Following the announcement, we sat down with Padma to hear her thoughts on Zendrive and the future of transportation technology.
Padma is the US CEO of NextEV, an electric vehicle company. Prior, she was Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer and Motorola’s CTO. Padma serves on the boards of Microsoft and Cornell University, and was named by Forbes as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women. She previously served on the boards of Box and Gap.
Below is the conversation we had with Padma upon her joining the Zendrive Board.
Yuchen Zhang (YZ): We are so excited to welcome you to the Zendrive family! Why did you choose Zendrive?
Padma Warrior (PW): Zendrive and NextEV are both mission driven companies tackling big world problems. Road safety will be a determining force for the success of innovative transportation models from on-demand to autonomous vehicles, and joining Zendrive allows me to help a phenomenal team play a crucial role dedicated to transforming the space. I joined the Zendrive Board because I truly believe the vision Jonathan and the team are executing on is one that will disrupt the existing mobility landscape.
YZ: Your background in India resonates particularly close to home for our team members based at Zendrive’s Asia HQ in Bangalore, India. What do you think of the tech scene in India?
PW: India is at a very interesting phase right now. I visit India once a year and am always impressed by the technology scene there. I was born and raised in India and received my bachelor’s degree from the IIT-Delhi. I think that market, capital and innovation is equal in India, China and the US right now. It’s a great partnership between Silicon Valley and Bangalore that you have at Zendrive, and I am a big fan of Pankaj, Zendrive’s co-founder who built the India team.
YZ: As a female in tech, I’m inspired by visionary women like you. What advice do you have for women in Silicon Valley and beyond?
PW: Always remember that the diversity you bring is a strength. The fact that you’re different and that you’re noticed, because there are few of us in the tech industry, is something you can leverage as an advantage. I believe that women – particularly young women – should invest in their education and careers to unlock professional aspirations. We need to create environments where women can openly talk about not only what excites them, but also share doubts and ask for advice.
YZ: What do you see for the future of Zendrive?
PW: As Zendrive rapidly grows and amasses billions of data points on drivers, the granularity of the data and power of its analytics will be vital for all players in the transportation ecosystem.
For instance, Zendrive is an important enabler for auto insurers as they prepare for major changes ahead by helping them improve how risk is measured, managed and priced. Just as it makes sense to have one FICO score rather than multiple sources for every loan and lender, safety data should be collected and analyzed by a trusted and specialized third party.
As self-driving technology becomes the next major vehicle platform, Zendrive’s understanding of human drivers will be crucial to building the foundation of safety for this new transportation paradigm.
The rate and scale of change in the next 5-15 years will be dramatic for the transportation industry, and everyone needs to prepare for it. Multiple aspects of human life will be touched, and I look forward to working with Zendrive to exponentially impact the evolving mobility landscape in a positive way.