We’re back to introduce you to Pavan Kumar, our Head of Engineering for Team India.
We know you Pavan, but please introduce yourself:
Hey! I’m Pavan Kumar. I’m 31 years old and I was born in Bangalore and have lived here since then. I graduated from the R.V. College of Engineering, which is considered to be one of the most challenging engineering colleges in terms of acceptance.
During my time in college I did internships at both Microsoft and Yahoo, which later became my first employer. For more than one and a half years I worked at Yahoo until eventually joining a smaller start-up called Myntra. Today, Myntra is a huge business and it grew a lot during my six years there. After Myntra, I joined another start-up called LoadShare, but it turned out to be a short stint, as the opportunity with Logward came knocking! Since January 2019, I work for Logward as Head of Engineering.
Does that mean logistics is new to you?
No, in other positions I worked with logistics management systems, later with the order management system for shipping. This being said, the world of logistics keeps amazing me. I feel that there is plenty of work to be done in this field!
How did you find your way to Logward?
Basically, I have known Hari Krishna, Logward’s Managing Director of India, since our college days. We met each other through the student partner program at Microsoft. He knew I was at Myntra and that I was kind of familiar with logistics. During those times I contributed more with back-end engineering, but today I am responsible for engineering in general.
And last year you and some of the other team came to visit Germany right?
Yeah it was really nice. We got to discuss the industry with some really experienced people, visit the Emden port, the sorting facility. The Hamburg port really helped me understand the opportunity for using technology. It’s always cool to see the impact of our code (the product) and what kind of impact it can have. The German team were great hosts of course!
Alright, so this actually leads us to my next question. What exactly do you do at Logward?
I participate in software reviews, design/architecture decisions, or product discussions, sprint planning, and more. Now that we’re growing a lot, I’m also part of hiring new team members. In general, I’m involved in everything regarding the back-end software trying to keep the ‘panoramic view.’
Speaking about hiring people, how does one become part of Logward India?
Basically, we have a huge social network. Almost every one of our team now has worked with someone we might hire. We then try to get to know this person quite well, and if we think he/she is technically good and fits to our team, we have further talks and also do some interviews on topics such as engineering, tech skills or domain knowledge.
Our efforts for finding the “right” person are pretty exhaustive, especially for a start-up. When we started Logward in India, we were five people. Right now, we are fifteen. This means we are growing rapidly, and having a lot of people allows us to do more, and we have a lot of things in the pipeline.
Awesome!For now you have worked for a few start-ups. This shows a clear tendency. Why do you like being part of a new business? And why did you join Logward?
I always wanted to join growing companies because of the can-do culture and the speed of development. I always wanted to be at that early stage to be able to steer the ship (nice logistics reference) and have a great impact. Secondly, being in the early stage offers a lot of free space in terms of management and handling things. I feel that this is something really special, and I am proud to be a part of this initiative. Additionally, talking about Logward and terms like funding, clarity and support in the domain sector, everything is properly set, we just have to dig in. There is a clear gap in the market.
In addition, we know that customers will benefit from our product and are aware of this! But why do I prefer smaller companies? Big businesses face some challenges that don’t fit my character very well, such as for example not being able to change issues or processes overnight. Even small projects thus become really difficult. In a smaller company your output is directly related to the effort and passion you put into your work. In larger enterprises, development can be held back by internal processes or hierarchy.
This being said, Logward has a nice balance. We’re a new company but also try to have a solid structure and decision making process without losing our speed or creativity.
Thank you Pavan. Now let’s dig deeper to get to know you better as a person.
Describe yourself in three adjectives:
Focused, responsible, inquisitive. (Editor: all true in my opinion…)
What do you find motivating/ inspiring?
What motivates me in terms of the business we do, is to improve processes and to make them easier and more understandable. In addition, it really motivates me to disrupt the status quo of the world of supply chain management.
On a personal level, of course, success stories inspire me to a certain extent. What really motivates me is when I look at things and I see that there are things I can change, especially through technological solutions.
How do you keep yourself organized, especially while facing a lockdown in India?
Hm, that’s a tough problem to be honest. First thing I start with is prioritizing my tasks, including family responsibilities. Moreover, I look at when I have to do what, and then continue to structure and schedule my day. But as you know, often things don’t go as planned and a lot of things come up.
I also have a nine months old baby, so I try to find as much time with her as possible. This being said, I’m currently doing a lot of things during the night so I can be focused at tasks without any distraction. Overall, don’t have a specific mantra, but I try my best to stay organized.
What does teamwork mean to you?
Teamwork is the cornerstone of my working philosophy. To start, all of us should have the same goal and be on the same level, that’s what I also mentioned when talking about hiring people. It’s also about keeping individual things aside. When a team wins, everyone wins. If a team loses, everyone loses. Teamwork is also about contributing something to the group, to help and to support where possible, bringing different characters and skills together to pursue a goal. To me, this is nothing but magical.
It’s like cooking. You prepare a dish with different ingredients, some you use more and some a little less. That doesn’t mean that impact the ingredients have on the final dish is based on the quantity. A little bit of spice or salt makes a big difference, yet you still need the water and the rice. Exactly the same applies to a team. The most important thing is helping each other.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
The answer is simple: Spending time with my daughter and family. Next thing would be reading about topics such as economics, stock markets, etc. which add a direct value.
What’s your biggest dream?
I don’t actually have one huge ‘dream’. In a generic way I want to build a large-scale system, which can help, improve and impact people to the most extent. This is also a part of why I am at Logward. Basically, I want to use technology to help people. It’s not so much one dream, but more of a dynamic process.
What do you want to become as a child?
What I wanted to be is exactly what I am doing now, computer engineer. (Editor’s note: Goals!) This might sound pathetic, but that’s how it is. I guess when I was 14, I built my first website, so ever since I was a young child I’ve been into technology. Also, at that age I started to learn coding HTML, CSS and JS from my uncle. During the competitive exams I had to take a pause on my computer time to get into the college. I made it and took computer science as the major subject. Ever since then I have tried to fulfill my interest and abilities for software development and design and on making myself better in that respect.
If you had one million dollars, what would be the first thing you do?
I would probably invest it in some kind of early stage start-up or tech-savvy companies.
If you could ship goods for one famous person, which person would it be and what goods?
Akshay Kumar is an Indian Bollywood actor. I want to ship him a few books to make a movie on how Bangalore became a new IT-hub for the world and how the start-up ecosystem has changed people’s mindset and lives in India.
Tea or Coffe? Tea
Cake Or Pie? Pie
Warm or Cold? Warm
Mountains or Beach? Mountains
Saturday or Sunday? Saturday
Logward is a Hamburg & Bangalore based logistics company.
We build software, move containers, and change mindsets.
If you have any questions or just want to say hi, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can visit us at www.logward.com.