12 May 2023
by Meat Business Women

Member Spotlight on Deepti Chandrakar

Deepti Chandrakar, Planning Lead – Meat Systems and Data Integration at Cole

At Meat Business Women, we want to shine a light on the incredible women who make up the Meat Business Women community.

The community is made up of a huge range of people in different functions, seniorities and at different stages in their careers. We know that by sharing experiences and knowledge, we can lift as we climb, which is crucial if we want to inspire, upskill and empower the women around us.

So, we asked Deepti Chandrakar, Planning Lead – Meat Systems and Data Integration at Coles to tell us more about her role, her achievements and her perspectives to help help to inspire and encourage other women along their own way. Deepti has had a varied career, moving from India to Western Australia and working her way up to her current role.

Tell us more about your career journey, how did you come to your current role?

I began my career in India where after my Masters I first worked for one of the biggest dairy corporations as well as a large consumer goods business on their ERP implementation.

My family moved to Western Australia in 2013 and it meant re-inventing the career wheel! I began working for Hilton Foods. Starting at the bottom of the meat industry helped me understand the micro level dynamics and was amazed to see how much goes behind the scenes from the farm to food. I then moved on to project roles where I worked on supply chain and production related projects for the facility.

During the 5 years at Hilton I gained exposure to various departments and also made the move to Victoria. I joined Coles in 2018 where I am now the Planning Lead for the Meat Digitisation team. I am looking to make an impact in the digital transformation of the meat business by continuous development and delivery of a technology strategy.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career path and progression so far? Who’s inspired, supported, and lit the way for you?

I have had a number of supporters and mentors in my career so far. From my father who guided me to pursue an MBA degree to my husband who is my go-to for any kind of career advice. I have been particularly inspired by Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo. I take a lot of inspiration from her story to work on the various strategies that come handy to work my way up.

One quote has really stuck with me is “Please help others rise. Greatness comes not from a position, but from helping build the future. We have an obligation to pull others up.” This has helped me develop and I aim to lift further people who I work with in coming roles.

Tell us about a time where you’ve had to recognise and harness your inner power or strengths to overcome a challenge. What skills have you developed along the way that enabled you to do this?

The most difficult and challenging time has been when we as a family decided to migrate to Australia with established careers in India. My husband and I were very confident that with hard work we could build a better future. In the start it really required a lot of strength to hold your ground and be motivated to keep working. I can very proudly say that it was that strength, the will power and self-discipline which has helped me where I am today and will continue to from here on.

What advice can you give to other women who work in the meat industry about moving up the ladder?

The meat industry in a very complex industry with many parts working together from farm to plate and offers a wide range of areas to work and gives a lot of opportunities for lateral and horizontal movements which anyone with the right skills can take the advantage of.

Deepti Chandrakar, Planning Lead – Meat Systems and Data Integration

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