21st January 2022

In Conversation with Pratap Jiddimani, VP of Engineering at ION Energy

ION Energy team

We’re excited to say that we’ve just welcomed Pratap Jiddimani as our new VP of Engineering. We sat down with him to discuss why he decided to join ION Energy, what challenges he’s looking forward to tackling, what kind of people he’s looking for to join his team, and much more! Read on to learn more about Pratap and whether you’d be a good fit for the team. 

“Manufacturing a world-class BMS requires engineering ingenuity across multiple disciplines — from design, quality, testing to manufacturing. Above all, it requires an insanely talented team of engineers dedicated to serving our customers. I’m happy to be a part of ION Energy to build a strong engineering team and contribute to the e-mobility space for a better future.”

Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty — what responsibilities will you have as the new VP of all things engineering at ION Energy?

I’m here to #GetThingsDone — to build, grow, and mature our BMS (Battery Management System) at a time when we’re getting ready for the rapidly growing and diversifying customer base. That means maintaining the high quality of our product, making sure it’s reliable, and adding new features for our customers. 

I’ll be responsible for ensuring that we’re executing the company’s strategy and that the processes and practices are in place to help us with that execution.

Ultimately, I want to be a part of the team that builds a high-standard product that will transform the global e-mobility space. 

Why did you decide to join ION Energy?

First and foremost, I am a big fan of the holistic vision that Akhil Aryan and Alexandre Collet have crafted for the company. ION Energy is addressing some of the critical challenges impacting the world right now, and addressing these issues is the need of the hour!

I am also very excited about the EV market! I met with the ION Energy team and was impressed by the growth mindset towards developing and promoting the EV ecosystem. Whether our customers are accelerating research in the e-mobility space, solving complex problems, increasing the productivity of their EVs or designing and manufacturing products that are changing the mobility industry, we are here to support them — and that inspires me every day.

Tell us about some of the challenges at ION Energy you’re excited about

To be honest, there are multiple things that I’m excited about. However, in particular, here are a couple of technical challenges that I am going to be focusing on:

Building a robust battery simulation setup: 

As we build a critical electric vehicle component (BMS), we must strive for continuous improvement to deliver the best in class products to our customers. To make sure that we’re at the top of our game, we need to have battery simulation setups that assist in achieving safe, reproducible and automated testing of our BMS. This will help us analyse the possible real-time issues and provide input for our engineering team to build a best-in-class product. 

Defining the right balance between cost vs features:

The two and three-wheeler market that we are focused on is highly cost-driven. We want to deliver a cost-effective BMS without compromising safety, reliability and efficiency. 

What’s your philosophy for leading an engineering team? 

I invest time creating a culture that keeps everyone at the top of their game. My job is to provide the direction that the team can march towards but not tell them how to get things done. 

I learned about this very early in my career, and I have been trying to follow it since then: I might say that we need a cake, but I am going to leave it up to the experience and expertise of my team members to decide whether the best course of action is to buy, bake or borrow one 😉

At ION, we believe in enabling everyone to do their life’s best work, and I will empower my team to do so. 

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your 20 years in the industry?

It’s not just about hiring people; it’s about supporting them in their careers and helping them grow. It’s imperative to identify a team with the correct skill set and empower them by providing adequate training and technical guidance to improve efficiency and productivity. At one of my previous companies, we scaled the engineering team from four to over one hundred. Through that process, I learned what it takes to build a team.

The next big learning lesson was the importance of communication. When the team grows, it is essential to ensure that the information flow is smooth and nobody is left out of the conversation. 

What advice would you give to young engineers?

In 2005, Steve Jobs ended his speech at Stanford University saying, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.” It’s very close to my heart, and I want the young engineers to know this.

Stay Hungry: You are focused, determined, ambitious, and courageous if you are starving. You are willing to take the risk and experiment to satisfy the hunger. You expand your palette to new flavours and cuisines. I’d encourage all the young engineers to do the same! Stay hungry to keep the learning curve going up.

Stay FoolishGroundbreaking; cutting-edge innovation almost always looks foolish when you pitch it. That’s why the critics try to take you down, the soothsayers drag their feet, and the cynics stand in your way. It’s also why innovation requires thick skin and a little SWAG! Stay foolish, think out of box solutions, and challenge conventional methods.

BTW, we’re hiring! I’m looking for engineers who want to make a difference and be a part of a growing industry. Check out our open positions here – https://apply.workable.com/ionenergy/ 

About ION Energy

ION Energy is an advanced battery management and intelligence platform. We’re focused on building technologies that improve the life and performance of lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

Our customers typically choose ION Energy because of its reliability, transparency, commitment towards customer success, and innovative business models. OEMs and battery pack manufacturers across the globe choose ION’s integrated battery management solutions to continuously improve the life and performance of the battery.

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