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Rohit Toshniwal’s advice to entrepreneurs in the making: discuss your ideas, get feedback

Vishal Krishna
7th Dec 2017
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The Senior Director at VMware says ideas are important, but being able to execute them is 100 times more important.

Rohit Toshniwal likes to look the future in the eye. Constantly reading blogs and articles by famous tech personalities like Bill Gates, he’s currently Senior Director at VMware in the Cloud Management Business Unit, leading the Network Insight product that came from the Arkin acquisition.

In 2013, Rohit co-founded Arkin Net Inc and served as its Head of Engineering and Board Member. The company became the foundation for network and security operations for cloud strategy at VMware. Rohit understands the impact of the cloud and knows how the world will adopt new technologies such as AI and Machine Learning.

Rohit Toshniwal

But, entrepreneurship remains his first love. Offering advice to those who want to join the ecosystem, he says: “Discuss your ideas with people and get feedback. People tend to be overly protective. They would rather keep the idea to themselves, not discuss, and run the huge risk of not identifying how to improve it or find obvious risks.”

Rohit adds that ideas are important, but being able to execute them is 100 times more important. “So build a plan on how you will build the team and how you will you get there,” he advises.

A strong believer in the power of team, Rohit has a very strong work ethic.

He remembers the words of one of his Board Members at Arkin: “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Not talent; not genius; not education. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” These words have become his guiding ethic.

Continuous learning is a ‘MUST’

The cloud has given rise to new technologies and engineers must be up to speed with things like AI and ML. It is critical to understand all the concepts emerging out of this change.

“We will need an army of people well versed in the new technologies that are enabling this new world. Those who cross this barrier will find themselves doing very valuable work and being compensated very handsomely,” Rohit says.

Keeping pace with the change, VMWare is already working towards the future. VMware is working with the world’s leading enterprises and showing them how to adapt to the hybrid world.

“We are already using techniques around ML and AI in our products, and a lot of efforts are going in this area around all Operations products in VMware,” Rohit says.

This helps VMWare improve the insights they provide to customers.

Protect intellectual property

Rohit also speaks of the importance of filing patents, suggesting a “claims” approach.

“For me - coming from a product perspective - I believe that it is important to protect your intellectual property and innovation. So I will advise that you put your idea in a way that it can be translated easily into a patent application,” he says.

Writing the application can take a bit of getting used to for it can be confusing, but Rohit suggests working backwards on what you are trying to protect. “Think of the claims there, and then list down the full range from more generic to less generic,” he says.

The rise of the cloud

On the cloud and the opportunity it presents, Rohit is betting on the hybrid cloud. He believes we will continue to see:

(A) A push towards hybrid clouds with significantly better user experience with respect to consumption of the cloud; a lot of simplification in the workflows

(B) A continued push towards convergence of all aspects of resource consumption.

While big clouds (Amazon, Google) have their own tech stack, if you look at the universe of all the other companies, hybrid cloud is going to be a big force. There are signs that companies will have their own datacenter, will buy capacity from service providers and have their workloads seamlessly move between them.

“I continue to feel very bullish on this trend, and VMware is very well poised to benefit out of it,” he says.

The fast pace at which the digital movement is happening in India means that we are at the forefront of some of these challenges that need to be addressed, Rohit believes.

But the technopreneur, who thrives on challenges, is raring to go.

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