From discussing his upcoming book to his time in Microsoft, we caught up with Sandeep Nagpal, VP, Marketing, Cvent to see what 2018 looks like for him!
1. What excites you right now in your personal or professional life?
It’s a very interesting stage of my life, both professionally as well as personally. I have been in the industry for 25 years in various leadership roles. Still, each day feels like a new beginning. There are ample opportunities to explore. Up until last year, I was working with SAP as Head of SMB & channel marketing, managing Asia Pacific & Japan region. Last year, I got an opportunity to join Cvent, one of the top 1% SaaS companies globally & a leading cloud-based enterprise event management platform, with tens of thousands of customers and more than 3,000 employees worldwide. Cvent is innovating a lot out of India. This encouraged me to be a part of this company and contribute to its growing success. We’re almost 20 years old now and not many companies get to that scale. We continue to grow and expand aggressively. After a strong 2017, we have plans to hire more than 1,000 people globally. This is an exciting time for me as the company charts its next phase of growth with international expansion.
Talking about my personal life, tentatively titled, ‘Stumped but Not Out’, my memoir, happens to be one of my focus points this year that I devote my weekends to.
2. What are you looking forward to this year in terms of career/personal growth?
At Cvent, the team is young, vibrant and aspiring. The “intrapreneurial” spirit in the people has helped the company achieve great success. My team in India is a diverse talent pool. We are fortunate to have some of the best industry minds managing international regions and supporting global marketing. When I interact with millennials, I see the dreams in their eyes. To be able to work with them, understand and coach them is very motivating. The process of learning and unlearning too excites me. Most of our business was earlier US based but with now offices in Australia and Singapore and newly announced expansion in Dubai & Germany, we are internationally expanding. This is a busy time and I look forward to helping accelerate the company’s growth.
3. What’s your professional story?
I started my career back in 1993 as a graduate engineer trainee at Denso, a Japanese multinational and thereafter spent 6 years in a brick & mortar industry. I worked with companies such as Honda, New Holland and Canon in the factory environment where I learned four things– i) no work is beneath you ii) team is bigger than an individual iii) effective communication is important to avoid chaos and iv) making work fun drives productivity.
New Holland and Canon also gave me exposure to computers as I was part of the ERP (BaaN & Oracle) implementation teams in the early days of systems in India. That’s when the computer bug caught me, and I was keen on making that a career in the IT industry. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to work with Microsoft in the year 2000. I spent close to nine years in various sales, marketing and operations roles for Microsoft. It was an immensely satisfying stint. In 2008, I joined Nokia to head the business mobility function with a P&L responsibility for internet-based SaaS applications in mobile commerce. In an enriching two- year stint, I recruited a team of professionals and built the team, launched the mobile commerce solutions commercially, created a network of partners and won many mid-size to enterprise customers for business mobility. My last role before joining Cvent was with SAP as VP & Head of SMB & Channel Marketing in Asia Pacific and Japan, where I spent seven years.
4. What is one of your defining moments in your career/personal space?
The turning point in my career happened when I got a call from Microsoft. I was not proactively searching for a change, but I received a call for a role as a program manager for marketing programs. I didn’t have a clue back then what a program manager meant. Coming from a different industry altogether, I had no idea how to write a code. I could implement ERP as a functional expert but not programming, which I thought was the role out of my ignorance. After a few long calls and interviews, I realized this is the role I wanted to do. I was afraid of changing the course, but I knew it was a lifetime opportunity which would enormously shape my career and I didn’t want to let go. I had an amazing time at Microsoft with immense learning opportunities. At this stage of my life, when I look back, I am proud of my decision and the challenge I took. This reinforced my belief in hard work, perseverance, quest to learn and do something different.
5. What advice would you give to young people just starting out their careers in your field?
Invest in learning and building relationships! Do not be satisfied with your degrees. You need to invest your time into learning new skills. Acquiring knowledge from peers and mentors is essential especially in the first five years of your career. You should accept a job not for the salary but for the learning opportunities it offers. Building relationships is the key to success. Strong, enduring relationships builds trust. You need to invest in each relationship without expectation of any immediate returns. Like any other investment, it always pays dividends in the long run.
Sandeep is the Vice President of Marketing at Cvent. He is responsible for accelerating growth, build brand visibility, drive opportunity creation in the international markets, specifically APAC MEA. He also heads Global Demand Center in India for Cvent. Sandeep has held several senior leadership positions & managed diverse portfolios in companies like Honda Motors, Canon, New Holland tractors, Microsoft, Nokia & SAP prior to joining Cvent. Known for his strategic thinking and execution focus, he has inspired trust, built teams and motivated people to perform and deliver results. In his leisure time, he enjoys writing and listening to jazz.