“We want to be customer-obsessed and fearless, operating with transparency in everything we do. The challenge is to drive this transformation and stay on top of the work we do.”
Ivan Kuzmin is the General Manager of Intel Russia’s R&D function, helping to bring out the best in over a thousand highly talented engineers. He is particularly proud of how well the Intel Russia R&D team works, always striving to deliver quality output quickly and with broad impact. Recently, we asked Ivan to share a bit more about his experience at Intel.
How did you start your career at Intel?
I joined Intel as an intern in 2004, while studying for a degree in math and programming. I looked up to Intel employees, so it was quite exciting to become part of this international company—and I’ve never been disappointed with my decision. I started at the IT help desk in Nizhny, progressed to a technical leader and later a manager. I then spent two years on assignment in the United States, setting up global teams in Poland, India, China, and Costa Rica. When I returned to Russia, I joined the R&D and software team. My team worked on cutting edge projects related to artificial intelligence, big data analytics, encryption, autonomous driving, and more. Recently, I was asked to lead the entire Russian R&D department. Throughout my career, I’ve learned a lot of skills and am continuing to learn and develop in my current role.
As the General Manager of Intel R&D in Russia, what do you and your team do?
Traditionally, people associate Intel with hardware. It’s true that we produce a variety of hardware that is used from the Edge to the Cloud. What not as many people know is that all this hardware needs a variety of software in order to run. Our team in Russia develops a range of solutions that operate on different levels of the software stack. I’m particularly proud that we have number of globally recognized software products, such as OpenVINO™, Intel® TBB, Intel® MPI and Intel® VTune™, that are in a large part worked on by teams in Russia. Over the years we have moved from developing some software components using specification provided by others, to end-to-end ownership of key Intel software projects and developing specifications used by others. My role is to facilitate all of this and to help every engineer operate at their best here in Russia. My work encompasses everything from technical reviews, to establishing integration and development programs for employees, to engagement with the local ecosystem, universities and government.
What are your biggest challenges?
I think one of the biggest challenges is our transformation as a company. We have new ambitions that need different ways of thinking and working. We want to be customer-obsessed and totally fearless, operating with transparency in everything we do. The challenge is to drive this transformation and stay on top of our day-to-day roles. When it comes to software development, we really need to execute fast and adopt and embrace best practices.
How is your work impacting the future of Intel?
I think we are approaching the next era of data economy, with the power of supercomputers available to everyone. Technology that is currently only available in research labs to predict the weather or perform medical research will in future be available on our personal devices. We see the changes that artificial intelligence is making to image and speech recognition. As we find solutions to known issues in various fields, researchers and scientists can focus on even more difficult problems to solve. To empower them with modern, easy-to-use development tools, you need to rethink how to do programming so that researchers can focus on solving problems. This is, in short, what we aim to achieve with the Intel® oneAPI programming model, that we’re contributing to here in Russia. We have deep expertise in the field of software development, different programming languages and hardware architecture. In Russia we have principal engineers and hundreds of employees working to disseminate this complex problem and create tangible solutions for developers worldwide. This work plays a fundamental role in the transformation of companies and entire industries.
What is unique about working here in Nizhny?
We are not far from Moscow, but Nizhny is a much smaller city, which makes it very attractive. Everything here is accessible and there’s a good pace of life. We have several good universities which produce strong graduates, including those with solid mathematical and software development skills. This year, we are celebrating 20 years of Intel R&D in Russia and our Intel Nizhny office; our first R&D site in the country, which has been essential in Nizhny district’s transformation to one of the information technology centers of Russia. It’s an exciting city with a rich history. We are celebrating our 800-year anniversary next year, so there’ll be lots of fun events and celebrations ahead.
What motivates you to come to work every day?
I have the privilege of working with some very exciting people. They’re smart, innovative, and share diverse opinions. I enjoy engaging with them and getting their perspectives. My job has allowed me to make many friends around the globe. And, of course, there’s the technology. We continue to be such an innovative company that makes wonderful things happen. We’re playing a fundamental role in the technological revolution—it’s amazing! Our work is directly impacting people’s lives—in cars, medicine, climate research. It’s changing the world around us.
What opportunities and benefits at Intel appeal to you most?
There are many things I enjoy about working at Intel. I love that we are compensated for our participation in sport clubs. We also have a great canteen at Intel—probably one of the best in the city. We’re located in the center of the city and there’s convenient parking. Intel offers maternity leave and flexible hours to accommodate different lifestyles. It’s also a great community. Every month, we host a Breakfast with Leaders event, where management sits down with newcomers. This also helps us to stay in touch regarding the benefits that are available on the market and to remain competitive.
You’ve come a long way at Intel. What is your career advice for newcomers?
Believe in yourself. When I joined Intel, I was really excited about the culture and I’m still excited about it. For example, two weeks into my first role, our team met about a problem. I had an idea, so I spoke up and it was well received. I never heard people say, “You’re too young”, or “You don’t know anything”. This openness, this culture of inclusion, means we welcome different opinions. We don’t focus on grade level or position, and we encourage new ways of thinking. So, make sure you speak up. Bring your point of view and you will be heard. This is our culture, which, in my opinion, is what makes Intel a success.
Interested in opportunities at Intel Russia? Check out available openings here.