One of the biggest names in technology today is Sameer Dholakia. The Harvard-educated businessman began his executive career at Trilogy, a corporate software solutions company. He then moved to Citrix, a multinational software as a service and cloud computing-based corporation (though they provide other products and services). Dholakia first joined Sendgrid, Inc. in 2014. This company is a Denver-based e-mail communication platform that has a specific focus on transactional and marketing e-mails. He has served as CEO and President of the company for a while now. His hard work is what led the company to go public in 2017.
This CEO is a savvy businessman, and a respectable human being. He has many great insights on the world as it is in the 21st Century. If you want to learn a little more about this CEO, read on and you will find out Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Sameer Dholakia.
He Respects E-mail
Naturally, the SendGrid CEO has significant respect for e-mail as a method of communication. He has called it an “extraordinarily efficient channel of communication”, noting that many people “change home addresses more frequently than [their] personal email address”. This attitude is probably what led him to join up with SendGrid.
He Advocates for Open Communication
Running a large business would be a nightmare without a proper system for communication. Thus, a lot of Sameer Dholakia’s work as CEO has involved designing an efficient communication architecture. Dholakia’s system is intended to move instructions down the chain of command efficiently, while simultaneously bringing feedback up the chain.
His First 30 Days as CEO Were Spent in Meetings
Individual meetings, team meetings, and informal get-togethers made up most of Dholakia’s first 30 days at the head of SendGrid. It was a clever move as chief executive, allowing him to get the best feel for where the company stood when he took the helm. After all, the employees are on the front-lines of the business, and provide the best perspective on what is going well or poorly in the course of business.
He Strives for a Balanced Life
The days of a CEO are incredibly busy. Dholakia has to work frequently, as well as travel all over the country all the time. Of course, he also has a family that he must devote some time to. This is why he picks out a few activities to do with his kids, and sets aside an uninterrupted time to do so. This helps him renew his focus for when he returns to the grind of being a CEO.
He Believes in Reinvestment in Existing Products
Dholakia has attributed a lot of SendGrid’s success to reinvesting in products that already exist. Though one’s software engineers might be pining for a new set of products, money is better spent on customer retainment through strong technical and onboarding support. Having a strong support system will help a company to establish leadership in the game.
He Places a Lot of Emphasis on New Hires
When Dholakia became CEO of SendGrid, he restructured their hiring program entirely. For example, he cut the amount of engineers allowed to make hiring decisions from 33 to 13, citing that hiring should be a privilege rather than an obligation. He also believes that being able to talk to some of the biggest names in the game could help score some highly sought-after recruits.
He Is Fiscally Conservative
Sameer Dholakia has been a rather moderate CEO during his time leading SendGrid. He recognizes the importance of seizing opportunities, but preaches restraint when embarking upon new economic ventures or making acquisitions. He will never spend money he doesn’t have, or sacrifice profitability for expansion. His moderate leadership has been proven to be effective, as it only took around 3 years for him to bring SendGrid to the point where it became a publicly-traded company.
He Personally Went After Funding
This CEO was quite determined to bring SendGrid to new heights after he joined the company in 2014. He even spoke with Ajay Agarwal of Bain Capital Ventures several times, inviting him out for drinks and telling him he’d have to listen to his proposals anyway. His persistence eventually wore Agarwal down, and he scored a sizeable amount of funds for the company.
He’s a Protector of Company Culture
SendGrid culture revolves around the four H’s – Happy, Hungry, Honest, and Humble. Though Dholakia has stated that “Humble” is his favorite H, he protects all of company culture. He even calls himself a Chief Cultural Officer, and views the preservation of company culture as one of the main jobs of the CEO.
He Was Successful Before
At Trilogy, Dholakia joined up when it was only a start-up. He was a key player in making the company into the multimillion dollar company it is today. He continued his great performance at Citrix, doubling their revenues for each year that he worked as the Group Vice President and General Manager of Cloud platforms. It is really no surprise that he was able to lead SendGrid to the position they hold today.
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Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker