In Conversation with Santhosh Viswanathan

“The biggest reason why I’ve been at Intel for 17+ years is that I’ve never had a reason to look elsewhere. There were always exciting new opportunities to seize and bold journeys to go on.”

While it has become more common to change jobs every couple of years, Santhosh Viswanathan’s approach has been to continuously take on fresh challenges in several new countries in his pursuit of learning and growth. Singapore, where he is currently based, is his ninth Intel location and the fifth country (technically a sovereign island city-state) he’s lived in since he first left his home in India.

In his current role as Vice President in the Sales, Marketing & Communications Group and Managing Director of the Asia Pacific Japan (APJ) Territory, Santhosh is responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, and communications presence across Southeast Asia, South Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as regional functions across APJ.

Passion makes all the difference

In 2003, when he first joined Intel in Kochi, India, Santhosh says the company was just expanding in the country and had a limited local footprint. “My second bedroom was my office (so I had a head start on working from home). My job was to drive hundreds of kilometers every day across the state to meet partners and build Intel’s presence. My home was also a warehouse with demo units, posters, and collaterals—it was entrepreneurial and I truly had an amazing time.”

While Santhosh studied engineering, at heart he knew he was a people person and had to be out in the field to make things happen. With that realization, he majored in industrial engineering and management, eventually pursuing an MBA in sales and marketing to bolster his knowledge and pave the way forward in his career.

He strongly believes that passion makes all the difference—and if your heart is not in it, it will show! A highly energetic and competitive person who relishes challenges, Santhosh thrives when juggling multiple responsibilities in large teams, as evidenced by the multinational scope of his current role.

“The coolest aspect of my job is the amazing people I’m surrounded with from emerging to mature markets. There’s a whole world in this territory! And what truly energizes me is the diversity of people and viewpoints—and that there’s never a singular solution to challenges.”

Being comfortable with being uncomfortable

While taking chances on new opportunities was critical to building his successful career, Santhosh acknowledges that change is hard, but believes it can also be fun and exciting. What’s key is being open to new learnings and being flexible enough to unlearn what doesn’t work anymore. He points out that, “In our industry, change is always an opportunity, if you have a positive mindset, a hunger to learn, and an openness to accepting diverse points of view. Also, surrounding yourself with people smarter than you truly makes dealing with change easier, collectively!”

The pandemic has certainly brought about a host of changes in the workplace—and it has been especially hard for Santhosh whose role relies heavily on in-person interactions. Nonetheless, he remains upbeat.

“From playing charades to celebrating birthdays online, we’re doing everything we possibly can do to create a positive virtual environment. That’s the beauty of the human spirit and being in a company that puts people first.”

Are you interested in growing a career like Santhosh’s? Explore opportunities here and start your career with Intel today.

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