For years, Boston Consulting Group, or BCG, has been at the forefront of digital transformation, helping companies navigate the ever-evolving tech landscape. With the establishment of BCG X, it has taken a bold stride by establishing its 3,000-person-strong tech build and design unit.

Rather than working with pre-existing software solutions, the engineers, scientists and designers at BCG X build and design platforms and software in partnership with clients.

The engineers who build those platforms and software work under Siva Kannan, a partner and vice president of engineering. Along with leading the engineering team, Kannan is a driving force behind BCG X’s innovative work in deep tech domains such as responsible AI, IoT and decentralization technologies.

While BCG X is focused on delivering tailored solutions for its clients, Kannan encourages his team to broaden their focus beyond delivery dates and take time to truly understand the technology they’re working with and what they’re building.

“I am deeply invested in guiding engineers to delve beyond the surface and truly understand the intricacies of systems,” Kannan emphasized. “My aim is to instill a mindset where they don’t simply focus on making systems work but also challenge themselves to deeply comprehend how these systems function.”

In May, BCG X global leader Sylvain Duranton told Built the company planned to add another 2,000 technologists to its staff. Built In spoke with Kannan to learn more about the leader those soon-to-be-hired engineers will be working with.

 

Siva Kannan
Partner and Vice President of Engineering • BCG X

Leadership Vision: Fostering Curiosity, Establishing Innovation 

My leadership style centers on fostering a secure, enriching and enjoyable atmosphere that encourages success. This entails nurturing a continuous sense of intellectual curiosity, ensuring that my team is inspired to explore, learn and innovate on an ongoing basis. I am particularly passionate about cultivating a team that is driven to leverage technology to revolutionize the inner workings of numerous industries. This transformative approach and supportive environment enable us to unlock groundbreaking solutions that transcend boundaries and create lasting impact.
 

Building a Dynamic Team Culture: Where Curiosity Thrives

Leading by example and fostering open communication are essential to building a dynamic team culture. A focus on intellectual curiosity drives ongoing learning, enabling our teams to understand systems deeply and drive innovation. At BCG X, we embrace dynamism, intellectual curiosity, a culture of ownership and revolutionary thinking. We bring together a focused breadth and depth of diverse talent to multiply our collective impact. 

At BCG X, we embrace dynamism, intellectual curiosity, a culture of ownership and revolutionary thinking.”

 

Empowering Career Growth: A Pathway to Excellence

I guide my team through a wide range of challenges from various companies and industries, enabling them to acquire a diverse skill set and holistic problem-solving perspective. This not only enhances career growth but also fuels innovation. Moreover, I always encourage my team to develop and deliver thought leadership and insights in scientific conferences, communities and papers, elevating their visibility and reputation as experts. Participating in hackathons focused on cutting-edge technologies like AI, IoT, and blockchain further unlocks breakthrough insights and networking opportunities. 

BCG X is committed to continuous learning, sponsoring attendance at reputable universities, enabling teams to deepen their understanding of various technology topics, stay attuned to industry trends and acquire advanced knowledge that positions them as experts in their chosen domains.

 

An image of BCG’s offices.
BCG

 

Ventures in Innovation: Charting New Territories

I have had the opportunity to build large-scale platforms, from operating systems to internet security platforms to AI, IoT and decentralization platforms at BCG X. 

Right now, I’m really focused on building a platform for generative AI applications. I'm excited to see it used in different industries.

This platform is special because it can work with many different types of clients, showing how flexible it is. It has the potential to change the way we develop and improve AI applications.

 

The Intersection of Tech: Unlocking Infinite Possibilities

When it comes to new tech like generative AI, I believe it’s important to not keep it separate from what we already have. Instead, let’s combine it with the technology we’re already using, like traditional AI, automation and business systems. 

Picture it like this: When we blend these technologies together, it’s like combining different colors to create a beautiful painting. Each component brings its own unique strengths, and when we merge them, the result is something truly exceptional. This collaborative approach doesn’t just improve our existing tech  — it propels our entire technological landscape to new heights, opening up doors to innovation that we might not have imagined otherwise. It’s about harnessing the full potential of what we have and what’s on the horizon to drive the future of technology forward

 

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