IN THIS EPISODE KARAN FERRELL-RHODES INTERVIEWS GARIMA KAPOOR…
In this digital age, where the volume of data is growing exponentially, object storage has emerged as a fundamental technology, particularly well-suited for cloud computing and big data applications. It offers the advantages of easy scalability, durability, and accessibility, making it an integral part of modern data management solutions. Unlike traditional file systems, which organize data into hierarchical folders and directories, object storage takes a different approach.
Garima Kapoor, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MinIO, Inc., an industry-leading company that has pioneered a high-performance, S3-compatible object store. With a solid educational background and extensive experience, Garima has been instrumental in MinIO’s remarkable journey. Under her strategic leadership, MinIO has emerged as a powerhouse in data storage, specializing in large-scale AI/ML, data lake, and database workloads. The innovative object store solution MinIO offers is designed to meet the demanding requirements of modern data-driven applications. It is characterized by its software-defined architecture, enabling seamless deployment on a wide range of environments, including cloud and on-premises infrastructure.
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WHAT TO LISTEN FOR:
- What does MinIO do, and how does it help organizations?
- What is object storage?
- What are the tips for building a successful startup?
- What is the role of fundraising and product development in the growth of a storage company?
- What is courageous agility, and how does it help to navigate unpredictable paths in leadership and entrepreneurship?
“As a founder, I think we need to run as fast as we can and increase the gap between #1 and #2 (in their industry). That is what separates great companies from mediocre companies.”
[05:17] Balancing Passion, Family, and Co-founding a Company
[10:33] Solving the Evergreen Data Problem with Object Storage
[13:19] Breaking the Mold: MinIO’s Sales Approach and Path to Enterprise Success
[18:34] Signature Segment: Garima’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: The key to successful fundraising
[26:06] Staying Ahead of the Game: Quest to Outrun the Competition
[27:22] Signature Segment: Garima’s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice: Leading with Courageous Agility
[32:01] Inspired by Indra Nooyi: A Journey of Resilience and Leadership
[37:30] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take
ABOUT GARIMA KAPOOR:
Garima Kapoor is a prominent figure in the tech industry, known for her role as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-founder of MinIO, a cutting-edge technology company. With a solid financial background, she initially served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) before taking on her current leadership position. Garima is not only a successful entrepreneur but also an active investor and advisor to emerging technology companies in the dynamic landscape of Silicon Valley.
Her academic journey is equally impressive, holding a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Accounting and Finance from Nirma University, a Masters in Economics from Banasthali Vidyapith, and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Economics from Delhi University. Garima’s multifaceted expertise and leadership have played a pivotal role in shaping the success of MinIO and contributing to the advancement of technology in the digital era.
LINKS FOR GARIMA:
PEOPLE AND RESOURCES MENTIONED:
Amazon Book: Blue Ocean Strategy: amazon.com/Blue-Ocean-Strategy-Expanded-Uncontested
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR YOU:
This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.
Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:
Episode 55 |Leading the World of Object Storage with Garima Kapoor
Garima Kapoor 00:00
From day one, we were focused in terms of making, first of all our product to be enterprise-ready enterprise-grade. The first experience that they get with the product should be just fantastic. It cannot be, you know, a sloppy experience, so to say. And second of all, we knew that this is a game where the leader will take the market
Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.
