Pythian Postcards: Markham, Ontario
Editor’s Note: Welcome to the fourth post in our “Pythian Postcards” series! So far we’ve visited Toulouse, France, Singapore and met Mayuri Lalwani who had recently moved from India to Mississauga, Ontario. Today, we’re so happy to have a post from Kumar Dipanshu — written during his first week working at Pythian — what a great way to get to know him!
Q: Where are you located?
A: I am based in Markham, Ontario. Markham is known for having a melting pot of cultures and housing high-tech companies. The locality is quite scenic and offers a peaceful stay far from the crowded city.
Q: How did you end up there?
A: I was born in India and completed my college education there. After working in India for a couple of years, we (my wife and I) decided to move to a completely different setting for work and life. Canada was our default choice because of its beauty, work-life balance and heartwarming, accepting culture. Once the decision was made, it was just a matter of time before we were on our flight to Toronto!
Q: What do you do at Pythian, and what path brought you here?
A: It can be difficult to accurately predict where you will end up in your career but based on the experience you gain and your educational background, you can definitely shape your career path. We had a great deal of uncertainty while we were moving to Canada from India. Being in IT and telecommunications for more than a decade, there was no guarantee I would be able to get a job in the same field. Luckily, things worked out well for us, and I got a job in the relevant domain.
I started my career as a pre-sales consultant / solutions architect and worked in a similar capacity with various leading global companies. I then forayed into product management then into product marketing. Over the years, I have been working more into the marketing domain and enjoying the journey. At Pythian, my title is Marketing Manager, Cloud and Analytics. Starting work at Pythian is quite exciting as this was one of the targeted companies I wanted to work with after moving to Canada. I had to wait for almost a year before I got lucky!
Q: What kind of accommodation do you live in?
A: I live in a detached house in Markham. It is a rented accommodation. We have a park just opposite our house. It is a lovely sight watching birds roaming around in groups over the green grass in the summer.
Q: What is your workspace like?
A: With the pandemic forcing a longer work-from-home scenario, I have a dedicated corner in the house as my home office. All the devices are well protected by face-ID and two-factor authentication — you might be asked for a fingerprint scan next time you visit me!
It’s not all serious, though — my drawers are stacked with chocolates, cookies and chips and I celebrate Friday evening Happy Hours with home-cooked snacks.
Q: What are your hobbies / non-work pastimes?
A: I love cooking, and most of my evenings are spent in the kitchen preparing dinner. I feel cooking brings out the creative best in me where I take the liberty of trying different cuisines and I have so many spices to choose from!
I also love reading, and spend most of my available time reading about a wide range of topics, i.e. psychology, cuisines, world history, spirituality, etc. In addition, I conduct periodic discourses about spirituality, positive living, career discussion, etc. Recently I have been helping people to get back to the job market through assisting them with their resume and LinkedIn.
Q: What’s the best thing about living and working where you do?
A: Undoubtedly the landscape and the people! Summers are beautiful, winters are profound and autumns are poetic! It is a beautiful place to be, and every second person you meet has a smile on their face! I have had unknown people holding the door open for me, guiding me with public transport details and always ready to let pedestrians cross the road! (I also adore Hazelnut BeaverTails, but they may be beyond the scope of this discussion).
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
A: I start early as this has been my habit since childhood. Following my bath and meditation, I enjoy my breakfast as this is the most important meal for the day. After breakfast, I go through my emails and engagements for the day. As I work through my day, I keep sipping my favourite masala tea and checking on my parents back in India. In the evening, I take a nap before cooking dinner. Post dinner, we go for a walk around the block and discuss our day.
Q: What do you consider to be your biggest achievement to date — professional or personal?
A: I’m proud of launching my startup when I was in the early days of my career, as well as learning to wear multiple hats in my career. These experiences pretty much shaped what I am today.
Q: What’s the best advice anyone has given you?
A: “You can either be a PARTICIPANT or a WITNESS to your actions. As a participant, you do not have much control over yourself, but as a witness, you can see through things and always be in an awakened state.”
Q: If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It has to be “Khichdi”: rice, lentils and vegetables pressure cooked with fennel, bay leaves, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom pods, coriander seeds, and finally tempered with cumin, red chili and clarified butter. It is usually served with yogurt and papadum crackers.
We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into life at Pythian. Don’t forget to sign up for next month’s feature.
Check out previous Pythian Postcards posts here: