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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
Purna Chandra Mahato
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Brett Powell is a Senior Director of Global Enablement at Coupa Software, a company that delivers Value as a Service through their cloud platform for business spend management. In this role, Brett is responsible for leading strategic efforts to deliver Value as a Service, and for building a function focused on increased performance outcomes and global consistency for internal, external, and future customers. His stated purpose in work life, “produce happy and productive employees,” says a lot about him. Before joining Coupa Software in 2018, Brett spent 7 years at Equinix, working his way up to Director of Global Customer Care Training & Enablement. Prior to that, Brett worked at Comcast, and earlier in his career, took on the roles of Media Production Specialist and Teacher.
Interviewed by Nimish Vohra
// What significant challenges are you facing as a result of COVID and how do you work around them?
The issues we face as an organization are similar to those facing other tech and SaaS companies who are following a general WFH policy. One thing we’re missing is the passing, face-to-face, informal conversations that reveal nuggets of knowledge that can be used for enablement inspiration or to fill gaps in ongoing training. Zoom burnout can also be a challenge, especially when we default to 30-min or 1-hour meeting time frames even though most meetings can be resolved in 10-15 minutes or casually on Slack video.
On a personal level, you are either by yourself and dealing with some level of social detachment or have a family and trying to keep your kids engaged.
// How has COVID impacted seller productivity, and how have you been addressing this?
I should note that most of our sales team worked remotely prior to COVID. With that said, the greatest impact comes from the inability to travel and meet prospects and customers in a face-to-face environment. This has a demoralizing effect and can cause a real or perceived lack of connection with prospects. We have been addressing this through the promotion and enablement of communication tools like Slack and Zoom, along with WFH best practices (e.g. how to stay focused, resilient) and several live webinars on selling during COVID with invited SMEs.
// With new data being generated by remote working, have you changed the way you track enablement and deal progression?
No, we’ve always tracked enablement; however, we do now communicate our KPIs more frequently. Sales operations sits outside my purview, but to my knowledge, we haven’t changed how we track deal progression either.
// Have COVID circumstances exposed any scope for optimization in your technology or processes?
No, we didn’t have to change much. We had to get the entire company on Slack, which was previously used mostly in services and engineering. Apart from that, we spent some time enabling Zoom best practices.
// Aside from the need to switch to remote training, has there been a philosophical shift in your approach to sales training?
The major shift for me and my team was to embrace online course production tools, specifically Articulate Rise. It’s not that we didn’t have online courses already, but we usually turned to our internal instructional design team or contracted externally to produce content. Now, we use Rise to rapidly produce our own online courses. Since March, we have created dozens of courses and replaced outdated sales training content.
// How have selling strategies been altered at your organization? Will this shape future strategy in a post-COVID world?
As mentioned earlier, we were already selling remotely prior to COVID, so there hasn’t been a shift at my organization. Looking ahead, there is no doubt that remote selling strategies will last for years to come. An unjustified increase in scrutiny on T&E is possible, and heavier reliance on tools such as Marketo, SalesLoft and Zoom is likely.
// What are the lasting industry-wide changes that you expect to see staying beyond the COVID phase?
I think we have crossed an important line for the private (and public) sector, now that online/on-demand training is a viable alternative to instructor-led training. Even after employees are back in the office, it will be expected that they complete a large portion of their onboarding and ongoing training via a blended approach of synchronous and asynchronous enablement events.
// Are you looking forward to a return to business as usual? Please expand on this.
Yes, as I do not like to work from home all% of the time. I enjoy traveling to meet and enable colleagues. On a professional note, I do hope that when we go back to business as usual, we will remember the lessons learned and adjust our personal and professional lives accordingly.
// What is the single biggest learning you’ve taken from this experience?
Resiliency is the most important capability we have and should enable in people.
Combating Zoom fatigue in the wake of COVID
Kyle Abel, Director of Sales Enablement, Guidewire Software
Expect more partnerships, acquisitions and channel sales
Jenn Haskell, Director of Sales Enablement, Everbridge
Compassion and authenticity help connect in difficult times
Robert Koehler, Director of Sales Effectiveness, Compass