Kumar loves to travel. In fact, it was that desire to travel that inspired him when he was younger to pack up his bags and leave India to begin his career journey in Singapore. Little did he know that Singapore would introduce him to the world of people transportation –- an industry that he would then spend the next 20 years of his career focused on.
Starting out In Singapore, Kumar worked as a consultant engineer for a well-known technology company. His job was interesting and varied and he worked across many different verticals. The role was also providing him with the travel he craved; he spent six months in Brazil and travelled extensively throughout Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia as many of the projects he was working on required extensive customizations to be done on site.
It was during this time that Kumar became involved with a special programming project for SMRT – a multimodal transport operator in Singapore. It was Kumar’s first exposure to public transit and he was enjoying it. So when he was offered a role with a technology company to do more work in the public transport sector, he jumped on it.
That new job opportunity had Kumar packing his bags once again. The destination this time was Switzerland where the software company was located. (Editor’s note: This particular company would go on to be acquired by yet another company and then finally by Trapeze Group in 2009 where it remains today. But that’s for another story!)
It wasn’t an easy decision to pull up roots and move; his wife still had another six months to go to complete her Masters. They agreed however that she would stay behind and finish her degree and meet up with him when she was done. “I have had a very interesting career thanks to the support of my family,” says Kumar. “My wife is always with me.”
It was in Switzerland that Kumar began to work on a ground breaking project for one of the most admired public transit systems in the world — Transport for London (TfL). The project was called iBus. The scope was incredibly large and Kumar knew that the end result would be a game changer for travellers in London.
His role at first was in designing and managing the integrations for the new system. And as the system went live his role switched to supporting it. And it wasn’t long before Kumar was asked to move to London to help oversee support of the solution for TfL. So once again, Kumar packed his bags and his family and set off for the UK.
Looking back, Kumar muses that the iBus project with TfL really became an anchor point for him in his career. He worked so closely with the team at TfL that they would often call him “Mr. Trapeze” whenever he was on site. But Kumar’s story doesn’t end with TfL.
Eventually, Trapeze’s London office grew to became an international hub for various ITS projects. And with that, Kumar’s role grew too. Today he is a Group Leader overseeing several Trapeze businesses in the UK and Northern Europe. It has been a natural progression for him.
“Within our organizations there are so many opportunities especially with the way we grow. You just need to have the will to do it and you can always find something,” says Kumar.
When asked what he thinks of his current role Kumar explains: “Because I come from an operations background, that’s what I like. Bringing teams together and optimizing. Always try to find better ways of doing things.”
And his thoughts on Modaxo? “We never had this kind of collaboration under one group before,” says Kumar. “I can see where it’s going and I know it will succeed.”
It’s been over a dozen years now since Kumar first settled in the UK. But his love of travel has never left him. He just explores travel in a different way now. “Because we travelled to so many countries,” jokes Kumar, “we like to cook a lot of different cuisines.”
His signature dish however, is actually one from his home country. Kumar makes a mean biryani. In fact, it’s so good that whenever he makes it, he is sure to make extra so that he has some to give to friends. It’s just his way of bringing a little bit of travel and a little bit of India to his friends in the UK.