An Endless Journey of Self-discovery and Experimentation: In Conversation with Animesh Patel
In this edition we talk to an ADEPT leader in technology, who climbed the corporate ladder, from a junior position to leadership role in a span of 13 years. Meet Animesh Patel, Associate Director of Engineering at GS Lab, who is leading our development unit single-handedly from Vadodara.
1 – Tell us your story, Animesh. How has your career roadmap shaped in Technology, and what are all the responsibilities packed under one title?
I joined an MNC immediately after my M.Tech. and worked as SAP-BI consultant for a short duration. But it wasn’t giving me the kick I was looking for. So I started searching for more dynamic, technology-oriented and challenging work, which landed me at GS Lab.
I started my GS Lab journey as a Member of the Technical Staff (now known as a Software Engineer) in 2008. During this exciting journey, I not only got a chance to work in many different technologies, domains and different phases of the product life cycle but also tried my hand on many different roles and areas such as Identity and Access Management (IAM), security, backend software stack fitness tracking and emergency response devices, enterprise application integrations, and others.
In terms of product life cycle, I have worked with product R&D teams in defining and developing different product use cases and building POCs. I had also been involved in early stage product development, trying to prove their product ideas and adjusting products to meet early adopter’s expectations. Later in my career, I worked on system integrations which helped our client organizations to configure, customize and integrate enterprise applications.
I started off as a developer, and moved on to roles such as tech lead / team lead, project manager, account manager, leading a technology specific group and leading a development center.
My current role has multiple responsibilities, but a few of the major ones are leading the Salesforce and MuleSoft technology group, managing a few customer accounts and leading the Vadodara development center. These roles include building and grooming teams in specific technology areas, defining a growth roadmap for these areas/groups and definitely for team members, working with the business development team to identify potential opportunities and help kickoff the new projects.
2 – What was a pivotal breakthrough point in your career that enabled you to grow in this ever-evolving tech landscape?
I won’t say a “pivotal breakthrough point” but there are a few subtle learnings from my personal experiences. These learnings help me, not only in day-to-day decision-making but also in times of taking a less traveled path or even in times of facing a failure.
- Don’t let your fear of failure drive your decisions. I believe that anyone can bounce back from a failure with hard work, knowledge and persistence. This is something that helps me try out new challenges even if it’s quite different from what I have done so far.
- Another lesson that I have learned is that things can go wrong when you least expect it. So, be prepared for that.
- Trust people around you. This makes people become more responsible, helps in delegation of responsibility, helps them grow in their career, makes yourself open for new ideas, and creates more time for you to spend on other important things.
3 – From an employee development to charting career roadmap, how has GS Lab been a catalyst in your journey?
Here are the things I would consider as a catalyst for myself, as well as for all my colleagues at GS Lab.
The first thing is the open culture and easy access to senior leadership from the very first day at GS Lab. This helps not only to share freely what is on your mind but also to get a good sounding board for ideas or challenges you are facing. Such conversations are packed with lots of insights.
GS Lab keeps adopting the latest technologies, which generates learning opportunities for all. Working with strong technical teams on such opportunities gives lots of learnings. Along with creating opportunities, providing a supportive environment for employees, encouraging them to learn new things and supporting them when things are not favorable is very crucial and helpful too.
4 – With an added responsibility of running ODC, how do you ensure balance in your personal and professional interests while keeping your passion for tech alive?
Like most of us, my weekdays are more inclined towards work while I try to balance it by spending weekends with family and friends.
Health is an important aspect and you can’t leave it for weekends only. So, my usual day starts with some running or yoga. On a few weekends, I go for some leisure cycling as well.
Similarly, breakfast and dinner are family times. No matter how busy the day is, we make sure to have these two meals together along with family gupshup. This is our daily dose of family time.
On the work side, being involved in multiple things, usually many urgent, unplanned tasks pop up in my schedule, so I keep some time aside for such things. At times, these may become overwhelming but then you need to step back and see how to fix the overall situation instead of individual tasks by prioritizing and delegation. Strong support systems in the form of good leaders and strong teams are the saviors.
5 – What message you would like to give to today’s tech workforce?
We are in an ever-changing tech world. Having strong technical fundamentals is what helps you to easily adopt new tools and technology stacks whenever needed. Have a long term view of your career. Think how you want to shape your career in the next 5-10 years, and not just the next few months.
Animesh Patel | Associate Director Engineering | Enterprise Technologies (Salesforce & MuleSoft) | GS Lab
Animesh Patel serves as Associate Director Engineering at GS Lab and heads GS Lab’s Vadodara development center. He leads engineering and delivery of Enterprise Application Development and Enterprise Integrations related projects using platforms like Salesforce & MuleSoft. He has 14+ years of experience in builds scalable software products & solutions in many different domains like, IAM (Identity & Access Management), GRC (Governance, Risk & Compliance), Security, Virtualization, Fitness tracking and CC & UC (Contact Center & Unified Communications) related products. Over the years, he helped building engineering teams in various domains and technologies and successfully delivered multiple customer projects.