Change is Key to Innovation: Meet Karna Vishwas

 

Karna Vishwas Feature

 

Change is inevitable: in life and in careers.

Karna Vishwas, current Global Lead, Technical Product Experts at Google, learned this firsthand when he graduated from Duke and entered into what was then the worst job market in history (the 2008-09 economic crisis).

He made a quick pivot from Construction Management to Online Advertising.

“At first, this pivot felt uncomfortable,” Karna said recently. “But ultimately, I am really glad I made it! This experience shaped how I think about change. I’m now passionate about building and transforming large operational teams and providing people with opportunities to grow in their careers along the way.”

When Karna volunteered to join The Forem’s growing Mentor Program, we were thrilled to have someone on the team who has experience with both pivots and global leadership.

And, we were touched… because Karna’s desire to mentor comes from a deeply personal place.

“I feel strongly about improving representation in Tech leadership (especially for women). This is driven by my personal experience with inequity. I saw my mother have to work against the odds to succeed, and I know this was because of gender, not her capabilities,” Karna told us.

(By the way, his mother is doing very well now, running her own Montessori school).

Karna is also well-equipped to provide guidance for those transitioning into leadership, particularly in Tech.

“In my current role, I love being at the intersection of Engineering and Sales. The team I lead is based in 10+ countries and handles 1,000s of bugs a year,” Karna said. “When we do a good job, we delight customers despite there being a technical issue in our product!”

At Google more generally, he loves that the company is constantly evolving. The practice of embracing change is the key to innovation and continued growth.

And for the introverts out there… Karna knows what it feels like to be intimidated by networking and self-advocacy.

“Being naturally introverted, I can take time to put myself out there,” Karna said. “I’ve learned to take risks more quickly, and it’s an area I continue to watch for myself, especially when I’m in new roles or situations.”

If you are an introvert and have ever believed this might hold you back from leadership, talk to Karna. It simply is not true, and you will discover how to put your best foot forward and unlock new opportunities.


KARNA’S RECS:

Book: The Code Breaker, a book about Jennifer Doudna, who I believe will be one of the most important people of this century.

TV Show: The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix


BIO:

Karna Vishwas has worked in Tech for the past 15+ years, building the bridge between Engineering & Business teams to maximize customer value.

He thrives in chaotic situations that need structure, has led start-up integrations, and set up multiple new orgs in the past 11+ yrs at Google. In his latest role at Google, Karna leads a global team of 75+ technical experts, who work with engineering to provide customer support for complex issues and bugs. 

Karna believes that building a personal brand and managing up effectively are critical to furthering one’s career. He learns a lot from mentoring and developing others.