How Nutanix’s Mandy Dhaliwal is shaping the future of tech by focusing on innovation
In an interview with YourStory, Mandy Dhaliwal, Chief Marketing Officer, Nutanix, shares her perspective on leadership, tech trends, and why one must be creative, but also ‘very data-driven’.
"Speak up, rise up, and drive your career,” said Mandy Dhaliwal, Chief Marketing Officer at Nutanix, advising women who are either in a leadership role or aspiring to be a leader.
She further suggested that women in the corporate world should not think they are not ready for a particular role or they do not have experience. “Throw your hat in the ring. In the worst-case scenario, you're going to learn something new, right?” she said.
In a candid conversation with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory Media, Dhaliwal opened up about her remarkable journey in the tech industry.
Born into a forward-thinking family, she attributes her unstoppable spirit to the confidence instilled in her by her parents. “I was unstoppable because they gave me the confidence to go out and conquer the world," she says. Dhaliwal's progressive upbringing began when her father decided not to add “Kaur or Singh” to her birth certificate, setting the tone for a life unrestrained by societal norms.
Dhaliwal shed light on the essential traits for success in the tech world. Not an engineer, she emphasised the importance of being a student of the industry, staying curious, and recognising patterns in the fast-paced tech environment.
“To succeed in tech, you have to speak the language of tech,” she said, underscoring the significance of being both creative and data-driven.
Simplifying hybrid multi-cloud solutions
Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Nutanix has become a cornerstone in the tech industry, providing cloud software that offers organisations a single platform for running apps and data across clouds. Dhaliwal spoke passionately about the company's role in simplifying hybrid multi-cloud scenarios and offering unified storage and database services across diverse workloads.
Trusted by global enterprises like Airbus and Toyota, Nutanix supports critical applications on private, edge, and public clouds, facilitating seamless business optimisation.
Discussing Nutanix's impact on the Indian market, Dhaliwal underscored the importance of listening to customers and adapting to the unique nuances of the Indian landscape. With over 25,000 customers worldwide and 17 quarters of successive quarter-over-quarter growth in India, Nutanix has become a formidable player in the country. She proudly mentioned the company's customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) of over 90, a testament to Nutanix's commitment to customer satisfaction.
She also touched upon the evolution of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) role. Drawing from her extensive career, spanning venture-backed startups and large corporations, she noted how the role has shifted from a focus on brand and awareness to a more data-driven approach.
“We're very much left brain and right brain. So you have to be creative, but you also have to be very data-driven because every dollar that you invest has to have an ROI,” said Dhaliwal, highlighting the dual nature of modern marketing strategies.
Nutanix's role in cyber resilience
The conversation also veered to the significance of data security, especially in a world where banks and hospitals handle massive amounts of sensitive information.
Dhaliwal highlighted Nutanix's role in providing cyber resilience, preventing and remediating threats in a matter of minutes. In a world where data security is paramount, Nutanix ensures that customer data is stored, managed, and protected effectively.
Looking ahead, Dhaliwal sees the AI boom as a game-changer. Nutanix recently launched its GPT in a box, an AI-ready infrastructure that offers a turnkey solution. She acknowledged the growing importance of AI workloads and emphasised Nutanix's commitment to helping customers navigate the AI landscape effectively.
Culture, innovation, and people power
Dhaliwal attributes Nutanix's success to the strength of the company's technology and engineering culture. "The strength of any technology company is the strength of its technology. So, technology is something that has been a testament to our success. Our engineering culture continues the innovation that we deliver. We're always moving forward; we're not resting in one place. So that's a really important mindset we have as an organisation," she said.
She ended with advice for women in the tech industry. "Speak up, rise up, and drive your career," she said. Acknowledging the self-doubt that often plagues individuals, especially women, she advocated embracing opportunities for growth and learning.
As Nutanix continues to evolve and make strides in the cloud software space, Dhaliwal's leadership stands as a testament to the impact of confidence, diversity, and a culture of innovation.
In a world where technology is both dynamic and transformative, Nutanix, under Dhaliwal's guidance, is navigating the future with resilience, purpose, and a commitment to excellence.