Karan Rhodes 00:56
Hey there superstars This is Karan and welcome to another episode of the leader, the top of your game podcast. Now, I’ve got to admit that before today’s episode, I knew very little about the world of object storage. But if you think cloud storage, which I know that we all appreciate the value of but for non enterprise level companies, that’s kind of the main target market for object storage, I think AWS for the everyday business. Now, I wouldn’t dream of giving you an overview of object storage more than what I’ve just said, because I would probably confuse you even more. But today’s guest is an amazing thought leader in this industry. Garima Kapoor is the Chief Operating Officer and co founder of MinIO, which is a tech company who delivers scalable, secure s3 compatible object storage to every public and private cloud. Now, what you’re gonna really love about garima is her leadership charisma, as well as her transparency on leading her company with her life partner, as she talks about some of the challenges and leading in a male dominated industry and also being a female founder who’s raised a series B investment at a $1 billion valuation. And those of us who are in this world know how tough that is to obtain. And what’s even more fascinating about her is that she is so down to earth and extremely authentic. I know you’re going to enjoy this episode. So enjoy it. But be sure to stay tuned for just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s tape, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now, enjoy the show. Hey there, superstars This is Karan and welcome to another episode of the elite at the top of your game podcast, that you know that I always talk about leadership in action, meaning real leaders live in and executing leadership every day in what they do. And we have the epitome of a true leader who focuses on action every single day. So on today’s show, I’m very honored to have as our guests Garima Kapoor and hopefully I said that correctly or incorrectly. She is the CEO and co founder of MinIO, which is a tech company who delivers scalable, secure, S3 compatible object storage to every public and private cloud. Now, she’s gonna have to tell you the details of that because I was not going to murder what they do. So stay tuned for just a couple more seconds, and she’ll get into that. But Garima was very instrumental in raising a MinIO’s $100 million Series B early in 2022. At a 1 billion valuation, which, if you are in the world of private equity or venture capital, you know, that is huge, absolutely huge. And they’re using that investment to rapidly scale the commercial side of the business. She’s a very active investor and advisor to numerous emerging technology companies in Silicon Valley. So not only does she live leadership every day, she is giving back and pulling others up along the way. So welcome to the podcast. Karima. Thank
Garima Kapoor 04:30
you so much for having me, Karan. And thank you for the lovely introduction.
Karan Rhodes 04:35
Well thank you for your gift of time because I am so excited to feature you when I read about your story and what you all were doing and what a huge impact you are making in the world of tech and my listeners know I come from the world of tech of I was over 14 years at Microsoft so and currently our company shockingly different leadership consults with a lot of tech companies so tech is near and dear to my heart. All right. But I really wanted to evangelize your story because there’s so many individuals that, you know, go through the whole invests seeking investment, as well as trying to, you know, lead their teams and do great work. But before we peel back the layers of the onion to your story, of course, as much as you feel comfortable, we’d love to get a sneak peek into maybe your personal life and passions. So is there anything you can feel comfortable and share with us today?
Garima Kapoor 05:32
Well, passion is easy. That’s simple. I mean, I love what I do. And my passion is building the company. And my passion is MinIO. So that’s the easy past. on personal side, it’s, as you know, as we were chatting before the show, I have two little boys, nine and 11. And I started the company along with my husband, who’s a fellow co-founder and CEO. And I have a dog, I have a cat. So even within MinIO, we have family first environment, just because you know, it was myself and my husband who started the company, and we have multiple other couples also who work as part of MinIO. So it’s truly a family-first environment within the organization. And I think because the way we started how we started MinIO, I think that really drove the culture and help set foundations for the company as well. So yeah, that’s the personal life. So personal and professional are very intermingled. It’s, it is no boundaries, it’s MinIO all the way through.
Karan Rhodes 06:35
I think we all experienced that if those of us who are founders in some way, shape or form, but I got to ask, what is the secret of co-founding with your partner or snap or spouse? What is the secret to having a happy life, and I know the boys are keeping you busy as well.
