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How A Perak Lass Became A Major Shareholder In One Of US’s Largest Electronic Factory

How A Perak Lass Became A Major Shareholder In One Of US’s Largest Electronic Factory

Despite being in a field predominated by men, Rupa Shanmugam rise to the very top and stay that way.

Ikhwan Zulkaflee

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It’s safe to say that Rupa Shanmugam, the majority shareholder, President and Chief Operating Officer of US’s leading technological firm SoPark Corp, had began her training in engineering at a very tender age.

While most kids her age are rather comfortable playing with children’s toys and whatnot, Shanmugam had set her eyes on mastering a set of skills that would define her life later on.

This is according to a Cyberjaya-based tech enthusiast Richard Ker, who recently shared a thread with his followers regarding Shanmugam’s success story in the US.

“His father called her his right hand (wo)man because (she) helped her father in DIY projects since (she was) 6,” Richard, who goes by the Twitter handle @richardker tweeted recently.

Malaysia’s own ‘Wonder Woman’

Despite being a Physics school teacher, Shanmugam’s dad however turned her to the path of electrical engineering, during a time when the field was dominantly filled by men.

Back then, she was the sole women of her batch when she enrolled to study Diploma in Electronics Engineering at the Federal Institute of Technology in Kuala Lumpur.

After graduating, Shanmugam had experience working abroad when she was employed by Singapore-based multinational companies including, Thomson, Western Digital and Carsem in Malaysia.

“She was the only woman engineer in those companies (too),” Richard added.

The rise of a leader

The Ipoh raised engineer is a well known and respected figure in the industry.

She then went on to further her study in Indiana, USA, and graduated with a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from Trine University, where she also met her soulmate and partner.

The couple then relocate to Buffalo, New York in 2017 where she started to work at SoPark, and began her climb up the corporate ladder.

It was not a smooth sailing for her at the firm. Luckily, she remains loyal to the company even when times are hard , eventually becoming part of the team that helps to turn things around at the company.

Empowering the next line of wonder woman

By doing her part, Shanmugam has become an icon in her community. She had also been advocating for a more participation from the women in the field of Science, Tech, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Being a champion of women’s issues, Shanmugam believes in empowering the women which would later helps stimulate local and national economy.

“She is a committee member with the University at Buffalo (UB) Women. Here, she initiated a programme for students to be hired at SoPark. They get to learn the best of industry engineering practices,” said Richard.

In recognising her effort and success, she was awarded the 2016 STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC.

Shanmugam obtained the majority shares of SoPark in 2018. The company which makes circuit boards for a mostly regional set of customers has about 80 employees.

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