Working in the device team

From web design to event management, from teaching small kids about basic electronic circuits to building remote-controlled robots. One thing that clicked with Vivek and stayed till now is electronics and how it enables us to build great hardware products. Read this blog to learn what our Senior Electronics Development Engineer loves about working on our yellow boxes.


Hey! Who are you? 

Hi there! My name is Vivek Soni and I am an Electronics Development Engineer. I come from the country which has the 4th largest railway network in the world, India.

During my Bachelor’s studies, I tried all sorts of things from web design to event management, from teaching small kids about basic electronic circuits to building remote-controlled robots. One thing that clicked with me and stayed till now is electronics and how it enables us to build great hardware products.

With 7+ years of experience in building hardware products spread across different verticals like wearable devices for sports and healthcare, industrial IoT devices, robotics, my passion has only grown with time.

What is your role at KONUX?

I am currently contributing as a Senior Electronics Development Engineer at KONUX in the device team which is a multidisciplinary team consisting of firmware, electronics, mechanical and testing engineers working together towards the goal of increasing the potential of  railways as a sustainable means of transportation. I am responsible for the product lifecycle development of the electronics part of the IIoT device which, in a nutshell, means prototyping, designing, testing and mass production. My responsibilities also extend to research and development of new possible hardware that can increase the horizon and potential of our solution offerings to customers.

If I summarize the contribution of me and my team, we are building the fundamental block of our ecosystem, the hardware that collects the meaningful data which helps us to understand the health status of the railway assets, switches to be specific, and the best part is how that data can further be used to predict and provide actionable insights to our customers.

What makes this role special compared to similar positions in different companies? Why is this exciting?

Railway has been the most significant means of transportation in India and I have traveled a lot in trains. I knew about KONUX way before I joined the team and have been following their progress. When I joined the device team a couple of years ago and went through the whole onboarding process, it amazed me how so many people in engineering from such diverse backgrounds were building something so impactful in such a creative way. Everyone’s role is as important as the company’s vision.

I have worked in multiple start-ups and scale-ups and each of the roles has been special and exciting in its own ways. Talking about KONUX, I am working on multiple hardware products at the same time with a small but diverse cross-functional team. When you are working in small teams, you also have to own your responsibilities, adapt to the agile and dynamic environment, and learn skills other than your own expertise which leads to having “never a dull day” at the job.

Why are our SMALL YELLOW BOXES so much more FUN to work on than OTHER PRODUCTS?

The yellow box that you see on the railway tracks is an internet connected device that has to sense the change in the behavior of the switches when a train weighing hundreds of tons is passing over and it has to perform reliably in all weather conditions. Imagine shooting big ice balls at 280 km/h on your phone or smart watches, would they survive? Probably not but our yellow boxes do. The system might seem very simple in functionality but building such a robust and reliable system is challenging and requires a quality and creativity focused mindset. It is definitely exciting and fun to work with and around such people. And we are just beginning. We are currently working on some other cool yellow boxes which will help to bring nothing less than a revolution in this sector.

Can you tell us about a project/ problem you worked on, that you really enjoyed?

It is difficult to talk about just one cool thing but I can talk about the most recent one. There are these axle counters on railway tracks which sense the exit and entry of trains as well as can be used for counting train axles and speed of the trains. They are expensive, huge, and wired devices for a good reason. But our ecosystem needs to know the speed of the train, which is not so easy at the moment.

We decided to build our own basic axle counter, which is small, wireless, and easy to install on tracks. We are already building a prototype in our moonshot sprint which you might have already heard about in previous blog posts. We even did a field test with the prototype. It is so much fun to take out time from your daily schedule to work on something cool that has the potential to be shaped into a product. The best part is always the cross-functional collaboration and getting your hands dirty.


What helps you to be at your best in your role?

I believe that your role is not just your role but rather an amalgam of other people’s contribution and how you learn and grow. I firmly hold this opinion that there is always something to learn in each and everything you do and you should do it in a way that you can teach someone when needed. And I surely need some good snacks and drinks the whole day :P.  


What’s your favorite KONUX value and why?

I would say that ingenuity has a slightly higher edge for me. I really enjoy the process of finding creative solutions to problems. What KONUX is doing is very innovative and unique at so many levels in such a continuously changing technological world. You have to be creative with your solutions, you need to understand the value of time, fail fast and build again with lessons learnt. I have been following this throughout my professional journey which is only start-ups and KONUX brings out this value slightly more in me.


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