Garima Kapoor 06:55
I started the company when my youngest was one year old. So you know, it has been quite a ride since then. And he’s now nine years old. So he’s like, literally grown up with the company. You know, with MinIO and the team members that are leading members, they also have seen him grow up with the company, right. So starting with the founder, starting with my husband, as a co founder, I think I kind of drew line in the sand that I will be very unhappy if I don’t do a startup if I don’t build this thing for myself. And I think that really pushed my husband to come and become part and support me in this journey. And I think that’s the reason why it has been working so well for both of us. Because he also jokes that if it was him starting the company and him pulling me in, it would always be you know, a little bit of friction all the way through, but because it was my passion and my drive that, you know, laid the foundations in terms of why we wanted to do so that’s the reason why it’s working so well. And, you know, like all things all partnerships need work. And especially, you know, when you’re starting something being co founder is, you know, it’s almost like a marriage, it’s whether you’re doing it with a friend, whether you’re doing with your brother or sister whatnot, right? It’s almost like you’re tightly entwined together. So I truly feel that you know, your husband or your spouse is the best partner, if you really want to do you really want to do the startup just need to be ready in terms of making it work along the way. And also building that, you know, foundation in a way that is also welcoming to others as you grow the team and build the team. So it has been a great ride so far.
Karan Rhodes 08:41
Oh, well. Congratulations on your success thus far. And I for one will be tracking you from now on this big things that you all do. So let’s peel back the layers of the onion a little bit and tell our audience a little bit more about MinIO and what it does and how you all help organizations.
Garima Kapoor 09:05
For Sure. We started the company back in end of 2014, beginning 2015. And we wanted to pick a problem that would remain relevant or that would outlive us as founders and you know, no matter what we did data was a problem that we felt that we can hack on for the rest of our lives and not go wrong. So it was just very simple foundation that okay, we want to address the data problem. And when you’re talking about data, there are two ways to address it. One is, you know, storing the data in a scalable, reliable, high performance way. You know, the second step is in terms of how much information or what insights you can get from the data that you store. So we thought that if we can get to the stage where we become the standard in terms of storing the data that anything that we do on top of it will be just additional value to our customers. So it was just a very simple way we started and right around the time AWS had convinced the world that object storage is the right kind of technology to bring all the data at scale within your organizations. So we were like, Okay, if AWS s3 will be relevant only within AWS, MinIO will be for the rest of the world. So that’s how we started. And we, you know, we have been focused from day one to now on single handedly just addressing this problem. MinIO provides a high performance, scalable object storage solution to enterprises, to standardize in terms of storage, and bring all the data to our platform. And
Karan Rhodes 10:34
So for audience members who might not be as familiar, can you define a little bit more about what object storage is?
Garima Kapoor 10:39
For sure. So you know, in storage, there are three standards. One is block storage, and other is file storage. And third is object storage. So, when you think about cloud storage, you know, the storage that is offered by public cloud providers like AWS, or Azure, or Google Cloud, the technology that powers a cloud storage is called Object Storage. So it’s a more technical term for a broader generic term for Cloud Storage, right. And what Object Storage provides is that, you know, the traditional storage systems like file systems, they are not meant for more modern workloads, like for example, if you need a certain set of data to be accessed over wire to some other team member in a reliable way, in a performant way, file system is not meant for that kind of workloads. And if you see those are the workloads that are more and more increasing. So that’s where object storage comes into picture. So Object Storage provides a very reliable way in terms of accessing very granular way in terms of what objects can be stored, what objects should be accessed, what kind of policy controls you need to have, from encryption to everything, very granular set of controls. And that’s how it differentiates between, you know, file system versus object system. And object system usually talks in terms of s3 API, which is the industry standard now, thanks to AWS, as compared to chatty POSIX interface of a file system. And because of the complexity involved, file systems really cannot scale to, you know, massive amount of scale, say, petabytes, and petabytes of storage, just from the complexity standpoint, right. So object storage systems are meant to be simple, scalable, high performance for all the cloud native workloads, which are the fastest growing segment of the market. So, you know, we are just focused on that particular segment, we do get requests in terms of why don’t you add, you know, a POSIX API with S3 API that consumers interact with. And our focus is always you know, you need to look, all this forward looking and not backward looking, we know the workloads are only going to grow in terms of object storage, and not so much in terms of file storage, that’s a shrinking market as we see it. So that’s where we need to be focused on and we don’t want to complicate the product more than it needs to be. So the goal is simplicity. The goal is performance. The goal is scalability, that’s it is as simple as that. And that’s what we do day in and out.
