is also interested in the importance of leadership in tech, something she hopes to get involved in and challenge herself with further down the line.

She also does other things…

Outside the office Kalpana has a passion for cooking, and her adventurous spirit often takes her to new recipes. “I love trying different cultural foods and adding them into my list of regular meals”.

Speaking of culture, Kalpana is enthusiastic about all manner of dances and has been through her life, although it was something she never learned as a child due to personal circumstances. She now has a daughter, and so the two have taken on the challenge of learning a unique Indian cultural dance called Bharatanatyam.

Above all else, Kalpana adores her family and tries to spend as much time with them as possible. “My husband is very caring and lovable – he’s my support and strength”. She has two children, a son and daughter aged 13 and 8 years old respectfully.

Kalpana’s final word of advice…

“Keep doing what you like. Be brave, confident. Love yourself. Do not lose self-respect.”

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