Blog / Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Meet Shyam Kuppurathanam

June 15, 2023
Portrait of Shyam Kuppurathanam

Shyam Kuppurathanam  |  Country Head (India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka)

Q. What is your current role at Penumbra?

I’m responsible for our sales in South Asian countries (India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) for both neuro and vascular product portfolios. By partnering with our APAC Sales and Marketing Teams, various teams in Alameda’s global headquarters, and our distribution partners in these countries, we strive to provide Penumbra’s innovative products to patients in need in the Indian sub-continent.

Q. What drew you to Penumbra?

Penumbra’s innovative product portfolio and its strong leadership team drew me to Penumbra. Penumbra has become a market leader in many of the areas in which it operates. The leadership team listens to our customers to understand unmet market needs in addressing thrombus in both neuro and peripheral vasculature and develops innovative solutions for the same. The leadership team genuinely cares about the diversity in its workforce, and they treat employees across the globe with respect and care.

Q. What aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

I enjoy being close to the customers – the patients and the doctors who treat them. Knowing that our products are designed to help save lives is truly rewarding. I have been in the medical device industry since 2004. I started my career in engineering and moved into a commercial role to be closer to the customers. Knowing that I can help patients live longer and healthier lives is what I enjoy the most.

Q. If you did not pursue your current career, what do you see yourself doing professionally?

Before moving into the medical device industry, I developed airbags for passenger vehicles. So, I’d be designing next generation airbags for the automotive industry.

I came to the medical device industry by accident. During college, I happened to design and develop surgical graft for treating aortic aneurysms as part of my final year’s course work. I had it in my resume and that got the attention of the recruiter at a leading medical device manufacturing company, which was looking for similar experience to develop their next generation endovascular aortic aneurysm therapy products. I enjoy being in the medical device industry and working for an innovative medical device company like Penumbra!

Q. Describe yourself at age 10. What career aspirations did you have at that age?

I grew up in a small town in South India. When I was 10, my parents moved to a larger town (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India) just to give me a better education. My goal at that time was not to disappoint my parents and get decent grades in school so that I could get into a textile engineering program.

Q. What is the most important thing you have learned in the last five years?

Spending time with your family is very important. In my opinion, a meaningful work-life balance helps a person contribute more to the welfare of the family, employer, and society.

Q. What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

• Whatever I do, patient care and well-being is at the center. It’s all about patient safety and outcome!
• Continue to innovate (think outside the box). Whether it’s engineering or marketing or sales, I try to think how the process can be improved for better outcome.
• The harder you work, the luckier you get, which I learned from a close friend and colleague.

Q. Before working at Penumbra, describe the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had.

In college, I studied textile engineering. Later in 2002, I was part of the team that developed rollover side curtain airbags for cars and trucks. The airbags, made of woven fabrics, were designed to protect occupants in the event of a rollover.


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