The Man Behind the Lens

Photography does revolve around numbers and maths too – be it the camera angle or timing of a good photograph. Vivek's love for traveling and photography made him pursue wildlife photography as a passion project along with his full-time corporate job.

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An IIM Calcutta alumnus, Vivek Sunder started his career in 1998, and over the last years as Swiggy's COO, he scaled the company's business manifold. Currently, as Vivek works towards driving Cuemath's global expansion, his love for numbers and math concepts not only is an incredible driving factor to realize the brand's mission but also helps him take compelling pictures. Here's Vivek Sunder, CEO, Cuemath on the idea of going to extreme lengths to fetch slices of unchartered territories

Vivek Sunder
Vivek Sunder, CEO, Cuemath

Since when have you been pursuing your passion for wildlife photography?

I've been pursuing wildlife photography since 2015. Prior to that, I used to do street photography and architecture photography.

Which is your favorite destination to click the perfect shot?

My favorite destination is Kabini in Karnataka, which is home to the most amazing species of wildlife - elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs as well as water birds. Another close favorite is Tadoba in Maharashtra.

Which is your favorite clicked shot to date and why?

My favorite trick shot is that of a cheetah gazelle chase in the Masai Mara. The reason why this is a favorite is that the cheetah was running towards me at full tilt (>100 kmph!) and it's impossible to get the cheetah in sharp focus at that speed. I had to anticipate where the cheetah would be while chasing the deer and aim at a flower on the ground to get the shot I wanted!

During the pandemic how did you fulfill your passion in the last two years?

Every time a travel easing/ unlock was announced I would make a driving trip to the forests nearby. Karnataka has such amazing wildlife that one is spoilt for choice! Also, I created a new routine every morning to post one wildlife post on Instagram before the day's meetings began, and the appreciation I used to get for the posts made me always have a positive start to the day!

Do you find any similarities between photography and leadership?

Yes. Photography is an amalgam of art and science, as is leadership. It requires skill that thousands of hours need to be invested in, but it also teaches you humility in that even the most skilled wildlife photographer cannot control nature. Photography, like leadership, also provides wonderful role models for us to learn from - I have always seen good leaders willing to mentor younger colleagues, just like I have seen great photographers always willing to give tips to younger talent. The ultimate reward of leadership is that one can bring out the best in our organization, and it's the same with photography - the photographer is merely getting the best out of the subject's innate beauty - be it wildlife, architecture, or portrait photography!

Photographer I admire:

Jayanth Sharma, who founded Toehold Photos, is a guru of mine!

The camera I use:

I am using a Canon full-frame camera (1DX Mark III) with its brilliant accompaniment of L-series lenses.

Photography gadget I wish to have:

Canon 400mm 2.8 prime lens!