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Getting to Know Vishnu Sundaram: A Journey of Passion and Innovation

Getting to Know Vishnu Sundaram: A Journey of Passion and Innovation

As part of our Engineers week celebration, we sat down with Vishnu Sundaram, our Chief Technology Officer (CTO), to hear about his background, leadership style, and passions beyond the world of technology. Let’s dive into the conversation.

Q: Can you share a bit about your background and how you ended up in your current role as CTO?

Vishnu: I hail from Coimbatore, India, a city known for its textile and automotive industries. Growing up, I was drawn to both automotive engineering and software development. This led me to pursue a Master’s degree in software engineering, fueled by my fascination with applying software to automotive technology. Early in my career, I embarked on projects merging my two passions, eventually landing a role in the U.S. with a company focused on automotive data management. My journey continued with entrepreneurial ventures, including developing a pioneering mobile mapping application. Over the years, I’ve worked on various platforms, honing my skills in engineering and business, leading me to my current role as CTO at Gentherm.

Q: Your career journey is impressive! Can you describe your leadership style?

Vishnu: I believe in a synergetic leadership approach, centered on collaboration and knowledge-sharing rather than relying solely on authority. Empowering teams, fostering open communication, and creating autonomous, high-performance teams are key aspects of my leadership philosophy. It’s about leveraging collective strengths to drive impactful outcomes.

Q: How do you foster innovation and creativity within your teams?

Vishnu: Empowerment is essential. I encourage my teams to take risks, explore new ideas, and embrace a culture of continuous learning. By providing a supportive environment where individuals feel valued and encouraged to contribute, we foster a culture of innovation that drives our company forward.

Q: Beyond work, do you have any special hobbies or interests?

Vishnu: I’m an avid handyman, constantly tinkering and building at home. My hobbies tend to evolve over time, from biking and bike building to my latest passion, hydroponics. I find joy in nurturing plants and witnessing their growth—a therapeutic endeavor that teaches valuable lessons in patience and project management.

Q: With your demanding role as CTO, how do you manage work-life balance?

Vishnu: Balancing work and personal passions is crucial for maintaining energy and creativity. I believe in the power of positive energy gained from pursuing hobbies and spending time with family. By staying grounded in my passions outside of work, I bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm and perspective to my role.

Q: Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring engineers looking to advance in the tech industry?

Vishnu: Stay true to your roots as an engineer. Embrace continuous learning, stay abreast of technological advancements, and never lose sight of the hands-on skills that define your expertise. Balancing technical prowess with leadership capabilities can unlock endless opportunities for growth and innovation in the industry.

Vishnu Sundaram’s journey exemplifies the intersection of passion, innovation, and leadership, serving as an inspiration for current and future engineers alike. As we celebrate Engineers week, let’s embrace the spirit of curiosity, creativity, and collaboration that drives progress in the world of technology.

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