Get to know: Sushma Kajaria

Sushma Kajaria is a familiar face in the regional security channel having recently joined Trend Micro from OnLine Distribution as channel manager. As she gets to grips with the antivirus software vendor’s partner plans, she reveals her thoughts on the market

Tags: Trend Micro Middle EastUnited Arab Emirates
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Get to know: Sushma Kajaria (Leila Cranswick/ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  June 19, 2009 Channel Middle East Logo

What’s your career history in the industry to date?
I started my career in India with IT sales back in 1996. I held various positions from field sales executive for locally manufactured PCs and projectors to managing a security business unit for a large distributor [OnLine Distribution]. In that role I directed the start up of channel sales and business development for various new technologies in security and wireless. Each of the positions has given me a valuable learning experience. I got married and came to Dubai to join my husband.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Middle East IT market?
I love the Middle East market as I have experienced a lot of respect for women and it has allowed me to build my career based on my efforts. Having been in Dubai for nine years, I enjoy the multicultural environment that this market provides as it makes us adaptive and receptive to different styles of working. Hard work and dedication pays off here unlike other places where a lot depends on and is influenced by other people.

What individual in the IT market do you most admire?
It is difficult to select one person as we learn every day and from everybody around us. I admire everyone who I have learnt from and all those people in my career who have given me the chance to think differently and understand different perspectives. I am privileged to have worked with great managers in my past organisation and great colleagues in Trend Micro. Their passion and dedication helps me thrive for that extra mile in my current job.

What is the proudest moment of your career history?
There are a couple of highs in my career that I am proud of. Being a sales and relationship-oriented person, most of it comes from closing deals or maintaining a great relationship with customers and colleagues. The recent highlight of my career is joining Trend Micro as channel development manager for the MED-MEA region. It is a huge responsibility.

What are your top channel tips for the next 12 months?
Choose your vendor relationships carefully and build joint trust. I would advise resellers to be an ‘early adopter’ of technology to keep ahead of their competition, while focusing on their core competencies. Look after your customer and they will look after you. From a vendor’s perspective, I think it is very important to empower the channel and keep them motivated.

How do you relax outside of the work environment?
Spending time with my family. Playing with my son is the most relaxing thing for me.

What is the most valuable business lesson you’ve learnt?
The most valuable business lesson I have learnt is to under-promise and over-deliver.

Long-term relationships built on mutual trust and respect pay off in the long run.

What is the best deal you have ever closed?
I thrive on developing strong relationships with customers and partners. Deals are the outcome of the relationships that we build.

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