Star of the WeekManufacturing

Raam Shankar’s life was defined by two childhood memories.

Now aged 41, he’s been the leader of Equitus Design Engineering and Innovations for seven years.

Equitus has bases in London, Manchester and in Shankar’s birthplace of Bangalore.

The business boasts four separate yet integrated companies: Equitus World, Equitus Engineering, Equitus Design and Equitus Innovations.

Today he works with clients including European Space Agency, Kawasaki, Sellafield and Babcock International but it may never have happened but for a trip to the airport when he was nine.

“I saw a jumbo jet take off while my mother and I were waiting for my dad at an airport,” he recalls to TechBlast.

Shankar says it was a jaw-dropping moment and it was followed by another one three years later.

“When I was 12 I vividly remember seeing Ayrton Senna start a Formula 1 race in rainy England in fifth place, only to be leading by the end of lap one while watching TV.”

It ignited a passion for engineering and by the time a 13-year-old Shankar talked to his dad he knew becoming an engineer was his destiny.

But what of his passion for innovation and sustainability being the key to growth?

“The future of innovation, of design and of engineering and sustainability excites me,” he says.

“We cannot talk about innovation without talking about sustainability, and the fact that everything we do is around sustainability, aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“Innovation is a result of the human trait called resilience. The fact that humans have survived the millennia is a result of our inherent innovative mindset.”

Today Shankar is a TEDx Alumni and a columnist for industry publication The Manufacturer.

He says the fuel for present day successful business growth is a near perfect mix of innovation and sustainability.

On June 7 Shankar is the keynote speaker for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ ‘Management of Asset Availability Through Extreme Events’ seminar in London.

His talk ‘Reliability by design – how to expect the unexpected’ is part of a day where participants will learn how design standards are changing in the wake of critical events and of the importance of taking proactive steps to future-proof assets and maximise future revenue.

Shankar, who from a young age adored debating and drama classes in India, is looking forward to another public speaking appearance.

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He says: “Enabling your community and fellow humans to survive, grow and prosper for generations to come is a result of delivering true sustainability through innovation.

“Sustainability isn’t now ignored in boardrooms throughout the world and we all must play our part without committing any shortcuts while using our companies’ existence and future intentions as a storytelling tool.

The Manchester resident and TiE UK North board member alongside Walli Ullah MBE, Professor Vikas Shah MBE, Christine Kelly, Tariq Marfani, Harry Dhaliwal, Ashok Kallumpram, Anthony Bell, Sunil Mohindra and Ann Jordan, adds: “Nothing exists on this planet without design. Design is the recipe.

“What excites me about design is that there is a growing awareness amongst people in general to look for well-designed products and solutions, which improve the quality of their lives and/or offer solutions. It excites me because Equitus has always been people-focused, and therefore the way we do things is starting to resonate with people.

“Engineering driven application of technology is what results in products and solutions. Being in engineering means we have an opportunity to convert the results of scientific pursuit into technologies, and apply these technologies to develop products and solutions for the benefit and betterment of humankind and our world.”