Nitendra Raghuwanshi can tell you the exact day he started working at International SOS: Dec. 13, 2021. He can also tell you when he applied for a promotion to become director of engineering in application development (Dec. 9, 2022), exactly how many other candidates applied (12), and the precise length of time the application process took (12 weeks).
“By nature, I like to get into the details of things,” Raghuwanshi said. “It allows you to appreciate complexity, and also helps you better connect with people.”
It’s especially useful when you consider the nature of Raghuwanshi’s role at the International SOS US headquarters in Trevose, Pennsylvania. As director of engineering (yes, he got the job), Raghuwanshi leads a team of solutions architects in building International SOS software designed to protect professionals from health and security threats when they travel abroad.
When organizations send their employees to do business in different parts of the world, they face a range of risks, including travel to high-risk locations, medical emergencies, or dangerous incidents of civil unrest, terrorism or natural disaster. International SOS provides companies with subscription-based services for risk preparation, prevention and support from the moment a trip is booked until employees arrive safely back home.
“We’re in the business of saving lives,” Raghuwanshi said. “That mission drives us.”
Raghuwanshi and his application development team build and manage two key products: an app for travelers — with features such as pre-travel advisories on high-risk areas, alerts during crises, and 24/7 live assistance for everything from medical care to emergency evacuations — and a platform for their organization’s management team to monitor their employees abroad. International SOS always provides live, human support, never a robot.
“As a director, I’m responsible for looking out over a much bigger horizon. I’m 30,000 feet up in a plane, getting a view of the entire tech stack and all of our products, asking, ‘Do they meet the needs of the market? Our users? Where can we create more efficiencies?’”Nitendra Raghuwanshi International SOS
“We turn over every stone to help our clients,” Raghuwanshi said. “For instance, if somebody is traveling to a country that suddenly goes to war, we’ll alert them to areas of increased danger, help them find a secure location or medical support, and work with their insurance provider to prepare for evacuation.”
With everything that’s at stake for international travelers, Raghuwanshi takes his job as director of engineering very seriously.
“When I was a solutions architect, I focused on the technical part of the solution,” he said. “As a director, I’m responsible for looking out over a much bigger horizon. I’m 30,000 feet up in a plane, getting a view of the entire tech stack and all of our products, asking, ‘Do they meet the needs of the market? Our users? Where can we create more efficiencies?’”
Originally from India, but working for International SOS in Trevose and living in Voorhees, New Jersey, Raghuwanshi is familiar with traveling to unknown lands. And while many people feel that foreign languages and cultures are communication barriers, Raghuwanshi sees them as opportunities.
“I always say, ‘If you’re willing to strike up a conversation with a stranger, you can find a connection no matter where you are in the world,’” he said. “We make so many assumptions; we have so many preconceived notions and so much fear of the unknown. More times than not, they’re not true. So talk. Listen. There are people out there who want to help you.”
He applies this line of thinking to his role as a director. Raghuwanshi does not consider himself in charge, but responsible for developing the people who are in charge.
“There’s a lot of nuance in that,” he said. “You need to build trust. You need to give space to the people working for you.”
He also encourages his team to admit when they don’t know something or if they need help in order to create a culture of safe, open communication where everyone feels like they belong.
To counter his intense work style as a detail-enthusiast building risk prevention software, Raghuwanshi likes to spend his free time outside, on walks, where he can let his mind wander and breathe.
“Software is a thinking job,” he said. “It takes a lot out of your mind. I like to go out, get some fresh air and do some yoga. Well, I can improve on the yoga.”
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