I am currently the Chief Design and Strategy Officer for Vianai Systems, a Palo Alto based startup company providing an enterprise AI platform and AI solutions to global organizations. Previously, I was the SVP and Head of Design & Research at Infosys, a $10B+ technology services company. I was the first corporate-wide head of design at the company, working closely with the CEO Vishal Sikka, running many strategic design projects. Before starting at Vianai, I worked briefly as an independent consultant, and an advisor to non-profit organizations, such as Dynamicland and Manodharma.
At Infosys, with the support and sponsorship of Vishal Sikka, I introduced Design Thinking to the organization, and helped to setup and run a company-wide training program, which touched 140K+ employees in the three years I was there. This work was mentioned in an article on workforce re-training in The Economist. To give employees an outlet for applying these skills in the context of their jobs, I helped design and launch the Zero Distance Program, and the Zero-Bench Marketplace, an internal hub which helps employees who are in between projects find short-term jobs and training opportunities. I also joined with faculty and affiliates of the Stanford d.school, to leverage the expertise of a large expert network for curriculum development and teacher training, and conducted 50+ joint Design Thinking workshops for internal and external clients. This work led to Infosys to being designated as a market leader by analysts, about 18 months after I joined the company. The company moved from being practically unknown for Design Thinking, to being one of the most recognized and visible companies in this category.
I also conceived, incubated and launched a Strategic Design Consulting group – which offers design, product acceleration and extreme engineering services to G2000 clients (a new services offering for Infosys), and built the first [password-protected site] Corporate Design Team at the company, which created and built showcases which demonstrate the potential for digital technologies to transform traditional businesses like Agriculture, Retail, Banking and Education. I helped establish the Augmented and Virtual Reality Lab at Infosys. I oversaw the UI/UX work for a new platform NIA, and managed all the branding and product marketing related to this product. The communications design team that I ran was responsible for the design and production of the company annual report, and won design awards for the report from the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) in 2014, 2015, and 2016. I was the primary liaison from Infosys for the relationship with Y Combinator Research, which partially funded the work of OpenAI and HARC, and included Alan Kay, Bret Victor and Vi Hart, amongst many others. Finally, my team closely supported the work of Vandana Sikka, the founding chairperson of Infosys Foundation USA, driving initiatives such as Computer Science Education and Teacher Training, Hackathons, the InfyMaker Awards program, the Crossroads Conference, etc. The PSA spots done by Nick Offerman, Adam Savage and Nolan Bushnell supporting the #WhyIMake initiative for Infosys Foundation USA were conceived, scripted, filmed and edited in-house by my team.
Prior to Infosys, I spent 10 years running Design and Special Projects at SAP. Some of the projects I was involved in, either as a principal or a key contributor, included the SAP Startup Focus Program, AppHaus, HanaHaus, Commumication Design Group, As We May Work, SAP HANA, SAP Fiori, and many others.
Over the last 10+ years, I have also curated, designed, and produced dozens of executive keynote presentations and demos done by Dr. Vishal Sikka (SAP Board Member, Infosys CEO) and Dr. Hasso Plattner (SAP Founder & Chairman) at major enterprise events such as SAP Sapphire, SAP TechEd, Oracle OpenWorld, Infosys Confluence, WEF Davos and others.
Earlier, I was the co-founder and CTO of a software startup in Contract Management, and even before that an Automotive Design Engineer working at Caterpillar, where I designed computer-controlled transmission systems for heavy equipment. I have a Ph.D. in manufacturing and design from Stanford University. My research work was supported by a grant from NSF and DARPA, based on a proposal I helped to write in my first year at Stanford. I also have an M.S. in systems design from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.
I am an amateur photographer, and back in 1995, I co-founded Naatak, which has since gone on to become the leading Indian theater company in the SF Bay Area.