Directness and honesty are two attributes that Ventia's General Manager Application Strategy, Architecture & Operations Asha Bauch values. 

"I like to know where I stand," Asha says. "I have been called driven and resilient, both of which I consider a compliment."

Asha's resilience has seen her develop her career to her current leadership role at Ventia, after starting her career with some of the largest global consulting firms including PWC and IBM. 

Asha moved to Australia from South Africa 13 years ago, and after working in consulting for a short period of time, transitioned to a role with a large NSW Utility. 

"I didn't have any prior experience in the utility sector," Asha says. "But having the mentorship of an executive leader helped me establish a comprehensive understand of Asset and Service Management."

Asha initially joined Transfield Services and has worked across several roles as an IT Program Manager, Business Engagement Partner and then moving into the General Manager Applications where her role expanded from Operations to include Strategy and Architecture.


Building strong relationships to drive business outcomes

In her role as Business Engagement Partner Asha used her stakeholder management skills to build strong relationships across the Utilities, Transport and Corporate teams, which she said was invaluable and is key in driving business outcomes. 

During the integration, Asha accepted her current GM role which saw her inherit a team from Ventia that had primarily been managing applications across the Telco business, along with a team from Broadspectrum.

"Successfully merging two teams was my first challenge, and I approached that the same way I approach most things, by connecting with people and building relationships," Asha explains.

Collaboration is the key ingredient in delivery the best to our clients.

Asha says that since those early days, her team have made significant progress. 

"We have now defined our Enterprise architecture, taking the best from both organisations, and are busy shifting the broader organisation onto these leading-edge platforms," she says. "We work collaboratively with our internal and external stakeholders to deliver benefits through this architecture and deliver continuous improvements through application of our sector and function digital roadmaps."

Asha explains that we have integrated our safety systems, sales platform, intranet, financial and procurement systems and many other previously separate solutions and are now more than 50% complete with final deployments locked in through to April 2022. 


Integrating diverse skills

Asha says it was important for her and other leaders in the team to leverage the skills and experience from both businesses to achieve all of that, building a combined team of experts in our applications. 

"The integration of our digital skills and the standardisation of our systems puts Ventia ahead of our competitors," she says. "It allows us to deliver faster, more cost-effective mobilisations as we continue to grow the business." 

Working with a team that have complex and deadline-driven roles means that Asha is very aware of the toll work can take on mental health. "The mental health and wellbeing of my team is my top priority," she says.

I work with them to accommodate their needs. That's really important to me.

The past 18 months have been challenging for many people across the world, but Asha notes that one benefit we've seen in workplaces is that the pandemic has highlighted how good leaders look after their people.


Asha pictured with her family