Rahul Makkena

Rahul Makkena: Balancing a thriving career in the US while nurturing Indian roots

Written by: Ranjani Rajendra

Name: Rahul Makkena | Designation: ERP Manager | Company: PIMCO | Place: California 

(June 3, 2023) He might have a thriving career in the US, but Rahul Makkena is sure of one thing: he wants to eventually move back to India. The pull of his roots is strong enough for him to want to find his way back home. Currently working as an ERP Manager at PIMCO in the Lake Forest area of California, Rahul first made his way to the US as a postgraduate student a decade ago. However, this Hyderabadi lad’s first love continues to be his hometown, where he spent many lovely years.

Born and raised in Hyderabad, this Jubilee Hills Public School alumnus has fond memories of the food he grew up on – from his grandmother’s special chicken curry to the biryani he’d indulge in after college with friends. “Food never tasted better with the fun company I had,” he smiles, adding, that the memories associated with the food continue to tug at his heartstrings. “What I really miss are those moments from back then.”

Rahul Makkena

Rahul Makkena

After completing his Bachelor’s in electrical engineering from VNR VJIET, Rahul decided to make his way to the US shores for a Masters from University of Louisville several years ago. That led him to his first job as a SAP consultant with Bristol-Myers Squibb in Indiana, before he took up several other jobs across the US with companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Harman International, Siemens Energy, and eventually PIMCO. “I’ve always been inspired by the transformative power of SAP. To this end, I have completed several training courses to acquire the skills and knowledge required in my field. Securing my first job in the field allowed me to develop expertise and gain valuable experience,” he says, adding, “Motivated by a desire for greater challenges, I transitioned into management, leveraging my SAP expertise to drive organisational growth.”

In his current role, “I lead global SAP implementations, drive process improvements, ensure business continuity, and manage system security across departments,” he says, “I would urge aspirants to identify target roles and develop their skills accordingly apart from acquiring certifications and expanding their network for better job prospects.” He adds that networking is key in any field. “That and finding the right mentors and a supportive community among friends and peers has contributed to my growth over the years.”

As a SAP professional, he finds it imperative to constantly update his skill sets. “It is crucial to engage in continuous learning to stay relevant in the market. I ensure I stay up-to-date with the latest SAP releases and have also obtained certifications in project management, RPA, and Data Science to ensure professional development,” he explains.

Rahul Makkena

Rahul Makkena with his daughter.

Though passionate about his work, the importance of work-life balance is not lost on Rahul. On a typical day he juggles work demands, drops his daughter off to the day care and dedicates family time in the evenings. Be it spending time together or sharing the household chores. “To maintain a healthy work-life balance, I prioritise completing tasks during office hours and avoid carrying work home. I keep my weekends free for the family and ensure that I take time off when necessary,” he says. Travelling together as a family is also one of the ways Rahul likes to unwind. “It’s usually a tropical getaway; we love exploring new destinations.”

Apart from this, he also makes it a point to travel to India each year, barring the pandemic years. “My long-term goal is to move back to India, once I get my US citizenship,” he says, adding, “While here, we try and keep in touch with our roots by ensuring we celebrate all our festivals, cook traditional food to celebrate and educate our 3-year-old on our culture and traditions. With so many Indians living in the US now, our culture and people are in the limelight through politics, movies, and technology. India is no longer seen as just the country with snake charmers and curry. Our success has changed perceptions by leaps and bounds.”


  • Stay in touch with your roots regardless of where you are.
  • Stay updated with developments in your field through courses and certifications.
  • Strike a balance between work and life, don’t lose sight of the personal in pursuit of the professional.
  • Teach your kids about your roots and culture. They’re the ones who’ll pave the way forward in the future.

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