Meet the HARMAN Luxury Audio Team
Name: Kaning Liang
Position/Job Title: Program Manager – Luxury Audio
With HARMAN Since 2016
With Meet The HARMAN Luxury Team, our goal is for you to get to know us better. In each edition we feature a different member of the team, and this month it’s Kaning Liang, Program Manager – Luxury Audio.
How would you describe what you do in your current role?
I am responsible for project management – I manage the projects from design concept to mass production. I work with an excellent team of product managers, system engineers, acoustic engineers and mechanical engineers to develop the loudspeaker products. I communicate with local suppliers (China or Indonesia) to ensure they understand our team’s needs and make the deliverables happen on time; bridge the conversation between Marketing/Engineering and the suppliers; monitor the issue log, track it and drive it to close; and track the cost, budget and timing of the projects and provide regular project reports to management.
What did you study in school? Did you always imagine yourself doing something like what you’re doing now, or did the fates just take you in that direction?
I studied mold/tooling design and manufacturing for my bachelor’s degree, which followed my father’s expectation, who is a mechanical engineer. After that, I chose to pursue my master’s degree in the UK and majored in product design and management. The project manager was what I was hoping to be during my postgraduate study, and I am grateful that I am one of the PMPs now.
Share with us a little bit of your career arc?
I started my career as a mechanical engineer of Notebook and Server design at Foxconn. I took the job because the manager asked me one question during my interview: ‘If you don’t know the design work, how are you going to manage the project?’ But obviously I did not pursue electrical engineering, so when I got the chance to be a project manager at Emerson Network Power, I moved on. And I’ve been working as a project manager ever since then.
Emerson Network Power is an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) supplier that helps the telecom/server/storage companies to realize their power supply solutions. After five years working there, I found that consumer electronics is a more challenging and more interesting industry so I applied with Microsoft and got a job on the Xbox team to be a development program manager, where I learned to create the product specification and manage the suppliers. After Microsoft, I joined PCH and helped the startup company to develop their hardware products from concept to commercial launch. PCH is a good place and my knowledge of the whole product life management was further developed.
Finally, I came to HARMAN, and the rest is history.
What is the most important thing you have learned over your career?
While skill is important, attitude is everything.
Any other advice you would offer people just starting out in this industry?
Do the research on the brands and products, and understanding industry trends is a good idea.
What are you most proud of in your life?
My daughter and my family.
When did you first realize you had a passion for music or audio? Was there any one song, band or movie that did it for you?
I’ve had a passion for music ever since childhood. I joined a choral group in middle school. And now the favorite entertainment in my family is I sing solo and my daughter accompanies me on the piano.
The first time I understood about ‘good sound’ was here at HARMAN. I realized the music could be so different when you play it with our remarkable products.
What current technology impresses you the most?
Google Project Starline, which is a technology project to enable friends, families and coworkers to feel together, even when they’re cities apart. Through a sort of magic window, you can see another person, life-size and in three dimensions. This is so cool and solves the problem in particular that we have to be home-quarantined because of the novel coronavirus.
What’s your favorite music genre?
Light music and classic pop.
The desert island question, of course. If you were marooned for eternity and could listen to only three albums, what would they be?
Castle In The Sky – Joe Hisaishi
Summer – Joe Hisaishi
Silk Road – Chyi Chin