DSA was privileged to catch up with Effendy Ibrahim, Vice President of Veeam Asia & Japan while he was at the VeeamON Forum Kuala Lumpur, held at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral. He shared about his role and experiences as VP as well as his regional and local plans to continue growing the Asian market for Veeam as it currently contributes 4% to total Veeam revenue. He says he plans to increase this to 10% to 12% by 2020.
Perhaps being more acclimatised to the region gives him a better understanding and therefore know how in making the target a reality. As an Asian running, the reason we surmised he may bring some inherent understanding of local business culture is to bare that some of his expat peers lack.
Effendy however is not so hung up on his or other’s backgrounds. “Philosophically, I feel it just makes sense to hire whomever we think can do the job that we need them to do, regardless of where they are from. Certainly, we have a lot of respect and expectations for people that are based locally,” shared Effendy as he described the working environment at Veeam.
“People who are based locally know the markets they operate in. I think one of the advantages is cultural proximity” although he stressed there were no hard and fast rules about it.
“It comes down to having the right opportunity, the right opening or the right management thinking in terms of getting the right person to fit the role regardless of where they came from,” he added.
With that we asked him how he felt the APJ region is progressing for Veeam.
“Asia still represents a very good prospect for Veeam. We are still relatively underpenetrated in a lot of markets despite having a 40% YoY growth in this journey. To be fair, Veeam’s presence in Asia really started towards the end of 2014. If you think about investment cycles, we’ve grown healthily but there’s still a lot of opportunities that exist everywhere and not in just one particular country”.
Probably a big task to take on but Effendy believes he can steer the team to make Asia grow faster than the global growth projected by Veeam.
“I think it is fair to expect. Globally we have a lot of mature markets that started around 8 to 10 years ago. Currently Asia represents 3 to 4 percent global revenue and we want to make it 10 to 12 percent that requires us to grow at a very fast rate.” he pointed out saying Veeam was headed to become a 1.5 billion revenue company by 2020 and he felt Asia could do more in helping to achieve that goal.
“It’s not something we feel we can’t do. We have a lot of underpenetrated markets, we have good teams on the ground now and when we stick to the plan, stay focused especially in terms of helping our customers solve their problems, I think we’ll be ok.”
He added that although they have a lot of offices in many countries in the region, and Malaysia being the biggest hub for their inside sales team, having an office is not as important as establishing together a good team.
“I’ll give you an example. One of our best teams in the region is in Hong Kong. They don’t want an office. They say their team works so well in terms of their working dynamics that they don’t need an office space.”
Although they meet every week, he added that what the company stands for isn’t about an office space but it is about what the products can do, how you interact with customers and channel partners. “We want to beef up our presence on the ground by making sure we continue to retain our talent and also finding qualified and experienced employees to join our journey in achieving all the company goals.”