KTI (KONE Technology & Innovation) India has long had a prestigious technology center in Chennai, with a new location in Pune. KTI India is an integral part of KONE’s global R&D team and it employs more than 120 software professionals.
Speaking to Ganesan Sambandam from the Test Automation team and Somasundaram Karthikeyan from the IoT Development team, it’s clear that KONE India is a dynamic place to work.
Both Ganesan and Karthiyekan praise the agile attitude that is essential to building close ties with KONE’s Finnish team; the ability to constantly work with new technologies makes programming for KONE and its platforms so exciting.
As Karthikeyan puts it, “I feel that the only reason for people to join other companies is that they don’t know about KONE yet!”
So what can we learn about KTI India?
Ganesan first joined KONE in 2005.
“I originally started off in KONE IT support, then I moved into development, and eventually I got the opportunity to set up the test automation team in 2012: watching it quickly grow from three initial members to over twenty.”
Karthikeyan has also been at KONE for a while, “I have about ten years of overall experience and currently I am leading the team for cloud IoT development here at KONE India.”
Ganesan loves the growth opportunities that come with occupying such a pivotal role in the KONE family.
“Alongside Finland, Chennai is the only other KONE test automation site, and we’re always growing the team in the spirit of continuous development.
I originally joined KONE because of the opportunity to work for a product company: I wanted to witness the impact of our development on core products.”
Karthikeyan loves the immersive nature of the work.
“We get to work with cutting-edge cloud computing technology: tech like AWS (Amazon Web Services) means we can realize and implement our ideas straightaway.
What is great about IoT development is that everything is new for everybody.
There is a genuine focus on R&D, including lots of direct interaction between the Chennai and the Finnish R&D teams.”
On the test automation side, Python and Robot Framework are the main technologies used by Ganesan and his team.
Karthikeyan highlights the uniquely innovative nature of all the technology he works with.
“I think it’s important to highlight that we’re working at the edge of cutting-edge technologies.
We are constantly developing and iterating with the launch of new products.”
Ganesan sees KTI India’s role as central to KONE.
“We are doing software development for core products like elevators and escalators, collaborating with the Finnish team using agile methodologies and scrum practices.
We feel like we’re part of the Finnish team, pushing through software development for escalators and elevators globally.”
It’s great to hear about the strong links that exist between KTI India and Finland, with site visits, joint quarterly planning meetings, and daily scrums. It’s clear that the links between India and Finland are deep: technology like Microsoft Teams helps everyone stay in touch.
As Ganesan explains, “We have our daily and weekly meetings with Finland. Knowledge sharing between different teams is paramount: reviewing what is happening with our joint development activities.”
Karthikeyan’s IoT team has embraced a transnational ‘tribe’ concept.
“We’re an IoT Connectivity tribe with members from Chennai and Finland.
At tribe level, we have our dailies and weekly sessions, checking versions, discussing tasks, seeing what needs to be worked on next, identifying blockers, etc.
We’re following agile with a dedicated scrum master who takes care of the scrum and daily meeting activities.”
For Ganesan, a successful induction and the beginning of a person’s journey in KONE starts with product knowledge.
“Product knowledge meetings are very important: people need to understand the software that runs elevators and escalators.”
Karthikeyan is positive about the training offered.
“First, new joiners learn all about the elevator platform during the basic elevator training offered by KONE.
It’s about bringing domain and technology together through on-the-job training and agile practices.
Relating technology to the domain is essential for developing services and products for customers.”
Karthikeyan is really positive about the opportunity offered by KONE in the region, for him joining KTI India has been all about innovation.
“For me, one of the key motivators is the fact that the technology we work on really makes us a big part of a global team: the R&D we do here is related to the global organization as a whole.
I also like being on this growth journey and have enjoyed taking part in the challenge of building out KTI India.
I feel that the only reason people could be joining other companies is because they don’t know about KONE yet!”
One of the benefits of the KONE culture are its Nordic values.
Ganesan feels that working with Finland is smooth because it’s based on reciprocity.
“We are involved in decision-making and are considered when it comes to development and testing, but at the same time we are independent.
We’re looking into new areas in test automation like integration with cloud technologies, and we’re running tests simultaneously across India and Finland.”
Karthikeyan praises the KONE way of encouraging its people through motivation, not undue pressure.
“It’s about empowering people to want to do things for themselves”.