For the love of travel: Kiran Vaidya

Written by: Ranjani Rajendra

Name: Kiran Vaidya | Company: Cognizant | Country: Canada

(April 27, 2023) Who said busy techies don’t find the time to live their dreams? Meet Kiran Vaidya, a Canada-based software professional, who took a mid-career break to travel the world on his Indian passport. In the process, he covered 40 countries across six continents over the course of a year.

Born and raised in Pune, Kiran did his Master in Computer Science from Pune University before embarking on his professional journey as a software engineer with Tech Mahindra (formerly Mahindra Satyam) in 2006. By early 2010, Kiran was sent to South Africa for a year as project lead. By mid-2011, he was deputed to Toronto as project manager for Tech Mahindra’s client Scotiabank. “That was 12 years ago. Now I’m working as a program manager for my employer Cognizant’s client, a fintech company here in Canada,” says Kiran, who recently moved to Vancouver from Toronto.

“My role involves me managing the software delivery for Cognizant’s fintech client. It primarily includes building and maintaining client relationships, understanding client requirements, and being the single point of contact for the client for any aspect of the software delivery,” he says, adding, he works with teams across North America and India. “The team is pretty diverse. In fact, Cognizant’s Diversity and Inclusion team was recently awarded ‘Inclusion and Diversity Team of the Year’ by World 50, which convened an independent panel of judges (mainly chief diversity officers) to select the winners.”

The Indian-origin software professional also finds it imperative to constantly update his knowledge set with new courses and certifications. “In my field, upskilling is key. The trends are constantly changing and one needs to understand their impact on the business of emerging technologies like Artificial intelligence. At the same time, irrespective of the role one has to be certified in the software project delivery techniques typically for Agile.”

A typical workday sees Kiran begin his day with meetings with his offshore team in India before proceeding to his routine work and responsibilities. He usually tries to wrap up work early enough to be able to take his 2.5-year-old son Ved to the park, especially in the summers. “Summers in Canada are very beautiful with the sun setting only around 9 pm. My weekends usually revolve around my son; he enjoys the outdoors so we make it a point to take him to one of Toronto’s many parks. In the winters, we head to indoor play areas so his recreation activities aren’t impacted,” says Kiran, who also loves trying new restaurants for family dinners.

While Kiran believes in working hard, he also makes it a point to unwind as well. In fact, he chose to work as an independent consultant for four years in order to have more flexibility at work so he could focus on his personal life as well. “In my current team, I have set up a culture where we respect each other’s work timings. This is very important considering my team is spread across time zones. Thankfully, in Canada my employers and my client focus on work-life balance and respect our personal lives,” says the software professional, who loves to travel with his wife.

“Back in 2015, we decided to take a career break and spent nearly one year traveling around the globe. We covered nearly 40 countries across six continents on our Indian passport,” he says, adding, “At every possible opportunity we travel and this summer we did two road trips in North America, both covering 4,000 kilometers in a span of 10 days.”

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