alumni

Boomerang Spotlight - Rajesh Undaviya

 
 

September 30, 2021

Theresa Ludvigson
& T.J. Vilardi

 

"Salesforce is in My DNA”

This month’s Boomerang Spotlight features Rajesh Undaviya. Rajesh has a very unique story and is one of a few at the company that is a double Boomerang. Read about his road back to Salesforce (twice)!
 

Becoming a Boomerang...twice?

Rajesh first came to Salesforce in 2009 as one of the first Enterprise Account Executives in India. “I was at Oracle for two and a half years before deciding to move to Salesforce. It was very early days for Salesforce in India and the cloud was also new to Indian enterprises so I knew this was going to be a challenge, but it was one I could handle. In my heart, I felt like Salesforce could become something much larger than what it was in 2009,” said Rajesh.

He stayed at Salesforce for five years before going back to Oracle in 2015. He told us, “I had the best run of my career during those first five years at Salesforce. I overachieved my quota every year (baring the first year) and went to Peak Performers Club three years in a row including President’s Club for one year. It was rewarding getting to work with large Enterprise customers in India and helping them with their digital transformation.” Rajesh continued, “After I was hired by Salesforce in India, a lot of people joined after me and I was the onboarding buddy and go-to-person for all of them. I had a knack for management and knew I could be good at it. At the time, Salesforce was not hiring for a management role in India so I knew I needed to look elsewhere and get out of my comfort zone to fill that need.”

However, Rajesh would not be gone long. He stayed at Oracle for just a year before taking his first Boomerang trip back to Salesforce. “I really never wanted to leave Salesforce but at that time I had to in order to get to the point I am today,” said Rajesh. He knew deep down that returning to Salesforce was always going to be a strong possibility. He told us, “It was destined to happen. I always kept in touch and nurtured a really good relationship with my former colleagues and mentors.” Arun Balasubramanian, the Area Vice President at the time in India for Salesforce, and Rajesh constantly caught up over coffee when their schedules allowed. “During one of our coffee catch up, Arun discussed an open position on his team that he thought I could be a great fit for. They needed a leader to quickly scale the mid-market business in India and were looking for someone who understood Salesforce very well. I didn’t even blink and told him I would come back the next day if he needed me,” said Rajesh.

In 2016, Rajesh accepted the role and came back to Salesforce as the Sales Director on Arun’s team. He remained in this role for over three years before looking for his next challenge. “I wanted to be an Enterprise Sales Leader and manage a team handling large enterprises across India. As a leader I started with the Mid-Market space, then the Commercial space, and then felt I was ready to take that next step to Enterprise. One of my mentors at Salesforce always told me when I was looking for my next move to find a company that matched my values and my vision,” said Rajesh. That is when Rajesh discovered a company called Tableau. He told us, “Tableau instantly resonated with me. They reminded me very much of Salesforce a couple of years prior and had a similar mission and values. Their product was also extremely innovative.”

Rajesh left Salesforce for a second time in May of 2019 and head to Tableau as a sales leader in the Enterprise space. “Marc Benioff validated my decision less than a month later by acquiring Tableau and bringing it into the Salesforce family. I was absolutely thrilled that it happened,” he said.

We asked Rajesh about some of the things he missed most about Salesforce during his time away from the company. He told us, “I missed everything about Salesforce. The culture, the people, the V2MOM, the collaborative environment, and the passion that everyone brings to the office. Salesforce is in my DNA.”

Rajesh with Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, at Dreamforce

Life of a Boomerang

As you can tell Rajesh is pretty excited about being back at the company as a Boomerang. “There is never a dull moment at Salesforce. As a Boomerang, I have this unique experience both inside and outside the company. The external learnings are sometimes important and allow me to have that outside-in view of the company. It allows me to appreciate so many things at this company in different ways,” said Rajesh. Even though he left and came back (twice) he told us that some things at the company have not changed at all. “Marc and the executive team continue to evolve the company at historic rates. I wasn’t gone that long but when I came back I couldn’t believe the growth and scale of the company. Evolving the company is so important to move forward and Salesforce does it right,” he said.

Staying well and giving back

Like a lot of us, the transition to a fully remote environment was a difficult one for Rajesh. “When the pandemic started and we were forced to work from home, we were all clueless as to what to do because we never thought this would be for so long. We needed to find ways to take care of ourselves pretty quickly,” he said. During his workday, Rajesh makes sure to include small breaks in between meetings. “I tell my team that when you are in the office you take a lunch break or a coffee break but when you are at home people don’t stand up or move around. Every two hours make sure to get up, walk around, and have water. Another important part is to make sure you get sunlight and fresh air. I have also started stretching during the day in between meetings. All of this helps me stay fresh,” said Rajesh.

Rajesh enjoys giving back but that has also been difficult during the pandemic. Usually, you can find Rajesh giving back in the form of helping underprivileged children. “I love helping children that need it. I love using my platform and the resources Salesforce provides to help as many children as I can. It is very close to my heart,” he said.

Rajesh with his family!

Advice for current alumni

Given that Rajesh has experienced the Salesforce Boomerang journey, we asked him if he had any advice for current #SalesforceAlumni that might be interested in returning to the company. He told us, “This place becomes more exciting as Salesforce ages. Yes, we may be growing quickly but it still feels like a startup within a startup. There is so much agility and innovation happening every day. We have a beginner's mindset. To all the Alumni, the excitement is not diluted it has only grown. It was a great job then, it is a great job now, and it will be a great job 10 years from now. You are always welcome back.”

Want to hear more about Rajesh’s amazing #SalesforceBoomerang story? Connect with him on LinkedIn! Or, if you’re inspired to find your next role at Salesforce, explore our openings today.
 

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