Director, Systems Engineering, India and SAARC, Juniper Networks

“I’ve always believed that the biggest prospects acro­­ss the industry lie in the ability to deliver superior user experiences – which should be seen as the single most important metric for measuring a successful information technology (IT) architecture cate­ring to all business outcomes” says Pankaj Kitchlu, director, systems engineering, India and SAARC, Juniper Networ­ks. In this role, Kitchlu leads technology aspects of all GTM (go-to-market) activities, driving strategy and solution initiatives for customers across the service provider, enterprise and cloud verticals.

During his career, the first nine years were focused on systems integration and operations, while the next seven years were followed by strategy, architecture and planning. During the past decade, Kitchlu has been selling side by side with his sales leaders. Prior to his stint at Juniper Networks, Kitchlu led transformational decisions for broadband, IP transport, data centre and core for the critical network layer in strategy, architecture and engineering at Airtel.

“I think all my roles or assignments so far have been critical to my own career growth and development. However, my time at Airtel will remain close to my heart, as it brought out my entrepreneurial expertise, while allowing me to hone my leadership skills. I could take ownership and build my ability to make decisions fast”, says Kitchlu.

He believes that the next generation of development will likely involve the emergence of an entire ecosystem of smart devices and sensors, equipped with edge computing, which will have to deliver new use cases requiring low latency but high bandwidth. “Internet of things (IoT)-powered enterprises, regardless of verticals, will continue to grow and develop their mix of services, which they can increasingly offer more broadly with technological improvements at hand”, Kitchlu adds.

However, Kitchlu feels that there exists a need to build a threat-aware network to be incorporated into the security strategy beforehand.

Kitchlu believes that his team is his biggest strength, while he leads by example and counts his optimism and conviction to do the right thing as his key strengths.

Kitchlu is a graduate in engineering and also has a post-graduate degree in business administration. Most of his spare time is spent with friends and family, which comprises his mother, wife and their two children. “I like travelling and cooking whenever I get a chance,” he says. He also enjoys swimming. S