From software and test automation to data science

M Karthik’s career journey started in 2018 as a software engineer. Since joining KONE as a test automation engineer he has now branched out into data science. Karthik’s story is full of examples of how an open mind, growth mindset and willingness to learn helped a young talent find new opportunities that matched his interests. Read more and get inspired!


From software development to data science

Hi, I am M Karthik from Chennai, India, where I have studied, started to work, and been living so far. After graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering and completing courses on Java and other technical skills, I started my career in 2018 as a software engineer. In February 2021 I joined KONE as a test automation engineer in R&D, where I ensured the quality of the applications developed by the software engineering team.

While working in testing, I got interested in actual data and how it can be used effectively to improve the flow of urban life, which is the mission of KONE and very appealing to me.

Applying theory to my projects right away

I decided to enroll in a one-year online course in data science, and really made an effort to apply what I learned in my projects at work. My manager helped a lot with this, and she and I had a good discussion about how I could take my interest in real data forward. I am very grateful that I could just that easily come and openly talk about my aspirations, she also introduced me to people working in the Analytics area at KONE. As a result, after a couple of months of searching for opportunities, I moved to the R&D Analytics team as a data scientist.

Learning from colleagues is essential

Currently, though located in Chennai, I am part of the global team, and it is great that we can connect basically whenever we want using online collaboration tools. We have to take the different time zones into consideration, but I find working in such a team really straightforward, and it’s a great learning experience for me being able to connect with people all over the world. I am also a member of the Testing and Analytics communities at KONE. Being a part of a community motivates me a lot, as here I can share my knowledge with others and that way also learn something new.

It’s a great learning experience for me being able to connect with people all over the world.

Working at KONE - how does it feel?

KONE's products and services have a tremendous impact on people's lives, so for me, it is essential to have a sense of contributing to this big purpose and having an impact on society.

I feel KONE is a great company for people who want to develop themselves and move forward. Here we can work with the latest technologies, and we’re free to choose if we want to master the domain of software or hardware.

I also get inspiration from KONE's emphasis on cooperation and trust, which enables a supportive workplace environment. Additionally, I appreciate that I’m in touch with people from different parts of the world – we are a truly global team!

I am impressed that I have many colleagues who have worked for decades in the company – that tells me about the meaningfulness of the work and how much KONE cares for its employees.


Hybrid work boosts flexibility and improves work-life balance

The hybrid working mode we have currently in the India Technology and Engineering Center (ITEC) is very helpful for managing work-life balance: I spend three days in the office and two remotely. I believe that this model gives us flexibility and makes us more productive. As I can work from any location that suits me best, I can maintain better focus and have fewer distractions. Overall, I have more control over my schedule.

In my free time, I enjoy playing cricket and tennis, going outside and exploring new places. This refreshes my mind and helps to improve my concentration and productivity on weekdays.

My achievements and biggest learnings

As a data scientist, I am proud to work directly with customers’ projects. Within just three months, I contributed to our team’s delivery of three customer Proof of Concepts (PoCs) with state-of-the-art technologies. KONE is not just an elevator company, but a digital solutions provider that improves the People Flow.

I try to learn fast and adapt new technologies or methods right away in my work, and I am proud that I’ve received several awards recognizing this. I believe that “Keep Updating Yourself” is the key metric in helping you to achieve your goals.

I truly believe there are a lot of opportunities waiting for the people who “upgrade” themselves regularly.


Be ready for new opportunities:

always be ready for any potential new chances. This entails keeping up with market developments, updating your knowledge and abilities, and networking with others in your profession.

Maintain an optimistic outlook:

be open to new experiences and challenges and approach new possibilities with a positive attitude. Even if a new opportunity doesn't pan out as you had hoped, you can still learn from it and apply what you've learned in the future.

Accept challenges:

a calculated risk might result in a wonderful opportunity. Don't be frightened to attempt something new and leave your comfort zone.

Proactively seek out chances rather than waiting for them:

keep collaborating, asking questions, and getting to know new people. The change does not happen in one month – try yourself, learn and prepare for it.

What is next?

The concept of building horizontal expertise is really close to my heart. I want to get a broad understanding of the different technological domains around me.

My role model is the former chairman of Tata Group Ratan N. Tata – as he has split the business of the company into so many verticals.

Having worked in both software and hardware domains, I have found out that I like software the most, probably because of its flexibility - it is faster and easier to bring improvement to solutions via software.

As the next steps, I would like to explore DevOps and Linux systems, and overall learn more about the Cybersecurity world as there is always a need to improve the security of our systems. I am already taking some courses on this, using 70-20-10 model for learning at KONE.

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