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Get to Know: VP of Engineering, Shiva Nagabushanaswamy

Shiva Nagabushanaswamy, joins Zum from Uber where he was Head of Engineering for the Ads team and prior to that, he was Director of Engineering on the Personalization team at Netflix. Responsible for building and scaling the engineering organization at Zum, helmed by Rohit Jain and Co-Founder Abhishek Garg, Shiva is keen to shape an offering that goes well beyond product reliability. 

“Modernizing student transportation with building great reliable products for our parents, kids, school districts, drivers, and fleet managers is a fulfilling mission. This is a real world problem with all kinds of real complexities. I’m privileged to join them to take this to the next level.”

Zum is elated to welcome Shiva to the team along with his years of technical expertise, best engineering practices, and experience in building and leading teams to deliver mission-critical large scale complex technology platforms.

Get to know Shiva and find out what his two year old says when she sees a school bus!

What’s your ideal way to spend your weekends?

Exploring hiking trails locally, spending time with my wife and two mischievous daughters (ages 7 and 2), and hosting friends over for food and board games. I also like to catch up on my favorite sports and TV shows in the quieter moments but the kids usually keep my weekends pretty busy! 

What’s something you saw recently that made you smile?

Whenever my 2 year old sees a school bus, she says it is Zum even when it is not. If I say it is not a Zum bus, she cries! That innocent cry makes me smile thinking about the ambitious goal she is setting for me and Zum to make every school bus a Zum school bus!

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?

I would say: Empathy, Curiosity and Perseverance are the strongest personality traits that helped me to continuously learn and grow as an individual and leader. Empathy: When you have empathy for the people and the team around you, you naturally build a great human connection based on trust. Curiosity: With Curiosity, you will always be in learning mode, allowing you to continuously discover new things to help you make things better than how it was before. Perseverance: Big impacts won’t happen overnight. Controllable and uncontrollable distractions might always interfere with your broader goals. With perseverance, having a sharp view on what long term goal you need to achieve and taking baby steps every day to reach that goal is critical for successfully achieving it. 

What excites you about your role being Zum’s new VP of Engineering?

I like solving real world problems with the infusion of technology & data. Modernizing student transportation by building great, reliable products for parents, children, school districts and drivers is a fulfilling mission. This is a real world problem with real complexities like routing, timely pickup and drop off, vehicle health management and more. We already have a fantastic team working on this mission and I’m privileged to join them to take this to the next level.

Which Zum pillar resonated with you the most? (Flexibility, Equity, Efficiency, Safety, Sustainability and Community)

All six pillars are super important but if I am forced to pick one, I would select safety. My wife often says that when our kids are out it feels like a piece of our heart is beating outside. Every parent wants their child to get to and from school in the safest way possible. It’s a great privilege to be part of Zum to help build products where safety is in the core DNA.