Asha Kurian works at Tek Experts, a global business and IT outsourcing company with a location in Colorado Springs. But she is more than just a sales assist generalist at the 7-year-old Bulgaria-based company.
Kurian moved to the U.S. from Coimbatore in south India, where she received a degree in fashion technology from Kumaraguru College of Technology in 2011.
She worked as both a procurement analyst and business analyst while in Coimbatore, then married and moved to Bloomington, Minn., four years ago to follow her husband’s career.
When faced with a decision between moving to California or Colorado three years ago, the couple chose Colorado Springs.
Kurian has worked at Tek Experts, her first job in the U.S., for a year, where she is responsible for analyzing client reports, investigating, and resolving contract entitlement and licensing issues.
In addition to working her first U.S. job, 28-year-old Kurian operates an e-card greetimg card company called Happy Carrot with her sister in India, and has also launched her own clothing designs in her home country.
Kurian spoke with the Business Journal about working in the technology industry in Colorado Springs.
I’m Indian — you either become a doctor or an engineer. Those are the two roles you have. That’s just the way it is. In 10th grade you have to decide your future, so you have to decide if you want to go into medicine or want to go and do anything else. [I went into] engineering because my father did engineering. … My friend is a standup comedian, but she’s also an engineer. You have to do the engineering passage of adulthood or rite of passage … and then you do whatever you want to pursue. It’s just a culture thing.
What do you like about working in Colorado Springs?
I’ve been in major cities like Chicago and San Francisco, but nobody really cares [about you]. You cross the road and somebody is on their phone because their life depends on it, but here you will be standing at the grocery store and somebody actually talks to you like, ‘Hey, do you think this is good?’ or ‘Did you watch the Broncos yesterday?’ I like the people, I like the culture and everybody’s just kind of accepting of others. Nobody’s trying to be like, ‘Oh, I’m more important than you.’
What should Colorado Springs do to retain young professionals?
There are a lot of opportunities for people like me in Colorado Springs, and I don’t understand why people move all the way to Denver and other places where it’s more expensive, but you could just stay here … where there are actually opportunities. More companies like Tek Experts should come out or we could expand, which we are. I’m talking about global companies, which means there [would be] more diversity. … More global companies with more global outreach, which means we would have more different kinds of jobs.
When I came in initially and I was reading up on Colorado Springs … [it’s] defense or military based, so [I thought] if you had to find a job you had to have a military-based situation, but that’s not how it is. … Colorado Springs is never looked upon as a city that’s friendly for non-military families, but it actually is. … Maybe that should be changed a little bit.
What challenges face the technology industry right now?
Within Colorado Springs, I know we have a lack of analyst roles, but that’s why you see a lot of people who are moving to San Francisco or New York, because they think analyst roles are things that only come up in that kind of big city. It’s initially portrayed as: If you want to get an analyst role or a technology-related role … [there’s] going to be less in the Springs and more in Denver.
But I see there’s a change. We have Lockheed Martin … but we actually have [other] companies where you can have opportunities even if it’s technology-related, analyst-related … but it’s never portrayed, it’s never out in the open.
What advice would you give to other young professionals?
Don’t stick to the background that you have. If you’re interested in something, always go for it. You’re going to get ‘no’ a couple of times, it doesn’t matter. I got into this, and I did my work in fashion technology and engineering and I’m an analyst now. … If you think you’re really good at something, go for it. n CSBJ