Carl Schumacher Editor and Chief Blogger at MobileWirelessJobs.com Interviews Manish Gupta the Vice President of Global Marketing at Kabira Technologies at 4G World 2009.
Carl: Manish, congratulations on your move to Kabira Technologies. How have your first few months at Kabira been?
Manish: Thank you Carl (Kabira) is a great place to be. You know you look from the outside when you join a company and then you find out the details once you join a company. It’s been refreshing to note that Kabira is actually doing much better than I had anticipated and expected looking from the outside. I have a great opportunity to put Kabira in the limelight being that it has great assets. We are seeing significant customer traction, the solution value proposition is hitting home with big operators in the US and of course globally, and I look forward to making a huge impact for the company.
Carl: I see that although you’ve only been at Kabira for a short time, you already are speaking here at 4G World and your company is also presenting at a Solutions Theater session. How did you get this effort off and running in such a short time?
Manish: So the industry is not new to me, certainly the core technologies that Kabira brings to the table is something I’ve had to pick up the last couple of months I have been here. I understand the challenges of the customers, the operators. I understand where the gaps are and I have a appreciation for how Kabira can bring value to the customers. So packaging the need with that supply we have on technology and solutions is my job and I feel comfortable that we have defined something that is already getting good reactions, so I am going to share that value proposition with everyone here.
Carl: I understand that Kabira Technologies is an infrastructure software company. Can you tell me how this stacks up against the huge mobile wireless potential market growth? What does Kabira have to gain during this mobile growth trend and how excited are you about Kabira’s opportunities?
Manish: There are dynamics around the mobile infrastructure. Whether you talk about the radio interface billing systems, operating support systems, core networks, devices, applications. Really across the board there are significant changes that are happening. These changes are both opportunities and challenges for the operators. What Kabira offers is a way to monetize the opportunity around mobile data. When the user numbers are increasing the traffic per user is increasing. and the type of services that the user is doing is just exploding in all dimensions. What Kabira can do is help the operators increase it’s Arpu, it can help the operator penetrate segments it has has not been able to in the past. The way we do that is by providing intelligence to the operating support system infrastructure that the carriers have. We sit between the network layer and the back office systems. We extract the information from the Network layer match it to the information that exists on profiles and policies in the back office and hence we can do things such as value based charging, traffic redirection and so on. So I feel very very excited that the opportunities in the market place are just beginning in mobile data. Kabira seems to have hit that at the right time, with the right solution. And we have several proof points with large customers such as AT&T in the US and Rubicon the number 2 operator in Russia, France Telecom with Orange in 25 countries. We have adequate proof points that we can go and support other customers that our not our customers today.
Carl: As you know MobileWirelessJobs.com is a site focused on employment in the wireless field. I wanted to direct a few questions towards that. What advice would you give to people with regard to finding a position with a company with the potential and excitement that Kabira has?
Manish: There are a few things that are the basics, domain knowledge and experience understanding. But really the most important thing that we look for in employees is the cultural fit. It’s the passion and the desire to make something big. I think those are the fundamentals that are necessary in an individual as we consider them for new roles.
Carl: How do feel the 4G World Conference and the presentations of the various technologies being presented will impact hiring in the near future?
Manish: You know I think it will shed opportunities that perhaps the companies have not seen before. As they see those opportunities they will find a way to participate in those growth curves and opportunities the market brings to them. And that hopefully will enable them to put together growth strategies on head count and organizations that will open up new opportunities.
Carl: So what roles will Kabira be hiring for in the next 6 Months to a year?
Manish: We are stream-lining the organization with additional very specific roles. Currently we are looking to add a Director of Product Marketing with a focus on positioning, messaging, a very outbound personality that understands this space and can bring that level of thought process to the marketing organization. We expect to add some product management rolls in the future and as always we are constantly adding some folks in sales as well as on the development side.
Carl: What has been some of the more difficult type of hires you have experienced in the marketplace trying to bring people to your company? What are the road blocks you might find in hiring people?
Manish: I have only been here a couple of months now some it has been a limited experience. We are focused on one that I have been spending my time on which has been the Director of Product Marketing. And really the challenge is just filtering the right folks. Certainly considering the market place there is an abundance of personalities and people. To find the fit, as I mentioned before, the cultural fit is the most important thing for us. That where we spend most of our time as we do the assessment of our candidates.
Carl: I know that from my background you go from a year or so ago where there are not enough candidates to fill the positions, to a year later when there are too many candidates to fill the positions. It seem like it is one or the other, that either you have not enough candidates or such an abundance that you do not have the infrastructure built in to your company to do the hiring because there are so many to interview.
Manish: Right, right right.
Carl: It is a good problem to have, but it does not make it any easier.
Carl: Over the past year there have been so many lay-offs and so many down-sizing’s, how do you feel that has impacted companies within your realm, and where do think the time frame will be when things are starting to move forward in the direction that we were in?
Manish: I think we are already feeling that turn happen in the right direction. My sense is the marketplace, have used up the channel and the inventories that they had and our now looking to rebuild. Similarly on the design and expansion side I think the general sense is that it is starting to move in the right direction. So I would say in the next 6 months there is a little bit, but certainly in the next year you will probably see a significant material change in that perspective.
Carl: Excellent, It seems to be similar to what I am hearing from others and is a good barometer of how things are.
Carl: In closing, if you have to give what is the most important quality that separates your company, that differentiates you from your competitors, what would that be?
Manish: Clearly I would put the people as number one, we have some phenomenal people whether you think about technology, you think about development, you think about marketing and presales we have some great people. Number two is innovation and technology. Kabira has some fundamental technology that is just…there is no comparison to it. The competition plays in the similar space as we do, certainly there are many players. But the foundation underneath the solutions that exist at Kabira which is the in memory processing, very high scale, very low latency, very high availability, that is a unique proposition that underlies every thing that we do and that is something that will enable us to stay ahead of the competition.
Carl: Sound like you have very exciting things going on.