Girish is a Principal Engineer at the Mumbai office in India. Working with the Map Creation Team, he handles the architecture and design part of the systems to make sure HERE maps are up to date and accurate.
What was your journey to HERE like?
I was born and brought up in the state of Kerala in Southern India, and I was fortunate enough to have teachers and people around me who promoted science in a big way. When I was growing up, I had a small magazine collection on science that was in my local language which supported this curiosity. I also had an uncle who encouraged me to understand principles in everything.
This led to me completing my diploma in Mechanical Engineering, and was trained in CAD applications. From there I picked up programming because I was finding issues with our software that we needed to fix. This sparked my interest 2D map rendering and challenges around mapping. Eventually I moved to Mumbai about six and a half years ago to work at HERE (previously known as Navteq), and I’ve been here ever since.
What’s your favorite thing about working at HERE?
Almost every day we have a new challenge to solve. It’s an environment where you’re faced with new problems, and you learn more and more things, like how to approach these problems.
It’s very, very interesting. I don’t see it as a job, it’s fun!
If you could share wisdom with people looking to work at HERE, what would you say?
There are a lot of technology companies in Mumbai today, from startups to technology giants. The primary difference I would highlight is that HERE offers more challenging work, and the ability to explore and grow in terms of learning new systems and technologies.
You won’t ever get bored with your work - every day is a new challenge. While we have long term organizational level plans, our day to day work is based on quarterly plans executed through two week iterations. So it’s never flat, it’s always moving, and it’s always fun.
“...HERE offers more challenging work, and the ability to explore and grow in terms of learning new systems and technologies.”
Of the HERE Core Values, which one speaks to you the most?
All of them. It’s how we can all progress at work and in our personal lives. But I especially relate to Be Bold and Be True. Be True is something I have lived by ever since my upbringing in a simple village. Be Bold, moving to a big city [Mumbai], and not speaking the local language was a challenge. And now with my work, where things may appear unclear at first, I get to make decisions where I have to Be True, Be Bold and be up for the challenge.
How would you describe the working space in Mumbai?
I like the ambience of the office, it’s very colorful and very convenient to get together and have discussions or share ideas. It encourages collaboration, especially with the open space and whiteboards. We also have a nap room and sofas and bean bags around the office, so if you’ve had a heavy lunch you can take a rest.
And how would you describe the workplace in terms of the culture and diversity?
Many of us working at HERE come from different parts of India, with vastly different cultures. We have groups in our office that organize different fun and interesting events, like sporting events, blood donation camps, and cultural events around festivals.
In terms of workplace diversity, technology has been a male-dominated field in Mumbai. But at HERE we have initiatives that focus on attracting more female employees who are interested in technology, like special recruitment drives. That’s been really great and important.
HERE employees are unique in their own ways. What makes you stand out?
People see me as a rebel. Be Bold. It’s part of the overall culture itself. Six years ago the culture was different, but today we are encouraged to Be Bold and speak out and be a rebel. I can Be Bold and still be comfortable. Our culture encourages those who challenge the ways of working to make it better, and we can still respect each other to get our work done.
How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I read a lot, especially books on physics and philosophy. One of my favorite things is keeping up with new technologies; with the field always changing, I’m always reading.