Rajavel has 19 years of IT experience in all and has been a part of IBM for the last 5 years. He is passionate about making the world a smarter place by reaching out to aspiring developers. He is an avid traveler (in the picture on the left, he is at the Great Wall of China) and has an enviable collection of foreign and Indian currency. In his words, no idea is complete till it has a solid business impact. Smart solutions will lead to a smarter planet :)
I have 19 years of IT experience in all and have been a part of IBM for the last 5 years. During my career so far I have performed various roles in software consulting, product development and presales. I conducted IT Strategy workshops for CxOs to crafted IT roadmaps for large enterprises in India and abroad earlier in my career which I enjoyed the most. I am particularly passionate about evangelizing technology and address key pain points with solutions based on IBM Software. What’s also close to my heart is nurturing the student community who are really the future. I have run several workshops in universities in India and China in topics such as-Leadership Competencies, Smarter Planet solutions, Turning Information into Insights, What skills are relevant to succeed in the professional world and so on.
On the personal front, I am married with 2 daughters, 11 and 13 years old. They manage to keep me on my toes every day! I have been pursuing couple of hobbies- Philately and Numismatics. I have collected coins and currency notes from over a hundred countries over the last 15 years and can show off some rare coins aging back to the 19th century from the British Raj in India. During my school days I started collecting stamps (managed to collect about 10000) but, thanks to email, that hobby is impossible to sustain now. However, it will always remain a fond and proud collection.
I love traveling with my family and try to manage one international holiday every year with them. The most fun we had as a family was when we stayed at an isolated and peaceful resort on the island of Langkawi in Malaysia, completely cut off from the world and amidst people I love the most.
What does the term “Building a Smarter planet” mean to you?
Building a smarter planet means different things to two broad groups: 1) Corporates and Businesses and 2) Society at large, the government, cities and people. Bottom line is these are solutions that are instrumented, interconnected and intelligent which can deliver value via transformational changes.
While to the first group, the main interest is smarter solutions that can increase their revenue / profits and deliver value for their customers, and the second group have a larger agenda in making the world smarter. IBM has contributed with its technologies and solutions in areas like energy management, disaster management, waste management and citizen services and these to me are big ticket items making a significant positive change to the planet we live in !
Your thoughts on the IBM Developer Superstar contest?
The IBM Developer Superstar contest is an example of IBM’s commitment to innovation. It is really exciting to see we are making such progress in giving exposure to developers and giving them an open platform to try out their ideas on IBM Software. Day to day work doesn’t allow us these opportunities, but innovation stems out of taking these chances and making the most of them. I hope developers continue utilize this luxury of testing an idea and show casing it to the relevant audience and keep their creative juices flowing.
What are your expectations from the finalists?
I am hoping to see three things in the final presentations:
1. Creativity and Innovation
2. Business Value
3. Realistic approach and how close their idea is to solving a real world problem
Words of wisdom for the developer community at large.
India is the base for technical prowess. It is important for the developers to recognize this and cultivate their skills. Solve a problem and then, most importantly, relate it back to the business impact your solution will make. That is the key to a successful career in software development.
All the best to all of you!