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Life At Veritas Interview with Vijay Mhaskar: A fascination for electronics led an engineer calling

Hello VOX Readers, I hope everyone is staying well and healthy. In my last #LifeAtVeritas interview, I caught up with Garth Scully. I want to introduce my first Life At Veritas autumn interview, which is with Vijay Mhaskar, Vice President of Engineering for NetBackup, based in Pune, India. During this interview, Vijay shares how he got into IT, influenced by his father and brother, insights into a day in a life of an engineer, career advice for people trying to break into the industry, and a recruiting plug for his team. Yes, we are hiring engineers! Read Vijay’s interview below to find out more about him.

Meet Vijay MhaskarMeet Vijay MhaskarZoe: Welcome Vijay, thank you for agreeing to participate in the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. What made you choose a career in IT?
Vijay: During my childhood, I had a great fascination for electronics. My father and elder brother were in the electrical engineering field; this gave me a chance to play with electronics early in my school days. This fascination led me to take up an undergraduate course in Electrical Engineering. The entry into computers happened as part of my post-graduation, I was excited about building computers, and I built a micro-programmable graphics processor as part of my dissertation. My ambition for building complex computers drew me towards a career in IT.

Zoe: Can you share a summary of a day in the life of an Engineer?
Vijay: As an engineer, one is taught to define problems and come up with multiple solutions. And this aspect stays the same throughout the life of a professional engineer. The type and complexity of the problem may vary whether technical, management, logistic, or some other field. The solutions will, of course, differ as per the problem. An engineer draws a lot of thrill at solving complex problems. A day in an engineer’s life starts with finding a solution for a problem, and throughout the day, they will solve problems, but invariably when they leave work, they will carry a new problem home to mull over for the rest of the evening.

The IT field is evolving rapidly, so one aspect of an engineer’s life is upgrading, upskilling, and continuous learning. It’s almost become part of my DNA now.

Zoe: What career advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role? Are you recruiting?
Vijay: I believe that if you follow your hobby, you don’t need to work.

The IT industry is a knowledge industry. The knowledge is upgrading very fast. So, if one wants to pursue a career in IT, one should have a passion for digital life and also remain curious enough to learn every day. There are a lot of opportunities for building a career in IT.

And yes, I am hiring bright and passionate talent.

Zoe: In your opinion, what leadership traits make a good leader? And what’s your leadership style?
Vijay: The following points come to mind when leading successfully:

  • As a leader, either one has to be visionary or find a visionary around him/her and leverage him/her fully. 
  • A leader has to be open-minded to new ideas and challenge the status quo.
  • A leader should build a team that will run fast. And when he/she leaves the team, the team would still be running. A leader should be able to motivate a team and get the best performance from any team.
  • A leader should be a coach rather than a manager.
  • A leader should build a succession plan and feel secure with it.

I like to practise a situation-based leadership style. It’s important to know what style to use when and in how much in measure.

Vijay, his wife and sonVijay, his wife and sonZoe: To some extent, we have been influenced in our personal and work lives by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Vijay: My father has a lot of influence on me. His ability to keep a cool head and figure out a solution for every situation inspires me. I have also been lucky to have excellent managers in my career. Deepak Mohan has been a great motivation for me. His ability to think big and strategic always amazes me. I am also influenced by Jane Zhu, who has a great memory and attention to detail.

Zoe: How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams across your region?
Vijay: In our careers, there is always more to ask and more to do than what the bandwidth permits. In my opinion, we are successful if each of us and each member around us is able to contribute their best effort. Successful teams need to have a common objective. The key to building successful teams is to define the common objective and create an engagement for each member with the common objective.

Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate remote teams across India? Especially in these uncertain times.
Vijay: Talented and bright people around me always motivate me. I like intellectual stimulation, and I have always been fortunate to find people around me who are smarter than me. I work for NetBackup engineering, and we have seen numerous customer change requests, which we call ransom notes. Teams are excited and charged when they know that a customer is waiting for what they are working on. These customer asks, keep the teams engaged and charged.

Zoe: Vijay, why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Vijay: First and foremost, Veritas has been the leader in data protection and storage technologies for over three decades. The commitment to keep investing in new technologies and solutions to keep that edge in the market, makes Veritas a very exciting place to work. Of course, Veritas has some of the best talent, and it’s a great learning experience to work with world class talent. Why not join my team?

Zoe: Nice plug for your engineering vacancies! What’s your favourite Veritas solution or product?
Vijay: Of course, NetBackup! A product built 30 years ago can still lead the market and grow every day.

Vijay and his son enjoying a walkVijay and his son enjoying a walkZoe: Vijay, what do you like to do in your free time?
Vijay: I like to walk and garden, when I find free time. I am a nature person.

Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Vijay: I find video conferencing technologies have made the world flat. In this pandemic situation, one can’t imagine life without video conferencing technologies.

In Vijay’s interview, you can feel the passion he has for his career, team, and the work he is doing at Veritas with NetBackup, delivering a world-class data protection solution for our customers. If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Vijay Mhaskar, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview-style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply.