10 Aug 2016

Behind the “Green” Curtain: Kavita Sarma

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Providing superior support to our clients is a key differentiator for BMS. We consistently hear from clients that they appreciate the assistance they receive from the team members across our organization. You’ve heard their voices over the phone or exchanged emails over the years. But who are they? Take a closer look in our continuing series “BMS Behind the ‘Green’ Curtain” where we profile a different BMS team member each month.

This month, meet Kavita Sarma—Director of Product Management. She’s the driving force behind all of our software solutions.

Where are you from originally and how did you get into the bankruptcy industry?

I grew up in Mumbai, India and came to Houston, TX for a Masters in Computer Science. I got into bankruptcy accidentally after graduation.

How did you start working for BMS and how long have you worked here?

I was hired by BMS in March 2005 when I moved from Texas to California for an MBA program. I have now been with BMS for over 11 years.

Briefly explain your role at BMS (to clients):

As the Director of Product Management at BMS, I oversee a dynamic team of product managers, product owners and business systems analysts. Together, we are the voice of the client at BMS when it comes to the software solutions offered. My team collaborates with clients, our account managers and support center team members, as well as our technology team to understand underlying problems that our clients face and to design features that provide an effective solution. Basically, we bring business, technology and the user experience together.

What is Product Management?

Product management is the business function responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition of the products for the company. Product Management is all about setting a vision for the product where one researches the market, speaks to clients, understands the problems to be solved, and finally puts all of this information together into the product. In the technology industry, the product management function has evolved over the past several years whereby Product Managers now work directly with software engineers to figure out how to build the best solution to a customer problem.

How did you get into Product Management?

Accidentally! When I moved to California for my MBA program, I started working in the BMS Support Center where I found myself solving problems in the software…and enjoying it. I happened to ask my manager if there were any opportunities to pursue a career in Product Management and there was a new role that had just been created for that exact purpose!

Share an interesting fact about our software.

Our software is so multi-faceted. We strive to build software that everyone can use, and we accommodate all the different courts and local UST requirements. It it truly does fit ALL types of trustees. By adjusting profile settings, a user can really tailor our software to meet their local needs.

What do you love about your job?

Watching the design of software go from the ‘white board and sharpie’ to an actual screen. It is an amazing journey and watching this come to life is emotionally thrilling.

What is a unique challenge you’ve solved at BMS?

Easing the 341(a) Prep process by launching DocLink. DocLink was born out of several conversations with a few trustee offices who happened to discuss a problem with me. We talked about the amount of paper and emails that have to be processed prior to a 341(a) meeting just to collect all the proper documentation. After quite a bit of thinking, discussing, and collaborating both with trustees and internally at BMS, we introduced DocLink – now it’s a system that most trustee offices simply cannot imagine being without.

What’s your favorite part about working at BMS?

The amazing collaboration and teamwork that I receive from my coworkers when solving any kind of problem. We are a wonderful team that is extremely supportive of each other.

What do you enjoy outside of working at BMS?

I enjoy spending time with my almost 2-year-old son, Sid, along with gardening, cooking and yoga.

Share a fun fact about yourself!

My great grandfather on my mom’s side worked for Rolls Royce when India was still under British rule. He taught me how to play bridge and chess. I still remember his stories of how he walked with Mahatma Gandhi during the independence movement. He was born in 1898 and, when I was growing up, I thought it was pretty cool to know someone born in the 1800’s!

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