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A #LifeAtVeritas Interview with Varun Verma championing Backup Exec

Hello Vox Readers! I hope you are all staying well and healthy in this challenging time. I recently caught up with Varun Verma, APJ Lead, Enablement and Marketing for Backup Exec. In this latest #LifeAtVeritas Interview Varun shares how he started out his career in IT and shares advice for others wishing to break into the industry. During the interview you’ll get an insight into Varun's style of working and why he is so passionate about Veritas, Backup Exec, his role and helping our customers. Read more below.

Meet Varun VermaMeet Varun VermaZoe: Varun, what made you choose a career in IT?
Varun: Actually, my obsession with computers began since my school days. My parents bought us a Compaq machine in the 1990s with Windows 95 on it, which gave me a big incentive to learn how to program. Soon after graduating with an engineering degree, I had my first taste of what it was like to work on a large, international project. I really enjoyed my first job because I loved creating software to solve problems. That passion to create software has never left me. While I don’t code at work anymore, I do take personal; interest to read up on current development to keep my skills relevant.

With almost sixteen years of experience in the software industry, I’ve worked in several roles including engineering, technical product management, product marketing, pre-sales, and technical enablement, with the past few months being spent focused on sales and partner enablement and helping grow our businesses in new and creative ways.

Zoe: Do you have any career advice for those trying to secure their first IT role?
Varun: My career advice for anyone trying to enter into IT is never to underestimate the importance of communication and being able to work well with others. You can do amazing things in isolation, but the momentum you can get from a team being around you, is huge. You should learn to be able to clearly articulate your ideas, tell stories (with data points), and inspire those around you as you grow. If you learn these soft skills, it will greatly accelerate your career. It’s also equally important to surround yourself with people better than you—as Confucius said, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”

Also, the biggest lesson I have learnt is to never stop learning. It is imperative to have an open mind and be receptive to change and new challenges.

Zoe: What has been your career highlight to date? And what are you most proud of?Verma presenting Backup ExecVerma presenting Backup Exec
Varun: I have been a part of many rewarding initiatives at Veritas. I’ve spoken at various events and worked with multiple local and global teams while solving difficult customer problems. I feel proud whenever I help customers or partners solve their issues.

I am immensely proud of the times I helped customers to get over their fear of losing valuable data with the help of our solution like Backup Exec, above everything else. Nothing is more fulfilling than showing someone a technique in a Veritas product and seeing their eyes light up.

Zoe: What do you enjoy most about your role at Veritas?
Varun: I am responsible for the Backup Exec sales and partner enablement in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). It’s a great role and there are a lot of opportunities to work with great people, cultures and experiences.

My charter is three-fold:

  1. Create new go-to-market opportunities
  2. Engage and enable partners
  3. Support the regional field staff so that Veritas can better deliver to our diverse partner and customer base across APJ

What excites me the most about my role is that it has given me lots of opportunities to present to customers and partners and grow personally and professionally.

We have an amazing work environment, and I love the camaraderie of the team culture. Everybody is passionate about delivering amazing customer experiences. I have been in this role for few months now, and I am learning something new every day, and enjoying my work.

Zoe: To some extent we are influenced by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Varun: My parents are my role models in every way. My mum keeps pushing us all the time. My father always encouraged me to become a good human being. Apart from that, I do take inspiration from the life of late Steve Jobs - for his focus on innovation and design, I wish I had met him in person. But I look for inspiration everywhere, while browsing, watching movies, everywhere.

Varun and his family accepting an IGA AwardVarun and his family accepting an IGA AwardZoe: Different things motivate different people. What motivates you?
Varun: Family! I have a great family, a curious daughter, an awesome wife who supports me with all the crazy work/travel that I do!

In fact, when I have an important presentation to deliver, my wife is usually my first audience! I really feel motivated when I see their smiling faces. At work, making an impact to my customer’s lives is motivating as well!

Zoe: What’s your favourite Veritas solution? Or product?
Varun: That’s pretty easy, Backup Exec! The story of Backup Exec is that of a typical start-up. The journey began in 1982 in a Florida suburb, where Kim and Alison Knapp started Maynard Electronics in their ‘living room’. Since then the innovation continued on the product that has now become the industry leader in its space.

Watching the product evolve over the years has been fascinating, from on-premise to the cloud – specifically spanning the hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios. Backup Exec has always pushing the envelope of what is possible with technology with hundreds of patents – we are truly trying to put together the best set of data protection technologies possible for our customers to achieve their business goals.

I’ve been involved with Backup Exec for more than 13 years and it’s the partnership between the product and customers that makes it all worthwhile.

Zoe: Describe Veritas in one word?
Varun: That’s really hard. But ‘innovative’ keeps coming back and forth to mind.

Veritas has a key principle of “Innovation”. This principle is enshrined in all that we do, and it helps us to deliver the very best experiences for our customers and partners. We are quite fortunate to have a diverse group of people that come together every day with the freedom to innovate.

Zoe: Finally, what technology you can’t live without?
Varun: Without a doubt, my iPhone. I don't leave home without it. It’s my phone, email, calendar, and internet when I’m on the go.

In this mobile and social media driven world most of us would be lost without our mobile devices and my mobile phone would also be technology I couldn't live without. Earlier in the interview Varun shared some valuable tips for those starting out in IT, developing a good communication style and continually learning will put those in god stead when starting out. Although I knew Varun would choose Backup Exec as his favourite product, in the interview you can feel his passion and positivity for Veritas, Backup Exec and our customers in this interview. It was a pleasure catching up with Varun and learning more about his work style, his passion and excitement for our company.

If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Varun Verma, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview-style posts from other people at Veritas. Are you inspired by Varun’s #LifeAtVeritas story and want to join our team? Then please check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.

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