“As a marketing team, we drive Turbonomic's brand awareness and demand generation. Our more than 1,700 customers are our key evangelists - we help them share their experiences and stories around how Turbonomic has helped them transform and modernize their IT to adapt and evolve to the pace of business,” Geeta Sachdev, the CMO of Turbonomic, explained.
Before she was a Boston CMO, Geeta spent her childhood in Southern New Jersey. She studied finance and marketing at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “At Wharton/Penn, I was exposed to many different areas within business along with the liberal arts. It was a really well balanced education.”
After graduation, Geeta was a consultant with Booz Allen in their Financial Services practice, where through various assignments she learned how to strategically solve issues, using an analytically data driven approach to support and build recommendations for a variety of Fortune 500 clients.
Geeta then decided to pursue her interest in marketing at MIT Sloan where she ended up falling in love with the high tech world. During a campus visit from Dell, Geeta interviewed for a marketing position based in Austin, Texas and ended up accepting the job.
“For a Jersey girl, Texas was like another country. I remember telling my mother that I’d be back in a year. However, one year turned into twelve years. I met my husband, had my children and ended up having a terrific experience. I grew to love Austin,” Geeta smiled.
During her twelve years at Dell, Geeta held multiple positions within Dell’s consumer and online businesses, with the most recent role as leading Dell consumer marketing. She even had the opportunity to run the Dell Asia-Pacific Japan online business in Singapore, giving her P&L responsibility and global exposure and experience.
“In the early days, the consumer segment within Dell very much operated as a startup within a much larger company. There was just so much to learn and go after. For those who took ownership, were comfortable with ambiguity and worked well as part of a team, good things happened.”
After over a decade at Dell, Geeta was approached by SolarWinds, a leading IT management software company based out of Austin, to lead their marketing team as CMO. SolarWinds had recently gone public and was in hypergrowth mode.
“The go to market model at SolarWinds was truly disruptive - it was based on a strong partnership between marketing and sales. Marketing had responsibility for building a vibrant SolarWinds community of IT pros and driving 100% online leads and pipeline - sales had responsibility for converting these leads into deals at a high velocity and volume. Having P&L ownership in a hyper growth environment was truly transformative.”
Having lived in Austin for a number of years, Geeta started to think about moving back to the Northeast to be closer to family. As luck would have it, an opportunity presented itself: Ben Nye, a SolarWinds board member, took the position as the CEO of Turbonomic and asked Geeta to join the team as CMO.
Geeta has led the Turbonomic marketing team for the past four years and has helped them drive their record growth.
“Turbonomic is a hybrid cloud management platform where we help our customers activate their hybrid cloud. We unify the monitoring and automation of workloads on premises and/or in AWS and Azure environments, helping our customers accelerate their migration to the cloud. We do this autonomically, meaning the workloads self manage in real time to ensure they have the resources they need to assure performance, lower cost by up to 30%, while maintaining continuous compliance.”
The Turbonomic team is 450 people and growing. Turbonomic last week was named to the Forbes 2017 Cloud 100 list for the second year in a row. Check out this article written by their founder and president, Shmuel Kliger, to find out more about their mission.
BS: How do you identify a good opportunity?
GS: Whenever I consider an opportunity, I look at three things - the team, the technology, and market opportunity. First, I look at the team. Will I enjoy working with this group of folks every day to drive to the mission? Secondly, does the technology help solve real customer pain points - is it truly disruptive? Lastly, how big is the market opportunity that the company is trying to go after?
BS: How do you manage stress?
GS: I take a step back and think, ‘Will this really matter 24, 48 hours from now? What about 48 days from now?’ If I stress myself out, there’s a good chance others will stress out because people reflect off your energy. I also think having kids helps put everything in perspective. So it’s good to just take a step back and decide if it really matters in the overall scheme of things.
BS: How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
GS: One to two. Depending on how the days is going. Today’s a two cup day.
BS: What do you like to do in your free time?
GS: I love to spend time with my kids. I have an eleven year old and a nine year old so most of my free time is spent with them. Outside of kids, I like to read and I love to travel. But there’s not a lot of time so it tends to be kids, work, kids, work.
BS: Where is your favorite spot in Boston?
GS: I love the Cambridge area. I like the vibe.
BS: If you had to choose one thing, what would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
GS: I would say my kids.
BS: Ten years ago, is this where you would have seen yourself?
GS: No. Actually, my husband and I were just talking about this the other day. You never know where life will take you so grab the opportunity as it comes. I would not have anticipated being here ten years back.
BS: What one piece of advice would you give to a recent college graduate?
GS: Don’t always look for the most obvious paths. Seek out paths that aren't the most obvious but where you’re really going to engage your passion. Grab opportunities as they come your way. They may not be the most attractive in everyone’s mindset but often the road least traveled is the most interesting, the most rewarding and the most fruitful.