Karan Rhodes 13:19
Is it hard convincing companies to to become your clients? Or do they understand what your your, your I’m sure you’re talking like to the what CTOs, CIOs, C-suite executives on what you’re doing? Because I’m sure it’s not, it’s a significant investment for them if they go down this route, right? It’s not $1, you know?
Garima Kapoor 13:44
Like, all enterprise product, right? Yes, yeah. Yes. So we were very clear and storage, you know, it’s a, it’s not an easy technology overall. And storage is not a place where a lot of enterprises want to make changes in the first place, right? I mean, you don’t want to mess with the data. It’s such a critical part of your infrastructure, right? Nobody wants to just take decisions lightly when it comes to storage.
Karan Rhodes 14:07
Not until they’re forced to, right?
Garima Kapoor 14:11
100%, you got it? Right. So and we do understand that problem very well. So for us, we want the you know, from day one, we were focused in terms of making, first of all, our product to be enterprise ready enterprise grade, the first experience that they get with the product should be just fantastic. It cannot be, you know, a sloppy experience, so to say, so And second of all, we knew that this is a game where the leader will take the market. So we were 100%, open source from day one. And that really helped us get to the places where we would not be we wouldn’t even think of being right. So that actually helped us set standard in terms of us being the leader in this space. We are close to now you know, more than a billion Docker downloads cumulatively till now and a million downloads In a day, so you know, it’s very important, especially when coming from storage that people get to experience, people get to standardize. And once you have a brand visibility, then the conversation in terms of bringing your data to our platform becomes much more easier, because if nobody knows even who you are, they’re not going to give you the chance, even in the first place, or have a seat on the table in the first place. So I think open source helped us tremendously in terms of setting ourselves as leaders in the space because developers could just download a product from our website get started in like five minutes, there are no keys to the product that just you know, it’s fully featured for anyone who wants to use it through the open source way. And the experience has to be seamless, like I always say, whether it is proprietary or open source product. So those are the key features that we were very focused on. And so we only started commercializing the product two years back. And since then, we’ve had like, tremendous growth in terms of getting the commercial customers on boarded, we have like, I think around 250 customers now and the scale of more than exabytes on our system. So it’s been great. But I agree, like, the conversations have to be seamless, when you go to the C suite level. And to get to that stage, you need to be able to you need to be able to back the number, you know, have numbers back in your conversation. And I think that’s the power that that a good distribution channel like open source gives you. I love
Karan Rhodes 16:27
I love that. And maybe you just answered my question, but I had read in some of the pre information that you were able to really launch Min i o without a single salesperson. And I was wondering what how in the world? Were you able to do that? And it might have been part of the answer you just gave me. But I would love to hear how did you like, get the doors open? Was it through the developers? Or how did folks find you all?
Garima Kapoor 16:53
So coming to the sales thing, right? I think enterprise, the way the business works in enterprise is very different and little bit of old school way, in terms of how you do business, right? You need to hire direct sales teams that whines and dines with decision makers and whatnot. But that has been fast changing. And for us, you know, it’s not like we did not experiment, we experimented with the direct sales team as well. But this market is such a technical market, you know, the people are already highly technical, they are highly knowledgeable in this space that you don’t need the traditional salespeople, what you need is the are the technical architects, what you need on your site are the people who have gone through the similar problems back in the day themselves, and they are able to relate and are able to understand their problems and their problems and get the best possible solution. So that’s the approach that we did, we took within our company as well. And of course, like, most of the requests that we get, these are the customers who have either experienced Minaya in their previous life or you know, have already played with the product, and now that they are going into production, they want to engage with us, or these are certain users who have heard about me, and I want to learn more, and so on so forth. So instead of having a traditional sales team, we do have a team of technical or Uber CDOs in terms of engaging with the customers and more from a problem solving standpoint than you know, having a than making a sale happened right at that very minute. So it’s more focused towards problem solving, I would say,
Karan Rhodes 18:34
Wow, so tell us about your experience in raising, what was that, 100 million plus over 100 million? Because I always read so I’m very connected to the VC MP community. And I’m always fascinated about the stories of what was it that was key to getting the investments, what were they looking for, you know, and with the whole experience in a female founder, and for those who are watching, she’s also a person of color. It is amazing doing that. So can you tell us that funding story a little bit?
