Arun Balasubramanian has over two decades of experience in the technology space in India. He started his career with Digital Equipment Corp-oration in 1997, which was first acquired by Compaq and later HP. “I was fortunate to witness and learn from these large acquisitions, which fast-tracked my knowledge of technology, culture and processes,” he says. He later worked with HP Software, CA Technologies, Salesforce and Microsoft India, playing key roles in driving business growth for these companies. At Microsoft, he led the portfolio of cloud and enterprise products including Azure, Windows Server and SQL, and was responsible for managing the profit and loss.
Earlier this year, Balasubramanian joined Qlik India, a data analytics and business intelligence company, as its managing director. He has been tasked with leading and growing its operations in the Indian subcontinent. “As more enterprises embrace digital transformation, we at Qlik see two clear areas where we can contribute significantly. One, when enterprises want deeper insights from the unprecedented volumes of data they are dealing with, and two, when enterprises think about how to bridge the skill gap around data analytics with data literacy – or the ability to read, analyse, work and argue with data – for the wider workforce,” he says. Qlik currently strives to inspire higher data literacy for everyone, which would help in bridging the foreseeable skill gap in the future and increase the employability of young people in the country.
For Balasubramanian, each of his assignments has been unique. “I have evolved and grown with each one of them. For example, when I joined Salesforce India in 2012, it had a small footprint, both in terms of employees and revenue. Subsequently, we doubled our sales team and even inaugurated a new centre of excellence catering to engineering and global customer support.”
His management style is very open and transparent. “The team is important to me. I am focused on attracting and retaining key talent as well as transforming the organisational culture to make customer success a priority. I follow a customer-first approach and like to be straightforward while communicating,” he adds. Balasubramanian is a computer science engineer and has an MBA from the Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur. An avid reader, he loves books on technology and management. He is also a fitness enthusiast and runs 10 km every day. His wife heads the marketing division of a multinational company.