2 years is a long time on papers, but 2 years at Continental to me has been the most exciting and fast pacing part of my life till date. Continental with its global footprint offers an amazing array of opportunities and I have been lucky enough to experience varied work environments in different business units. This has helped me tremendously in finding a healthy balance between cultures when I am on international assignments and also exchange information between different business units. But more importantly improve Continental’s business unit with the help of my experience.
Conti is a world itself and the multiplicity of challenges it throws up at you are many. Making the best use of them helps building a strong foundation in leadership and technical skills.
It all started in Ingolstadt when I entered Conti as a student. My first project was concerning the adaptive seat control sytems on the Mercedes S class. Today I am more than proud to see the S class with those seating systems which we designed and developed in Ingolstadt. Then came the big transition from being a student to a full time working professional, starting with my Thesis at the Business Unit ContiTech Vibration Control.
March 2012 was the turning point and since then there has been no looking back. Lots of traveling, interesting work profiles, challenging work environments and fascinating people. It has been an enriching experience and a huge learning curve!
The very first of my international assignments was Shanghai working for ContiTech Fluid. A superb team and a challenging job: we built fluid lines for the truck divisions and managed customers in Asia. Shanghai offered me a team covering a variety of cultures: China, India, Sweden, France & Germany. It’s been the most fun loving assignment till date, no doubt, thanks to Shanghai and the unimaginable international diversity it offers. Not for a moment do you feel bored or let down. The city never fails to excite you. I have not seen as many hyper cars as I have seen in Shanghai anywhere else in the world!! Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maserratis, Pagani Zondas, Porsches, AMG Mercs, RS Audis, BMW M, Aston Martins, Jaguars, RangeRovers, Rolls Royce, Bentley, it’s a wish list for an automobile freak!!! Shanghai is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!
The Contitech Management Program has truly offered a diverse working environment with an extended contact list that finds its roots in almost every division of ContiTech and thanks to the fact that I entered ContiTech through the Continental Automotive group, this network just got wider and wider.
The meeting once a year offers us a good insight into the details what each of us is working on. I have always carried back with me something very useful and innovative from the 2-3 day meeting we have, something to ponder about. It is always a welcome break. Widening our horizons and offering us as much inspirational boost as needed every once in a while. It fills us with a lot of pride and confidence to be associated with a program where people who started 10-12 years ago are now managing very important positions in the group.
India!! – till date this has been the most challenging assignments, moreso emotionally, considering I was in the country of my origin! The assignment in India gave more jitter to my family than to myself, considering the work hours and also the environment. However every place has it’s favoured aspects, some aspects that need deliberations and improvements and to me the culture is unmatched.
India offered an exiciting phase and opened up many avenues for me. It helped me dwell deeper into managerial and organizational aspects apart from handling core production. The Plant was in transition and I got the opportunity to see many insights into general work procedures and standardization. A dream team is what we aimed to build. As a dream team we brought up the wrapped belt and set procedures in motion which would in the long run benefit everyone! The assignment in India still remains a very special one!
Korea thereafter was a short stint but a very exciting one. Lots of work, a language I am unfamiliar with and people who mostly welcomed me. Korea gave superb insights into product based knowledge and as an engineer I could not have asked for more, although chemistry has never been my favourite ;).
Work apart, Billiards and Tofu are 2 major takeaways from Korea, alongside hiking every weekend. I neither drink nor smoke, but I believe nothing provides a better high thant hiking at temperatures below 4°C for nearly 4 hours and then make a makeshift sleigh to just slide down the mountain covered with fresh snow!! Hiking has always been a favourite hobby and Korea fulfilled it thoroughly. And then the awesome Tofu, the best I have had till date.