Garima Kapoor 19:10
For sure. And you know, just taking a step back from Series B to Series A, you know, we raised quite a bit of quite a big round in that day, time and age not so much from today standpoint. But yeah, I mean, for the storage industry today is like a 20 million CDC that was considered to be one of the biggest round back then. And what we told our investors back then was that this money we are going to utilize in terms to standardize on a set up a business model lay the lay the foundations in place, to a level where you know, anything that we do on top it only accelerates or scales the business but you know, that would be the goal for raising the series a money and you know, we stretched our Series A, the time between series A to Series B We released our Series A, I think in 2017, I would say or 2017 summers, maybe I’m not exactly sure of the time. And then we raised our series, we closed our series B on in January 22. So it was like a five year gap. And usually what happens is that between series A two series B, if you see that time is usually around 12 to 18 months of time, that you start raising the money. But I think there are a couple of things that helped us. First of all, we were very focused in terms of what we wanted to be when we raise our series B in terms of milestones that was firstly, adoption of Minaya to the level that we become the undisputed leaders. And secondly, we really wanted to get our business model, right, because I think that is where a lot of iterations go in, it’s very easy to, I would not say very easy, but it is relatively easy to build a product and harder to build a business around it, right. So we didn’t want we want it to take this time to experiment enough. And limited experiments, not very expensive experiments, and get to a stage where we are confident that we you know, whatever we do next is only going to accelerate the business to the next phase. So that’s the time we need, we leverage and that is what led to Series B. And quite interestingly, I think, Series B had been just a phenomenal experience, because of our foundations, as a company, whatever we do, we do things on common sense and not so much about, you know, what market is pushing you to do. So we have been very focused in getting our fundamentals right, having control on our cash burn, having real customers with real testimonials, in terms of what is working for them, what is not working for them, and having really solid foundations in terms of business. And I think that really helped us get make our series B much more easier, I would say, because we didn’t even have to make a formal Series B Tech before we got our first term sheet from Intel. Yeah, the good thing was that Intel had seen us from series A onwards and they were closely watching us and monitoring as they were investor, they did invest a small, small amount in Series A, so they really had a seat at the table to watch us and how we think about the problems and really connect with us. So they knew that we were up to something amazing. And that’s the reason why they gave us a term sheet even before the we we had put a presentation deck together for Series B. So that was that was quite an experience in itself. And of course, you know, went through the whole process and pitching and whatnot. And yeah, but yeah, it was a very, very seamless process for us.
Karan Rhodes 22:48
And I can see that because usually anyone worth their weight in gold has their eye out on who’s the up and coming companies and technologies, the high growth companies that are in their niche area. So I can see that by the time you got this series B they were you know, a few watching you all pretty closely. Yes. So you probably didn’t have to do the AMA you? Did you did the presentation. But they had a base understanding is what I’m trying to say in what you all were doing.
Garima Kapoor 23:16
Exactly. Exactly. And it’s always a good validation when an internal investor gives you a big check, because that shows even more confidence to the market, that it’s not like we are making things up in terms of you know, you know, extrapolating to how we will be next couple of years, because there’s always, you know, in terms of when you’re building a forecast and other things, you’re building on something for the future. Right. So there is always that liberty. So I mean, coming from internal investors, it’s a huge validation in terms of that you’re doing things right, and that you have feet on your on your ground. And the fundamentals are really strong in terms of how the company can build business on top.
Karan Rhodes 23:58
That makes sense. Now, who’s your main competitor? If there is one,
Garima Kapoor 24:03
like I said, you know, from day one, we have been very consistent that either data sets on AWSS3 or data sets on us. So that’s how we take inspiration from that. That’s who we consider our competitor, it is as simple as that.
