Connectivity is everywhere. From the time you get up early in the morning to the time you go to sleep. While sleeping there are wearables that monitor sleep and health parameters.
Rajendra R. Pai, Manager of Product Engineering, began his career at TE as a product manager for Appliances and Industrial connector products. Today he leads a global engineering team for the TE Appliances business unit. In 2011, Rajendra was assigned a special project at TE called “Design to Value,” which determined the value of the appliances products from the customer’s point of view. His goal was to cut down on material costs and increase margins. As a result of his efforts, Rajendra helped TE save $30M over four years, and considers this to be his biggest accomplishment so far. Early in his life, Rajendra’s uncle worked at an oil refinery and shared with him photos of his working environment. The photos inspired Rajendra to enter the engineering field and he cites his uncle as his role model. With a facility and love for mathematics and science, Rajendra found his home at TE.
Describe your role and main responsibilities in product development.
I play a dual role – I’m a global engineering manager for the terminal and splice product family and I work with the China Engineering team to identify the new product road map looking five years ahead. I interact with both the cross-functional and field engineering teams to provide solutions to customers and to develop products based on their requirements.
What personality traits are essential for today’s engineering challenges?
Curiosity, a sense of urgency, patience, and listening carefully to the customer in order to execute the project flawlessly. Also, thinking logically and practically is essential. Being able to work with others is also important. We have tons of years of experience at TE. I try to involve the right people for the right solution.
Describe a breakthrough discovery you’ve made while working with TE customers.
The latest breakthrough by our teams had to do with crimp consolidation. Terminals can crimp, and we needed to fit an even wider range of wire sizes into one wire barrel and develop one crimper for the whole range of wires. By creating a crimp product to accomplish this, we can now reduce crimper changeover and simplify the customer supply chain.
What method do you use to build creative and innovative thought?
I hold a bi-monthly brainstorming meeting with my team. I believe that this approach is the gateway to innovation. The team consists of individual talents. We all have different experiences that shape the way we do things. Being in a collaborative environment allows us to draw on each person’s strengths to deliver better solutions.
How does your experiences contribute to the task of directing development?
I believe that directing others is mostly an art – not a science. I like to say that successful product development is like directing a movie. The team members are the actors and product development is like creating the movie. The better you direct the team, the better the product.
Rajendra helped TE save $30 million as a result of his efforts with a special project called "Design to Value"
Being in a collaborative environment allows us to draw on each person’s strengths to deliver better solutions.
- Rajendra Pai,
- Manager of Product Engineering