Varun Mehta - The Einstein Trailblazer
Below you’ll be able to read a short version of Varuns’ Trailblazer story. The interview was taken during a coffee break in Berlin. Thank you for the inspiring conversation and your ever so amazing story Varun!
Born in Kanpur, India, Varun was raised by his mother, a Sanskrit and Psychology teacher and principle of a School close to Delhi. At the age of 10, he was enrolled into a boarding school in the outer Himalayas, where he was given formal education until he was 17. It was a structured life full of discipline where days were starting at 5 in the morning and lasting until 9 in the evening.
After finishing boarding school and spending the majority of his youth in a streamlined and uniform environment, Varun decided on contemplating and experimenting for one year. That allowed him get a deeper understanding of what he actually wanted to do with his life. During that time he actually enrolled into pre-medical examinations in order to become a medical doctor but also explored other areas, that he felt, have not had room enough in his life so far.
I’ll never forget it. It was a tough time as I did not know what to do. How could I. I was young, full of energy and had the world at my feet but at the same time, family- and cultural related expectations on my shoulders.
There have been many things that I learned at school from an educational point of view. But there was no room to really explore other sides to me. Actually, and you may not believe it, I was quite an introvert guy. In order to overcome my respective fears, I eventually challenged myself and tried to become a News Anchor on a local TV station close to Delhi. I tell you, it was quite an experience to say the least! In the end it was not for me but it helped me a lot to become more confident with people and eventually with myself.”
After a whole year of contemplating and experimenting, Varun decided to go for two Bachelor programs. One in Sociology and one in Economics. During that time he also looked into Sales and started working in a call centre, selling telecommunication contracts to end consumers in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“It was the hands on experience that I wanted. I felt educated but never got the real meaning of the economic cycle. There is no better way to learn it than in sales. Period. I was living according to the respective time-zones of the countries I was selling into and the atmosphere on the sales floor was like in the film Wolf of Wall street. During that time my interest grew into two directions: firstly information technology and secondly in foreign cultures. For me it became apparent that my path was eventually leading me outside of India. Now I realize that was my first experience as a Trailblazer. No one in my family had aver undertaken a step into the real unknown. It was, after all, quite exciting as I had the urge of going full throttle.”
Varun eventually decided to leave India and came to Germany in 2009.
“It was either Australia, Finland or Germany” Varun remembers. “In the end, I was mostly attracted to Germany. To be honest, mainly because of the stereo typical things I have heard about the country and the people. The combination of technological superiority and the anticipated living standards made my decision easy. In addition to that, my dear friend Ankur also played a vital role in the decision making process.”
It was October 9th 2009 when Varun reached Frankfurt an der Oder at minus 25 degrees.
He enrolled into a Masters Program of International Business Informatics at the European University. During that time Varun's passion for technology and the related social and economical impact grew to a driving factor, that should shape his private and professional life from now on.
“It eventually felt like I have arrived where I had to be. My profession became my passion. From then everything changed as I got more focused. At this point it became clear that I wanted to have a real career in IT, specifically in IT Consultancy.”
During his studies, Varun visited Berlin regularly and his acquired skills seemed to be best put into action in the German capital, which was more and more becoming the silicon valley of Europe.
“I was starting internships within companies like Outfittery and many more. During that time I got familiar with Salesforce.com. But it was one company and some people within, that really changed the game for me.”
Varun started his first real consulting role at a company called YOUR SL. Back in the days, YOUR SL was one of the key consulting firms within the German Salesforce Ecosystem. It was founded and lead by the charismatic leader Thorsten Köhler, who also had a profound impact on Varun, not only professionally, but also personally.
“From a personal and professional point of view it was one of the best experiences for me. It was my first consulting role and I was entrusted with responsibility that very rarely is being put on the shoulders of such young people. I have to point out that the CEO was incredibly entrusting but incredibly demanding at the same time. Never have I ever met anyone like it ever since. The company was actually running the biggest Salesforce transformation story globally for one of the most prestigious clients in the world. It was totally amazing. When I think about it today, I sometimes wonder how everything eventually worked out. After all, YOUR SL has been competing against the biggest consulting companies in the world - and did beat them to the ground. Eventually they have been bought by Salesforce. What a success story that was. I am still ever so proud to have been a part of that story for a while and will always be thankful for the experiences I made there. Absolutely life changing.”
It was the entrepreneurial spirit that really had the biggest impact on Varun, eventually making him exploring other consulting companies as well. There were a couple of stops at Berlin based Salesforce clients but also independent work for non-profit organisations. Varuns' professional path lead to Deloitte, one of the most prestigious consulting companies in the world. Now, he is heavily engaged into Einstein Analytics implementations for large Enterprise Clients, whilst working in the capacity as a Senior Consultant.
“Since working for Deloitte I was able to utilise and combine all the knowledge and experience I could gain throughout my personal and professional life. All of that in an environment, where the digital transformation is being celebrated everyday. I am excited about the potential the Salesforce technology holds for companies and people alike. I am especially passionate about Einstein Analytics as the impact of the solution delivers unparalleled benefits to the clients on all business levels. A real game changer in the journey of the Digital Transformation for any organisation.”
Giving back. Sharing knowledge. Making a network grow. Helping colleagues and companies. Bringing people together. These are, in a nutshell, the core intentions of Varun.
“I feel ever so humble and grateful for the career I could build because of Salesforce. The people I have met during my still very young career are so amazing and they are also one of the reasons, why I decided to become a trailblazer. For me, trailblazing is the creative, almost artistic ability everyone holds within our industry. It is an outlet that allows to walk a path that has not been walked on before. Trailblazing gives room for experimenting and room for success and failure. In the end, Trailblazing is the process and the path. The path that everyone walks on, in their own terms. I share my journey with you and it totally excites me.”
Varun is a trailblazer. You are a trailblazer. We all are trailblazers.
Let’s trailblaze together.