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Fireside chat with Kshitij Vichare, CTO at Stealth Mode Startup

Who is Kshitij Vichare a.k.a ‘K’?

Kshitij grew up in Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay) and considers himself lucky to be able to travel most parts of India. He continues to feed his zest for travel after coming to the US where so far, he has explored about 26 states and already drove cross country twice.

He focused on computers and technology as his career since the eight grade when he first laid his eyes (and hands) on an IBM PC. It was not a glamorous field back then, at least not in India.

He began his career in the software industry as a developer and grew into design and architecture to solve bigger and bigger problems. He has been involved in solving problems in BigData and the Cloud since even before the terms were coined. He has worked in multiple industry verticals from software product development, technology, pharmaceuticals, logistics, etc. to name a few.

‘K’ recently rejuvenated his passion for Artificial Intelligence and it’s applications to make human life easier and push the bar higher for applied technology. While not all problems can be solved by AI, he is excited to see the wide range of AI based solutions that enable humans to pursue other goals. He believes that humankind is poised for the next evolution in technology.

‘K’ currently lives in the greater Atlanta area in Georgia, USA. He is an extreme DIYer and a builder at heart. Outside of consulting and building companies, he loves wild life, nature, camping, hiking, wood working, sci-fi and motorcycles.

Tell us more about your role in Stealth Mode Startup Company?

Being in stealth mode there is limited information that I can share. I wear multiple hats, the most dominant one being the equivalent of a CTO (Chief Technology Officer), working on the primary technology that constitutes the secret sauce of any such company that aims to push and raise the current bar of technology.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

Wearing multiple hats is generally taxing for anyone. It comes with a long list of tasks to complete in a very short time. Building a product company is like birthing a baby minus the social support typically extended to new parents in various forms.

And to continue the analogy, every parent knows the joys of watching their baby grow up into an independent entity. That’s essentially what a company is, except much harder. Along the way you add more family members and see them grow.

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

No. I see an exciting future in this path. To dream, envision a path, walk the path, cross countless obstacles along the way, finally to see your vision materialize at the end of the journey. This is the best thing any person can hope for in the current epoch.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

It’s pretty much similar to other successful companies. Create a rock solid product that customers love, focus on the customer’s success, generate ample revenue and maintain the lead on the competition. And there will be competition to keep it even more interesting.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

For all the hardships that the pandemic wrought on mankind, there were a few positive outcomes. Many industries including the software and IT industry finally realized the advantages of working from home. Due to near zero travel or commute, there was hardly a human soul in the once bustling areas.

Nature got a breather to recuperate, with reports across the globe of how micro-climates started reverting back to their former state.

Beginning at IBM, since 2003, I have been working from home and I see distinct benefits in this model. I think there’s a high probability that entire companies will either begin or expand their WFH (Work From Home) policies. Companies will find a way to thrive in this model.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

The main technologies are a set of Java/Scala programs running under the Linux OS on high end hardware. These have a long history of stability, reliability and good support. These programs interface with other third party components like Prometheus, Grafana, AI (Artificial Intelligence) libraries, IoT components, motion and proximity sensors, Lidars, etc.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

A rotating selection of science fiction novels, books on finance, business, wood working techniques, floor plans and house construction, depending on their availability in the local library and a few in my native language.

Because of the current economic climate our publication has started a series of discussions with professional individuals meant to engage our readers with relevant companies and their representatives in order to discuss their involvement, what challenges they have had in the past and what they are looking forward to in the future. This sequence aims to present a series of experiences, recent developments, changes and downsides in terms of their business areas, as well as their goals, values, career history, the high-impact success outcomes and achievements.

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