Karan Rhodes 24:19
Gotcha, gotcha. And do you How many employees do you have?
Garima Kapoor 24:23
We have now 65 employees. And the end it is when we raise Series B we were around 40 employees. And you know, one of the questions that we got quite a bit was that what are you going to do with so much of money, you just have 40 employees and for us it was, you know, you know, growth should not be measured of the number of employees, it should be measured off your revenue. It’s it should be measured of how fast you’re growing the revenue and for us if we are able to deliver it on a 40 member employee, I think they should all be rewarded for that. You know, that is where I think there’s a difference between enterprise versus consumer companies a lot. So if you See WhatsApp like company, you know, they were like 15 member team, I believe, and they had this massive multi billion dollar exit and for US consumer technology is, is far more harder than an enterprise technology, because there’s always a lot more risk involved when it comes to consumers, because you don’t know how they’re going to behave, what technology is going to resonate with them and whatnot. So enterprise is a lot more predictable, a lot more, you know, confined and stable. So for getting to that enterprise technology, or delivering a high quality enterprise product, you don’t need a massive team, I think, yeah. So that’s how we have been and everyone that we bring on board, we are very mindful, we are a team of doers. We don’t we have a very flat organization structure. And that’s the way we want to scale and grow that. We don’t want to build a team of managers, but rather, you know, a team of leaders who can really take ownership and deliver rather than, you know, coming from a traditional models of building layers and layers of managers and then building a team underneath. So I think that has worked really well for us.
Karan Rhodes 26:06
It sounds like it definitely. I’m curious. What is one challenge that kind of keeps you up at night right now, one thing that you are facing it? At MinIO.
Garima Kapoor 26:19
Yeah. I think it’s a hard it’s a hard question. I think the only thing is that, you know, are we running fast enough? I think that is something that, as a founder, I keep thinking about, you know, we need to run as fast as we can and leave and increase the gap between number one and number two, I think that is what separates great companies from a mediocre companies, because you really need to outrun your competition throughout the way. I think, you know, if you see the companies that have survived 100 I mean, IBM is a great example, for hundreds of 100 years, I think data survive being in business. And you can only do it if you’re consistently out running your competition. So I think that is what is something that keeps me up at night. And of course, the way to outrun your competition is just deliver on your results, consistent making an impact, having more larger deals, just take take, just getting taken from them to MinIO so I think that those are the things that keep me keep me awake at night.
Karan Rhodes 27:20
I got it. I nderstand that, definitely. And securing money. You know, one of the things we love to ask our guests is which of the seven leadership execution tactics that I wrote about in my book really resonated with them. And you were so kind to share a couple actually, you shared courageous agility and leading with a drive for results. And I think the leading for a driv for results, you just explain why it’s so important. Yeah, I would love for you to also share your thoughts on leading with courageous agility. And for our audience members who’s not as familiar, leading with courageous agility is all about having the courage and the fortitude to stand up for what you believe in and do what’s right and, and take a step forward, even if you’re unsure of what’s going to happen. And so I was just curious, Gary, why that act of leading with courageous agility really resonated with you?
Garima Kapoor 28:16
Yeah, I think the biggest thing that resonated with me is because, you know, nobody knows what future holds. I mean, it is as simple as that, you know, nobody holds what’s going to how the world is going to look like a year from now, a couple of years from now, I think COVID has shown all of us that it’s, it’s everything is so unpredictable.
