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Luck, hard work and picking your battles: Story of Microsoft professional who grew up in Mumbai slums

Shaheena Attarwala, a product design manager, said living in a slum exposed her to the “severest conditions” but also drove her to create a different life for herself.

January 28, 2022 / 03:02 PM IST
Shaheena Attarwala, a product design manager, shared her story on Republic Day to drive home a message about poverty alleviation. (Image posted on Twitter by @RuthlessUx)

Shaheena Attarwala, a product design manager, shared her story on Republic Day to drive home a message about poverty alleviation. (Image posted on Twitter by @RuthlessUx)


A Microsoft professional’s Twitter thread on her journey from a slum in Mumbai to the technology giant has struck a chord with many people. Shaheena Attarwala, a product design manager, shared her story on Republic Day to drive home a message about poverty alleviation.

Attarwala shared with her Twitter followers, the bird’s-eye view of the slum where she grew up, as seen in Netflix docuseries Bad Boy Billionaires. 

The woman said that living in a slum exposed her to the “severest conditions” but also drove her to create a different life for herself.

Attarwala said she moved out in 2015 to pursue her goals. After working with market automation and self-drive platforms, she started as an experience design manager for Microsoft in Bengaluru in 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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In 2021, Attarwala’s family moved to a better home with abundant sunlight and greenery. “From my father being a hawker and sleeping on roads to having a life, we could barely dream of,” she said. “Luck, hard work and picking battles that matter.”

Attarwala said that for millions of families living in poverty, the only hope is that educated citizens will ask those in power the right questions.

“Anyone who talks to you anything apart from the actual problem a poor Indian is facing is fooling you and selling you propaganda,” Attarwala said. “If you are not convinced take the opportunity to live in a slum/village for a few days reality will hit hard. We owe it to our country to ask the right questions to people in authority.”

Twitter users were inspired by Attarwala’s story. “Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story and that I’m very proud of you,” said a person named Monish.

“Well done, Shaheena,” another Twitter user said. “You framed it correctly. Luck, work, picking battles. Most people would attribute everything to their own work/talent.”

A Twitter user named Vikdes said:" Your road to success must have been so much more harder than anyone can imagine. I hope the best for you moving forward."



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Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 28, 2022 02:36 pm
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