20 in their 20s

As an electrical engineering major, Vivas Kumar learned a lot about batteries and energy storage for electricity. This knowledge came in handy after graduation, when he joined Tesla’s battery materials team in the Bay Area. “I like to think of Tesla as a battery and software company that happens to make cars,” Kumar says. “Electric cars are on the road today because of the decades of electrical engineering innovation on battery technology.” 

At Tesla, Kumar became a part of that innovation. “It was an amazing career opportunity to be at the forefront of the electric and autonomous cars trend — the biggest change to happen to the transportation industry in the 130 years that we’ve been making cars in the United States,” he says. “I managed a multibillion-dollar portfolio sourcing the metals needed to make batteries.”

Kumar’s role took him to 25 countries in three years. “The personal and professional development that I was able to seize early on turbocharged my career,” he explains. “It was fascinating to work within Tesla’s business model because it will likely redefine the future of the automotive sector.”

Last year, Kumar left Tesla to pursue his MBA at Stanford University and work part time for Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a London-based specialist information provider for the lithium ion battery to electric vehicle supply chain.

“It was fascinating to work within Tesla’s business model because it will likely redefine the future of the automotive sector.”

“I wanted to stay involved in the industry while I went back to school, and this experience has solidified what I’m looking for in my long-term career,” Kumar says. “I want to do something that marries engineering and business, involves a lot of international travel, allows me to work with diverse people and is grounded in cutting-edge technologies.”

Read more “20 in Their 20s” profiles here.

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