Spearheading Innovation for over Two Decades
In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern world, products and technologies that bask in the limelight today may find themselves relegated to obscurity tomorrow. Amidst this perpetual transformation, we take the opportunity to applaud the groundbreaking leadership of Mr. Harpreet Singh. With a rich and diverse experience spanning over two decades, he currently holds the position of Senior Director at Stryker Global Technology Center Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore, India.
Interestingly, Harpreet’s journey into the realm of technology began during his school years at St. Columba’s School in Delhi, back in the early 1980s. Born in Amritsar, Punjab, to an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer, Harpreet spent his early years in Andhra Pradesh, after which the family moved to Delhi. When Computer Science was first introduced in school, Harpreet was fascinated. He went on to represent his school in various inter-school computer symposiums which were a rage in the 1990s.
Post-schooling, he cleared the Karnataka Common Entrance Test and enrolled at RVCE Bangalore, pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering. During his third semester, he faced an academic setback when he failed to attain the required passing marks of 35 out of 100 in a subject, he had perhaps underestimated. Instead of seeking reevaluation or grace marks, he chose the path of diligent study and ultimately achieved a score of 80+ in the retest.
This attitude of embracing failure, learning from it and forging ahead was instrumental in securing a campus placement with Bosch. However, his time at Bosch brought him more than just professional growth. “My wife, Roopa Prabhakar, was my classmate at RVCE, though she never spoke to me; I’m sure she hated my guts. But both of us got selected at Bosch, and that’s where our story began,” Harpreet fondly reminisces.
After 11 years in Bosch, Harpreet joined Honeywell and eventually, Stryker Global Technology Center (SGTC) in 2016. As Senior Director, he leads Trauma and Extremities, Joint Replacement, SPINE, Simulation CoE, and SGTC Support.
Fueled by an unending fascination with novel concepts, inventions, and processes, Harpreet possesses a knack for extracting insights from one industry or domain and applying them to another. As an engineering leader, he has also ventured into diverse non-engineering projects, which include setting up a new campus within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and spearheading an employee-driven CSR program. His approach has always revolved around identifying the core problem statement and devising unique solutions. This has helped him focus on IP generation. Teams under his leadership have consistently registered the highest number of IPs generated per employee. Notably, he has embraced challenges and opportunities that do not strictly align with his core expertise, exemplified by his tenure overseeing the Test and Prototyping lab. This experience allowed him to delve into the realm of Microbiology and additive and subtractive prototyping. Beyond work-related pursuits, his keen interest in Quantum Physics and Astronomy has been a steadfast passion, with a substantial portion of his non-work-related reading material centered on these subjects.
A catalyst for growth and innovation, Harpreet has been the recipient of numerous accolades for pioneering innovative processes, establishing new Centers of Excellence, and rescuing projects and initiatives from the brink of collapse. Sharing some fundamental strengths, he highlights:
- Hard work makes an achiever – Harpreet upholds the ethos of diligent labor as the foundational pillar of his unwavering dedication.
- The ability to think long-term – He has compromised on short-term gains in favor of long-term prospects.
- Being ‘a-political’- He doesn’t engage in office politics or speak negatively about coworkers, garnering him respect across the industry.
- Being an innovator – Innately inclined toward innovation, he exhibits a marked disinclination towards complacency or the mere preservation of established norms.
- His profound faith in the doctrine of ‘Intent’ impels him to undertake every endeavor with an overarching purpose in mind.
On the other hand, “One clear weakness I have – is my belief that I know everything, and I am invariably right. Over time, I have learnt to manage this trait by seeking the opinions of others in moments of self-doubt or indecision.” Harpreet also candidly addresses the challenge of achieving a work-life balance, which he views as a myth. Instead, he adopts a pragmatic approach, prioritizing work or home life based on their relative significance during any given day, week, or month.
A storehouse of wisdom, Harpreet tells us how to best the rat race. His advice: “Don’t focus on beating the guy in front of you. Work hard, focus on core human values, and compete with the ‘man/woman in the mirror’. Remember the 7-year-old version of you as well as the 70-year-old version of you should look back on your life and smile, acknowledging that it was a life well-lived!”