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Vugranam Sreedhar came to Kyndryl as a leading researcher, with aims to continue his work simplifying, standardizing, and optimizing the technologies that drive the financial services industry. Sreedhar was selected to be part of the inaugural class of Kyndryl Distinguished Technical Leaders, leading innovators who are shaping the future of Kyndryl and driving change in the industry.

What is your role at Kyndryl?

I joined Kyndryl as a Distinguished Engineer and a Chief Technology Officer. The essence of my job is to understand the pain points of customers and help shape their future in a world that is becoming increasingly digitized. I also provide strategic technical consulting in support of Kyndryl’s partnership with Google Cloud. In a nutshell, I’d say my primary job is to enable technical vitality for our customers.

You have quite a few patents with your name on them. Is that part of the background to your becoming a Distinguished Engineer?

Patents are part of it, but since the very early days of my career I’ve been a big believer that quality of work is more important than the quantity. Technology is neat, but it is how you apply technology that’s most interesting and impactful. In terms of patents, they are a means to an end.

I think what led me to be recognized as a Distinguished Engineer comes from my work regarding security, risk and compliance, and also my work on blockchain.

Both of those are very technical areas in which to work — how did you get into this line of work in the first place?

So much of what I’ve accomplished in life I attribute to my father, who continues to be a source of inspiration to me. He lost his wife at age 44 to cancer, never remarried, and worked extremely hard to give the gift of education to all his children. He himself was one of the first people in India with a Ph.D in law.

In high school, I started out wanting to be a physicist, and my father steered my interests over to engineering. His goal was for all his children to grow up and earn their own doctorate-level education. So, I got into technology. I switched my area of study from math over to computer science, and I haven’t looked back since.

Is there a piece of advice from your father that still informs how you live your life today?

Yes. You should possess a good heart to serve the community, and a smart brain to weed out noises. Focus on your core principles and never try to be someone else.

Why did you come to Kyndryl?

I reinvent myself every few years, and that falls into the cadence of my field because technology reinvents itself. A colleague I respect a lot came to me shortly after Kyndryl was started, and she said, “Why don’t you come over?” I thought about it, and the more I thinking I did the more it made sense.

I think I can make a difference at Kyndryl. Being a Distinguished Engineer now, I’m an engineer without a manager so my work and influence has wider reach. And because this company is so new, I have an opportunity to change the culture. Plus, I always wanted to have my own start-up, so it’s something I can experience with Kyndryl.

The idea of being open to reinvention seems like a great ethos to bring to work.

I want Kyndryl to be a place where people, young or old, can be themselves, not what somebody else wants them to be. Kyndryl offers that kind of atmosphere and culture — along with the ability to play an important role in helping the global economy run more smoothly, efficiently, and securely. It’s an incredibly neat opportunity.