Behind the Screen: Meet Vish Bala, Head of Engineering

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Explorate is built by logistics experts and powered by cutting-edge technology. Meet Vish, a Manchester United fan and our Head of Engineering. He’s the man working with a high-performing engineering team to transform Explorate’s vision into powerful features. 

Thanks to forward thinkers like Vish, the freight forwarding and international trade industry has a great opportunity to be transformed by digital innovation: 

“I love the idea of disrupting the freight forwarding industry with digitisation” says Vish. Read on to find out how he’s taking on the challenge!


I was born and bred in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. I am a tech enthusiast who always strives to learn and explore new technologies. Software development has always been my passion, so I did my bachelors in software engineering back home. After the degree, I worked a few years as a software engineer. Then, my love for data science brought me into Australia to pursue my masters at QUT in 2017. 


  1. Can you tell us a bit more about your role at Explorate and how long you’ve been with the company?

I started in November 2018 as a software developer. Explorate back then had only 3 employees, and I was hired as the main backend developer. I am currently the Head of Engineering and act as an intersection between business and technology, and I also manage a high-performing engineering team.

  1. What drew you to Explorate initially?

While progressing my masters, I was looking for a part-time software development job, that’s when I met Conor in a networking event. A quick chat with him grabbed my interest and brought me into an interview with Alex and Conor. This was when the office was in Alex’s garage. I walked into the garage and I was sold! You hear some of the successful tech startups have started in a garage and I was telling myself this is going to be one of those. But most importantly, I loved the idea of disrupting the freight forwarding industry with digitisation. 

  1. What does a typical day look like to you?

A typical day at Explorate for me is transforming Explorate’s vision into a roadmap of features and giving directions to my team to build them in the Explorate platform and deliver them in an iterative approach.

  1. What are three words you would use to describe Explorate?

Home away from home.

  1. What’s been your favourite project you’ve worked on at Explorate so far?

My favourite project is of course building the digital freight forwarding web platform from scratch. Outside that, any project that involves data and analytics excites me a lot. Recently, I have been working on a project to identify and visualise supply chain risks using various data points.

  1. Something interesting that you’ve watched, read or listened to recently?

Favourite quote that has always stuck with me:

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realise we only have one.” ― Confucius

Something interesting that I’ve watched recently: Drive to Survive docuseries. It covers the behind the scenes of the Formula 1 sport. I started watching it for the sport itself but eventually what excited me the most was the way how this sport is reliant on data-driven decisions and teamwork. 

  1. What do you like to do outside of work?

I enjoy watching, playing or talking about football. I am a football fanatic who religiously supports Manchester United football club. 

  1. What’s a fun fact about you that most people wouldn’t know?

I can solve a 12 sided Rubik’s cube. 

  1. If you could switch roles with someone else in the team for a day, who would it be and why?

Alex or Conor. I want to know how it would be to manage me! On a serious note, it would be to experience managing all segments of the company.