Rahul Bakaya is the Regional Marketing Manager ANZ at Alteryx, a global leader in analytic process automation, headquartered in Irvine, California.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Well, it has been an exciting journey for me. I was a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and worked for some time in the Automobile Sector in India. My hunger for knowledge and excellence in academia always thrived me to pursue higher studies. So I came to Australia to pursue a Master in Engineering.
My appetite for knowledge was still very existential. I had a good grasp over the technical knowledge and how things work, but I lacked the business and revenue knowledge. So I hoped on to do an MBA from UTS, and then I was satisfied with my academics.
My first job was as an Engineer Solutions Specialist in the R&D department of James Hardie, where I learned the ABCs of product development and customer service.
I then joined the marketing department in James Hardie as a Marketing Coordinator and fell in love with marketing since then. After almost 3 years, I joined the fast pace world of Software and IT as a B2B Marketer and worked for a company called Shoretel.
In Shoretel, I applied Digital Marketing strategies to generate revenue for the channel part of the business in ANZ. Then I decided to take on another challenge at Gerard Lighting as the Commercial Segment Marketing Manager.
Working at Gerard Lighting, I formulated and implemented the consumer, retail and commercial marketing strategy to increase brand awareness. Then after a year and a half, I came back to the Software world at Alteryx as the Regional Head of Marketing for ANZ.
I have always been a data-driven marketer, guess I always looked at marketing strategy as an engineering problem and jumped at the first go to give a solution. Throughout my career, I have always been a creative thinker and a technical enabler.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Sure. I usually wake up at 6.30 am in the morning. After taking a shower and getting ready, I spend at least 15 minutes on mediation, and sometimes I pray. Then I go to my local café to get a coffee for myself and my wife (every day).
I usually get into my work mode by 8 am and go through all my emails and admin tasks. At 9 am, I have my breakfast (which is usually cereals, some nuts with almond milk). At 12 pm I prepare my lunch (eggs, avocado and sandwich).
At 2 pm, if I don’t have any meetings, I spend my time with my wife to discuss our day. At 5 pm sharp, I log-off and get a power nap. At 6 pm I go to my local gym and workout for at least an hour (the best time of my day).
When I come back, I prepare my dinner, which is usually some chicken and veggies. I then log-in to my computer again and spend some time to go through any urgent matters. I spare 30 minutes of every day on self-learning (8-8.30pm).
Recently I spent that time in learning courses on negotiation and scientific thinking. After that me and my wife watch Netflix. I find watching movies and series very helpful in building my skill in storytelling. At 10 pm, we go to sleep.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, my work does allow me working from home, and it fits perfectly with my routine. Since I go to the gym regularly, my body needs physical rest to recover. And because I don’t have to travel to the office every day, I can rest at the comfort of my home and work. It also helps me to spend quality time with my better half.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
To me, work-life balance is to defining the thin red line that clearly separates working hours and your personal hours, especially if you are working from home. It also means to practice and master the art of getting out of work zone mentally.
At times, working from home tends to put you mind in the constant clock of work stress. You need to train your mind to stop thinking about work when you are not working.
Meditation helps, a regular physical activity with a goal in mind also helps. If you go to the gym with a time measurable goal, you will not think about work anymore.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
2019, I used to work out to keep fit. 2020, I make sure I have defined my fitness goals that are attainable and realistic. This helps me to measure my performance and become better at exercise.
I have stopped taking work calls after 5pm to make sure I keep my professional and private life in balance.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I would highly recommend the Masterclass from Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Scientific Thinking that’s helped me in evaluating a problem or a challenge in a much more scientific way.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I love music, so I can’t live without YouTube music. I also love watching movies, so I cherish Netflix and Amazon Prime.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Gladys Berejiklian, the current Premier of New South Wales.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
You work to have a livelihood, you don’t live to work. You live to cherish those personal moments with family and loved ones. So aim to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend, a better son/daughter; aim to be a role model for your loved ones, then think about work.
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