Broadening horizons through teamwork and delivering customer satisfaction

Software expert and Formula One fan Salil Chand thinks Vanderlande has a few things in common with his favourite sport, because they both strive for technical excellence and benefit from teamplay. Salil is based at Vanderlande’s Global Capability Centre in Pune, and like Max Verstappen and his Red Bull engineers, he is always focused on delivering success.

Author

Salil Chand

Specialist Software Engineer

I’m a specialist software engineer in the Airports domain, which covers baggage handling systems and passenger checkpoint solutions. My primary responsibilities include data mining project requirements by studying the needs of our customers.

I then customise our software products based on those needs, before installing them in our internal testing environment or on site at an airport. Troubleshooting and fixing problems are also important to my role. In addition, I provide technical management support for six other software engineers in my team.

As I deal directly with our customers, I’ve been lucky enough to visit the airports in countries like as Sweden, Singapore, Brazil and China. Providing commissioning and go-live support is a part of the job that I really enjoy. In other roles, I would code, but didn’t get to see how software was applied in the “real world”. Watching bags moving through a baggage system – that I have helped to configure – is very satisfying, and great fun!

The work environment is dynamic, and every day I collaborate with teams across the world as well as different departments. In my previous job, we tended to work in silos, but here my colleagues and I are involved in all aspects of a project’s life cycle.

I have never worked in an organisation where there is so much transparency, or management is so approachable. Everyone supports each other, and you are allowed to make mistakes. There’s no blame culture here – it’s all about learning from your experiences. This reflects well on Vanderlande – it really cares about its employees and their needs. I enjoy an excellent work-life balance, certainly compared to other places.

The company also has really good onboarding and training programmes, as well as helpful mentors to support employee development. In terms of my career, I would like to harness my technical proficiency and analytical skills and become a subject matter expert. We work with multiple software solutions in the Airports business, so it’s a big portfolio to learn!

Away from work, one of my passions is Formula One. The sport offers some good life lessons, such as the need to prepare well and the value of practice. I also like to think that it shares some of Vanderlande’s values: both are committed to continuous innovation, have a drive to win and value teamwork. We should certainly celebrate our victories like they do in Formula One, because success doesn’t always come easily!

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