meet the maker: pushkar bhide

in meet the makers by Ann Whittaker

Pushkar Bhide, Senior Commodity Buyer at Rethink Robotics, along with Baxter, the smart, collaborative robot

Pushkar is our Senior Commodity Buyer at Rethink Robotics; he sources all the “stuff” – metal, plastic, gears, circuit boards, miles of wires and more – that eventually become a smart, collaborative robot.  But even more, it’s Pushkar’s spirit that permeates Rethink Robotics and infuses sunshine in our workday, always.

Pushkar, your exuberance for people and for life struck me immediately when I met you back in October of 2010.  I knew we should hire you on the spot!  And your vibrant light never dims…  how do you cultivate this?

Pushkar: A lot of credit for this goes to the way I grew up. We had a big extended family back home. I would be surrounded by them and my friends all the time. Plus, being part of cricket and soccer teams, my circle of friends expanded. So being social always came to me naturally. Being surrounded with friends and family brings me joy and has made me compassionate toward others. I learned that there is greatness in giving.

Another source of energy for me is being able to be part of two different cultures. I still get to enjoy lot of traditional Indian festivals here. But I’m also luxuriating in some American festivities.

Okay, now tell us about the adventures that shaped your career path.  How did you get inspired to do what you do?  And what do you love about it?

Pushkar: The most adventurous thing was my move to the U.S. 8 years ago. I had never lived that far from my family, so trying to settle in to a completely different country with a different culture was not easy. But I knew I wanted to. And this has helped me a lot in terms of personal development. For one, it has made me more organized at a professional level. The best part I like about my work is that I get to interact with many people. If you give me a sit down desk in the corner with no team, I don’t think I’ll fit in.

You play it 150% both inside and outside the office.  Please give us Pushkar’s guide to a time well-lived on this earth.

Pushkar: To be honest, I don’t know if that’s an astute observation. But, yes, I always like to be active. I still remember my days just after college. My day would start at 7, getting ready for office, soccer in the evening and would end at midnight after a drink with friends. I used to love that. I wish my everyday was like that. But I have to admit, I don’t spend my time like this anymore. Maybe I’m getting older.

To me, inspiration to give your best at work comes from the very motivating vibe we have in our company. Luckily, I have the best team I ever had a chance to be a part of and that is extremely encouraging.

Outside work, I’m passionate about learning or trying different things. Those things are easily accessible here, at least in Boston. This year my goal is to learn swimming (yes, I can’t swim), salsa dancing and skydiving.


About the Author

Ann Whittaker

Ann is a co-Founder of Rethink Robotics and VP, People & Culture. She has developed strategic and tactical expertise in the operational and human resources domains, creating an engaging, vital culture in which corporate objectives are achieved and employees flourish. Prior to co-founding Rethink Robotics in 2008, Ann held high-level administration and communications roles in educational, philanthropic and life sciences organizations. Her past affiliations include MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the David Rockefeller Jr. Family Office, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and PAREXEL International Corporation. Ann holds a BA from the American University and an MBA from Babson College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School and previously served on the Senior Advisory Board of Cellanyx Diagnostics.

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