Executive Spotlight: Kiran Bharwani

BrightAI's EVP of Engineering & Product, Kiran Bharwani, Drives Innovation: Leveraging 25 years in autonomous driving to pioneer AIoT transformation.

After an impressive 25-year track record in autonomous driving, Kiran Bharwani has joined BrightAI as Executive VP of Engineering and Product. He explains why it’s not a giant leap to move to this innovative start-up. BrightAI’s whole ethos excited him at a time when he was ready for a new challenge.

Why did you decide to join BrightAI?

I am inherently driven by a disruptive spirit, a quality ingrained in my very essence, as evidenced by my transformative experiences at Caterpillar, and Rivian. The excitement of collaborating with like-minded individuals, passionate about rewriting the rules, fuels my professional journey. I thrive on reimagining possibilities and tackling challenges from unconventional angles.

The prospect of aligning with an organization committed to consistently pushing boundaries and nurturing disruptive thinking is what excites me. Joining this extraordinary team at BrightAI is a thrilling opportunity. BrightAI stands at the forefront of digitizing the physical world, unleashing unprecedented potential for business growth and societal betterment. My pursuit was not just a job; it was about finding a company with a visionary mission and a profound purpose. BrightAI's commitment to challenging the norm and driving innovation with enduring impact resonates deeply with my aspirations.


Knowing what you do about BrightAI's mission to disrupt and innovate, has anything surprised you about the innovation you have found now that you are part of the team?

The remarkable diversity of verticals that the company is actively engaged with. This presents an exciting opportunity to delve into how our technology can create a significant impact across a broad spectrum of domains. 

One of the other things that motivates me is the enthusiasm of our customers in their pursuit of innovation and bringing these ground-breaking ideas to the market. Talk to any customer and you can see their excitement: “When can I have this?” Imagine the potential this can bring about in our business!


What else do you enjoy about working for an innovative start-up like BrightAI? 

One very exciting thing is the pace we move at. I enjoy the agility to implement ideas quickly, the opportunity to directly shape the company's direction, and the close-knit community of brilliant minds. Being part of a startup allows for rapid decision-making and experimentation, which is essential in such a rapidly evolving industry.


Do you have a typical working day at BrightAI? 

A typical working day for me at BrightAI involves a blend of strategic planning and hands-on involvement. Mornings are usually dedicated to team meetings and strategic discussions, while afternoons often involve diving into the technical details of our projects. I also make it a point to engage with team members to ensure a cohesive and motivated workforce.


What do you think is important as a leader?

As a leader, I value strong communication, adaptability, and a results-driven approach. Effective communication ensures my team understands our goals, fosters transparency, and promotes collaboration. My adaptability helps me respond to changing circumstances and encourages innovation by being open to new ideas.

I balance being 'hands-on' and maintaining a high-level overview by setting clear expectations and delegating responsibilities to capable team members. This empowers them to make decisions within their expertise, allowing me to focus on the broader vision. Regular check-ins and feedback loops keep me informed without micromanaging, ensuring alignment with our goals. This approach empowers my team to take ownership of their work and excel.


You're known for assembling high-performing teams. Have you found there's a particular type of person who is drawn to a company like BrightAI?

Definitely. While I believe that individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills can thrive at BrightAI, there are certain qualities that tend to draw people to our company. Many are attracted to BrightAI's commitment to innovation and its mission to disrupt the status quo. Those who value the opportunity to work on cutting-edge technologies and have a passion for driving meaningful change are often particularly drawn to our organization. We also tend to attract individuals who are collaborative, adaptable, and have a strong desire to make a lasting impact in their respective fields.


You have had great success in getting products to market. What do you see as the crucial winning ingredients for managing this successfully? 

There are several crucial ingredients. The first one–and most important–is a deep understanding of the target market. What problem are we trying to solve by bringing this product into the market? This knowledge informs the product's design and features.

Once you have clarity around that, then the next key thing is effective project management. This includes setting clear objectives, timelines, resource allocation, and having the right resources on the project.

You also need to foster a culture of innovation within the team, and continuous feedback from users. Doing that drives product refinement and improvement. 

Ultimately, successful products are the result of a combination of market insight, effective execution, and a commitment to ongoing improvements.


BrightAI is a remote-first company. Do you find certain strategies more useful when working remotely with a team?

When working remotely, clear communication, effective time management, and organized schedules are important for both personal and team productivity. Using digital tools for collaboration and maintaining a sense of team spirit through virtual activities and recognition also play a key role. Don't forget to take breaks, stay active, and unwind after work for your well-being.

I like taking breaks in between meetings or relaxing at the end of the day because sometimes remote work doesn't have a well-defined start or end of the day. Meetings just come up at any time. Slack messages are there all the time. You need to make sure you take breaks to stay healthy. 


 What are your favorite ways to relax? 

I find relaxation in a variety of activities. One of my favorite ways to unwind is by immersing myself in a good book. I also enjoy taking long walks or hikes, connecting with nature, and letting go of the day's stresses. Additionally, I find solace in practicing mindfulness through meditation, which helps me maintain a sense of balance. Spending quality time with loved ones, whether it's through engaging conversations or shared activities, is another cherished way for me to relax. Ultimately, I believe in the importance of finding a blend of activities that cater to both mental and physical well-being.


Where do you see BrightAI in 5 years?

 I envision BrightAI becoming a leader in AIoT. We will continue to innovate and disrupt the industry by introducing groundbreaking solutions. Our goal is to expand our reach into new markets and continue to attract the best talent. We see BrightAI at the forefront of making AIoT more efficient but also a ubiquitous reality in various industries. Our commitment to innovation and excellence will drive our success in the coming years.

Interested in reading more from BrightAI’s thought leaders? Discover how our team is innovating with AIoT to unlock unimagined potential across industries. To learn more or schedule an interview, email us at info@bright.ai.