It's easy to get caught up in Janani's enthusiasm as she describes her work as director of information technology. She's fascinated by the advancements in her field and the excitement of working with big data. She's focused and driven as her team runs smart, smooth and confident through health care technology challenges. In the same breath, she goes on to describe the priority she puts on family, and how much she enjoys cooking with her children. Nourishing them is an intimate reminder of the lives her work will touch; her role in creating the health care technology that will serve people on a larger scale. At work or at home, she's focused on the people around her, and the future of health care she's helping to build.
How do you describe what you do to family and friends?
This is how I explain it to my children: when I take you to the clinic, the doctor puts your information into a system. I write the code that helps that information get to the right people, so the doctor can get paid and you receive the right care.
What personal strengths help you do your job?
I've always been committed to building strong relationships, in my personal and professional life. This really comes into play at my job because I don't need to have all the answers; I just need to know the people who do. You can only do that by talking to people, getting to know their projects and connecting them with others who are working on similar problems. Placing a high value on relationships makes me a better enterprise architect.
Why is your passion important to you?
Time with my family provides the perfect balance to work; I really enjoy cooking with my kids and giving them 100% of my time and attention at home. Being with them is a physical and mental break that refreshes and refuels me for the next day; strong relationships at home empower me to build strong relationships at work.
What do you love most about your job?
There are so many opportunities to work with people across various segments! I love working for a huge enterprise and interacting with so many systems. When I look at my own claims online, I know all the systems and people working behind the scenes, and that keeps me excited and curious about my job.
How have you grown at UnitedHealth Group?
I get to work with big data, clouds—the same technologies used at Google and Yahoo!—I'm using these to solve problems with health care and I feel really good about it. After 14 years with UnitedHealth Group, I've learned you can only be successful because of the people around you, your managers and peers. I'm thankful for how those relationships have helped me grow.
What should someone know before joining our company?
You will be challenged—there are always problems to solve. Just as doctors need to stay updated about medicine, you need to keep on top of technologies to solve health care problems. But you won't be successful all by yourself: you need to know the right people and always work on those relationships.
Favorite person, living or dead?
My family, peers and management, because I learn from them every day.
Luxury hotel or cabin?
A cabin, because I can see myself there relaxing with my family.
Anything spicy and vegetarian.
Favorite movie and why?
Legally Blonde – because I love silly movies that make me laugh!
Most grateful for?
My parents, family, peers and collaborators, because they are my greatest strength.