Pop Quiz, Monday with Gagan Gulati
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
I wear two hats on a daily basis. One, where I work for Microsoft owning the Azure Information Protection product, and second, where I act as the Angel Investor investing in Seattle based startups
Tell us about your company?
Microsoft is well-known :). Our product, Azure Information Protection, stay both secure and compliant by labeling and protecting their most critical data. My role, as Head of the product, includes what you expect of a CEO of a company — everything from understanding customer requirements to building the product to evangelization, marketing, and sales.
I participate in Angel investing via Alliance of Angels (https://www.allianceofangels.com) where around 150 active investors come together and invest in the best startup companies in the northwest region.
What do you love most about your job?
At Microsoft, I love being part of a passionate team looking to make a difference in the data protection world. We hear about data leaks almost every day now, and it is almost a duty now to help organizations become more secure against these leaks.
As an angel investor, just the entire process of learning about how entrepreneurs approach customer problems and generate new ideas, and seeing their dreams coming true is an outwardly experience.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Working with passionate people with strong opinions – doesn’t matter which job I pick.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
Healthy debates about customer problems and their solutions and lively conversations about deep technical issues are what continues to inspire me every day.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Pranks and leg pulling, caring for each other, going out for lunches and team events – there’s never a dull day.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
At Microsoft, customers love our product but are demanding too. Escalations do happen, so do live site issues – those are real challenges and part and parcel of the game.
As an Angel investor, finding the right entrepreneur-startup mix is a hard job. You are going to trust in the founders, and put in your hard earned money as well – that’s a very hard job.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Be passionate about the field of your choice and work hard to make a difference.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: