Born: Chandigarh, in North India; grew up in New Delhi
Where did you get your education?
First was (Indian Institute of Technology) in New Delhi. There are about 200,000 who apply and they take less than 2,000, so it was 99 percent elimination rate, and so it’s a big deal to get in. And it’s almost free because the government subsidizes it, and you work with this amazing set of peers. Then I got a scholarship to come to study at Columbia for my master’s in industrial engineering and operations research, so Columbia completely funded not just my studies but my staying and living expenses. At that point, I joined ZS and did a part-time MBA at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University.
What was your very first job?
I’m still in it. My first job was at ZS. I had not worked anywhere else, and I joined ZS as an associate, which was the lowest rank, and at that point, we had eight or nine levels, so it took about six years to go through those to become a partner in the firm, so I’ve been a partner in the firm for the last 16 years.
If you could be one superhero, who would you be and why?
Iron Man. And there are three characteristics: He’s mortal inside, self-made, and he leverages knowledge and technology, and of course, many of those do fit what I value.