Karan Rhodes 28:34
Garima Kapoor 28:35
And I think as founders and as leaders, I think you need to be stubborn for the right things, I think it is very important thing that separates a leader from someone else. Because you know, there are when you start a company, there are only knows around you, you know, if you are going to start something new, you talk to your family, you talk to your friends, first response you’re going to get is no, it is not going to work. As simple as that, right? So you really need to have that faith and that stubbornness, that within you that know, within five years from now, the world is going to look like how I want the world to look like right, and you need to be able to just follow it relentlessly and follow it with conviction and passion. And I’m not saying that you need to be foolish about it. But you really need to be stubborn about the things that you truly believe in. Right. And we truly believed in that when we started that AWS just cannot be the worst data center. It’s just simply not possible. There were so many people who were like, you know, even from VC standpoint, you know, you would go and talk to them about and they were like, no, but the problem is already solved. AWS is already there. We were like No, it cannot happen. And you know, I get this question. A lot of times that What did you do to convince those VCs? I told them, we didn’t do anything to convince those VCs we didn’t want to take their money, because if we cannot even, you know, have a common functionality in terms of how we view the world, then there is no way we can work. You know, there are tactical things that how you can get to those goals there, you can have an alignment, okay, is this the right way to get to the goal, but you need to have an alignment in terms of you know, where you’re headed. Otherwise, there is no point in getting into that conversation, right. So I think for leaders, and for founders, it’s just so important, because you’re starting from nothing. Yeah, nobody has seen the proof. Nobody has seen this beautiful technology that you keep talking about, or, you know, whatever you’re trying to do, nobody knows about that. Nobody sees it. So you need to be stubborn, you need to have enough conviction along the way, in terms of, no, this is the right thing. And of course, you need to listen to the market signals, you need to talk to people. But I think that inherent stubbornness needs to be there. Otherwise, if you are thinking that, okay, this person is right, that person is right, you will end up not building anything. So I think that courage to follow the conviction to follow your dreams to conviction to follow what you really believe in, I think is so important, because wall will only say no to you. So there’s only been those around you. So that needs to come from within you. And I think as women especially like we have been, especially like, you know, I’m originally from India, so the way you’re brought up is very different than you know how I see people here and you know, you’re always supposed to be more compliant mode. Listen to people, stubbornness is not a right thing to be. But I think being a woman, you even need to be more stubborn. It can be. Yeah, I think for women, you even need to be more stubborn, because there will be even more people than if you were, you know, a male, as you’re pursuing your dream. So there are even more people to discourage you. You know, they’ll be like, focus on your family focus on this, that and other, right. So you need to really know where you’re headed, and you need to be just 100% stubborn about it. And it’s okay to be wrong, it’s fine. And then you make changes along the way. But you really need to start with a place of conviction. So yeah, that’s why that thing really resonated with me. Yeah, in terms of courageous agility.
Karan Rhodes 30:24
Right. And, you know, Garima, I, you know, tell even after our pre conversations and conversations now, you’re very thoughtful, strategic. And, you know, I could work for you, because you’re very inspiring. But, but I’m just curious, is there a individual or company that has really differentiated themselves in your mind like someone that you really admire? That’s a fantastic leader in their profession or industry? And if there is, can you share one?
Garima Kapoor 32:56
Yeah, I think Indra Nooyi is someone that I really look up to. And, you know, I’ve been following her journey very closely. And for me, it was very inspirational, because I mean, she, her background is also originally from India. And she came here with the, you know, just for education and how she grew up in the corporate ladder back in the day, which was even harder for women and harder for women of color. Like her right, I meant for her to prove her mettle every step of the way. That’s quite inspirational for me, and I, you know, being a CEO at that age, a woman led come, you know, a global brand like PepsiCo, I think it’s been just phenomenal. So she really inspires me a lot. And also, like, you know, in our interviews, if you follow her closely, the way she describes in terms of the challenges of just being a woman, and you know, even from your family, how you get questioned along the way, it’s quite resonates a little bit. With me as well, you know, if I go back to my parents and talk to them, they, you know, their responses are very similar to what she had heard along the way from her mom. So that really does resonate with me. And I think she’s just amazing and the impact that she’s making, just by being who she is, because, you know, sometimes you don’t need to do much other than just follow your dreams and passion, and to show that that’s doable. That’s possible, then you know, that itself is an inspiration enough. So I think she’s someone that I really look up to, and she inspires me a lot.
