Employee Spotlight: Uma Patravali, VP of Project Management & Onboarding

Uma Patravali photo
Uma Patravali was recently promoted due to her dedication and focus on customer excellence.

Can you share a bit about your current position and professional background?

I first got into manufacturing by working at my father’s factory in India. After receiving my Masters in Industrial Engineering, I took on various quality engineering roles at companies in the US, including positions at GE and Creation Technologies.

My career at Sanmina began more than four years ago, when I started as General Manager. Over the years, I’ve successfully built a strong team and expanded the business with both new and existing customers.

Most recently, I was promoted to Vice President of Project Management and Onboarding for Sanmina’s Integrated Manufacturing Service (IMS) plants on the West coast. When customers decide to outsource manufacturing with Sanmina, I ensure a seamless transfer of their projects so that all of the tactical details run smoothly at our plants from day one, in addition to ensuring strategic alignment with customer goals. On any given day, I wear many different hats and collaborate across a broad set of business functions to make this happen, whether it’s Engineering, Finance, Operations, Sales or HR.

What do you enjoy most about working at Sanmina?

Sanmina has an open culture that provides exposure to new areas and sectors, if you have the aptitude and passion for it. It’s a very collaborative environment and I enjoy the ‘can do’ attitude of the teams that I work with. At the same time, the culture provides us with the flexibility to make mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity. I like taking on new challenges and working with my team to tackle new issues and projects. People at Sanmina are always ready to step in and work together, which makes it very enjoyable. There is a never a dull moment and the welcoming nature of the team and leadership provides new opportunities and challenges to highly motivated employees.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My proudest accomplishment occurred at Sanmina when I took responsibility for a plant that was underperforming and turned it around into a high caliber and high performing plant. It took a lot of hard work and focus over several quarters to rebuild the culture and processes from the ground up. Since then, the plant has been operating at a record pace with sustained growth and new customers are keen to engage with us because of the positive reputation that we have built. This has been my proudest journey at Sanmina so far and was most definitely due to an extraordinary team effort.

Who has been an inspiration in your life?

I draw inspiration from my mother. I don’t think I would be where I am, had it not been for the role model that she played early on in my life. She raised three kids while being a school teacher and also led various community charters. Even with her busy schedule, I never missed a warm meal or felt a lack of attention. She showed me the possibilities in life and how much I could achieve if I put my heart and mind to it. I still have moments when I ask myself, “If my mom were in my shoes, what would she do,” and take cues from that accordingly.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Cooking is my favorite stress relieving activity and it gives my family a chance to come together and cook in the evenings. I also enjoy painting, when there is time. My daughter recently convinced me to learn how to ski – I can’t say it’s my favorite sport but I am giving it a shot to try something new!

What is your advice to younger candidates considering a career in manufacturing?

Manufacturing is the backbone of the modern global economy and it gives you exposure to many different industries and technologies. If you like rolling up your sleeves and learning how modern complex systems work and how factories operate with a combination of people, robotics and automation, working for an electronics manufacturing service provider might be for you. A lot of emerging technologies pass through our plants, whether it’s LIDAR technology, robotics, high complex medical devices or satellite technology. At Sanmina, you get the opportunity to intimately understand how some of the world’s most compelling technology solutions are designed, built and brought to market.