Meet Shailesh Bhor

Vice President, Technology,  Sleep Number

Shailesh may have grown up in India, but today Minneapolis-Saint Paul is his home thanks to a welcoming tech community.

Shailesh is improving sleep.

Sleep Number is helping people sleep sound and dream big. Here in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Shailesh discovered a technology community where people solve real problems.

SHAILESH BHOR

Vice President, Technology, Sleep Number

For Shailesh, it’s always been about opportunity.

After growing up in India and studying microprocessor and electronics engineering at university, Shailesh seized an opportunity to come to the United States. Here, he had a simple but ambitious goal: to build a career and fulfill his dreams.

“As part of my job for the first few years I visited 25 states”, Shailesh says. “I lived in Silicon Valley for a year. But I always felt that Minnesota had this one thing, which was authenticity of culture.”

While the culture of Minneapolis-Saint Paul is what lured him here, it was the willingness of his peers and neighbors to accept him as his authentic self that made Shailesh truly feel at home. “The people around me were ready to actually embrace me for who I was, actually.”

“Think about it, right,” invites Shailesh. “Someone like me who came from India and didn’t even understand the culture and the language and the accent. But this particular state embraced me.”

The choice to stay and build a life in MSP opened the door to a series of career opportunities for Shailesh, including his current role as Vice President of Technology at Sleep Number, which is headquartered in downtown Minneapolis.

If you haven’t noticed, work culture is important to Shailesh. So much, in fact, that when introducing himself and his professional title, he adds his sleep number. “My sleep number setting is 55, sleep IQ was 87, had a great night’s sleep.” A true, all-in member of Sleep Number’s team.

At Sleep Number, Shailesh is responsible for managing all of the company’s technology platforms. It’s a field that is always changing, but Shailesh attributes MSP’s culture of collaboration and problem-solving to the region’s growth over the more than two decades he has been a resident.

“I’ve been in [MSP] for 23 years. In 23 years I can the diversity of industries growing in the twin cities,” says Shailesh, who lives with his family in Woodbury, in the eastern part of the metro area. “The people in this community continue to collaborate. I am part of so many groups at this point where I have the opportunity to listen to what other companies are doing, how they are driving innovation, customer experiences, how they are bringing technology to actually improve people’s lives.”

Still, there’s something else that has kept Shailesh and his family here all these years: the opportunities for his family in MSP. “Silicon Valley is the “mecca of technology”, right,” Shailesh allows. “But there is something about this state where the opportunities for our kids [are all] in one place. Minnesota was always the place where we could call home.”

The opportunities offered to Shailesh and his family in MSP are reinforced by the culture of the tech community here – a community focused on creating a future that benefits all. (There are more than 200 technology groups and meetups like Minnestar that can be discovered by visiting Tech.mn.)

“When I look at the industries in [MSP] it’s all about mission, purpose, improving people’s lives,” affirms Shailesh. “This is an amazing place where you are always welcome.”

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“The people in this community continue to collaborate. I am part of so many groups at this point where I have the opportunity to listen to what other companies are doing, how they are driving innovation, customer experiences, how they are bringing technology to actually improve people’s lives.”

Shailesh Bhor

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