Karan Rhodes 34:28
Well, thank you so much for sharing that and sharing the story of why. It really tells a lot about what we try to do is help individuals understand how to be inspirational what it really takes to differentiate yourselves and make the impact you want to make in the world. And so, when we asked this question, it gives a lot of insight of you know, what it takes you know, to build a legion of raving fans you know, if you will around what you’re doing, especially when it aligns with your passion So I just want to say that I think you’re probably as inspirational as she is, as well, you have a fantastic story. And you’re doing so much to help, you know, other entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley Valley and belong and beyond, you know, and encouraging them to stay the course as well. So, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. And before we let you go, we will have things in the show notes, but I’d love to give a voice behind how can people find you? If they’re interested in learning more about MinIO? Or have a quick question for you?
Garima Kapoor 35:35
For sure, please feel free to reach me. If you have any questions. I’m on Twitter at the handle of @GarimaKap and I’m also on LinkedIn that garima Kapoor, MinIO, please feel free to reach out to me and my company website is min.io. So very simple, very easy to remember. And if you write to Hello@min.io, you can just ask for me as well. So I monitor those emails personally as well. So yeah, please, any happy to answer any questions? So, you know, give any advice.
Karan Rhodes 36:10
And I’ll just say, my personal network is a lot of enterprise level leaders that in tech that I know you’re listening out there, definitely check out their website, you might need to contact them for business as well, just saying. Thank you so much, Garima. Again, for your gift, the time, this has been a fantastic episode, thank you,
Garima Kapoor 36:30
God. And it’s been a pleasure. And it’s always good to meet with people who are so wealthy on with the, you know, what the audience wants to, you know, listen and get advice and also, you know, grow within their careers as well. So, thank you for having me on your show. A
Karan Rhodes 36:47
bsolutely.. And thank you listeners as well for joining in. Um, you know, I only ask that you like and subscribe to the podcast and share with just one friend. Because when you do that helps us extend our reach and helps others just like you to lead at the top of your game. Thank you so much again, and see you next week. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Garima Kapoor, the Chief Operating Officer and co founder of MinIO, links to her bio her entry into our leadership playbook. And additional resources can be found in the show notes, both on your favorite podcast platform of choice in on the web at lean your game podcast.com. And now for Karan’s take on today’s topic of finding your blue ocean. As I mentioned before, there’s no way I can talk Gareem on the topic of object storage. And I’m not even going to try however, there is a leadership lesson from her episode that I want to call to your attention. Most of you may be familiar with the book, The Blue Ocean Strategy. The key point in the book that they drive home is that you can accelerate the success of your business by looking for marketplaces or opportunities where there is little or no competition, but high demand. And what’s interesting is that this strategy has now been extended to multiple areas of leadership, not just for business owners currently use this strategy as she watched the world of big data evolve. She knew that the big players in the market were racing to gobble up the business of the Fortune 500 companies. However, she saw that providing the solution for middle sized and larger firms was a blue ocean of potential and very profitable, and I want you all to find your own blue ocean of opportunity. No matter your job or profession know that there is a blue ocean of opportunity for you to take advantage at shockingly different leadership. You know, we found two great markets, one for companies who are in need on demand support for their people and talent development functions, and the other for individuals and companies who desire to uplevel uplevel their leadership capability in a way that directly impacts the bottom line. So my challenge for today for you is to grab a cup of coffee or tea, find a quiet place and spend just 20 minutes brainstorming potential areas where there may be blue oceans of opportunity for you to capitalize on. And then I want you to take it a step further by setting aside some time in the next couple of days to flush out your thinking on your list of ideas and pick one to take action on so that you too can continue to lead at the top of your game. Remember, please do subscribe to the podcast and just share with just one friend. Because performing this one selfless act will empower you to help others who also lead at the top of their game. Thank you so much for listening and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at leadyourgamepodcast.com. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.
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