By Sanjay Dhawan, President, HARMAN Connected Services and Chief Technology Officer at HARMAN


The world is evolving at a breakneck speed, and industry disruption has become a norm. Our ecosystem is now more dynamic, connected, autonomous and smarter than ever before. As the world changes at a fast pace, engineers will play an even more critical role, central to developing cutting-edge solutions. It’s high time, we rediscovered the power of engineering and its impact and contributions in elevating our workplace and our world.

On several occasions I have been asked if engineering is truly about building cool stuff? Is the job actually fun? And every single time, without blinking, I would say - oh yes, it is! I can talk about the feats of engineers endlessly. In fact, I believe that we owe our development of centuries to engineering.  

I got interested in computers and technology during my high school days. My first thrilling encounter with engineering was my Casio personal computer. This computer ran basic programming languages, and I used it to learn architecture and programming. My first major program was to solve a Rubix cube and the second one was to play table tennis (or as we call it Ping Pong, in the U.S.). This is what peaked my interest in computer engineering.

During the first year of college, my love for engineering was reinforced when I got my hands on an Intel 8080 kit that allowed me to program in assembly. The sense of achievement after successfully completing a project was incredible and it cannot be described in words. I still feel the same rush every time I accomplish any engineering feat. This is what engineering is really about – changing the world, one innovation at a time.

HARMAN has a proud history in science and innovation. 70 years of industry ground-breaking firsts. In these 70 years, the last 10 years have been revolutionary to our growth. From Audio to Cloud, Analytics, and IoT, we have made phenomenal efforts to reinvent ourselves as industry leaders. All this has been possible because of the engineering geniuses who bring that software DNA in our organization that codes our path to success or the hardware creators who transform our identity with an eye to future.

At times, while facing our day-to-day work challenges and tight delivery schedules, we doubt our engineering capabilities. In times like these, I suggest you follow three mantras to reinstate your faith in the bigger, better and bolder purpose that pushed you to choose engineering as your discipline:

  1. Connect with the bigger purpose:  Always envisage the impact your codes or your hardware designs create. Understand the impact of your work. The day you feel connected to the bigger purpose, you will find meaning in your work.

  2. Own the impact: “Do thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all”. These lines have always been my guiding principle. Everything you undertake, should be underlined with your passion. Up your game with every project. Always create value, own the impact and leave a profound impression that lasts a lifetime. Don’t forget, people who deliver what was expected are never hailed.  

  3. It is ok to fail: We at HARMAN give our employees a license to fail, learn and move on. We empower our engineers to take risks. No questions asked. The fear of failing should not restrict your actions. You can never love anything you fear, and it stands true for your job as well.

I would say, find your mojo, your X factor. Don’t succumb to the romance of settling in your daily routine. Always stay inquisitive and find ways to make things work better. And if nothing works, then watch a great Sci-Fi movie that reinstates your faith in all the cool things that engineers can conceive!