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At Egnyte the Spark is at the center of everything we do, including our logo. When it comes to our team, we see the Spark as the intersection of talents and passions that drive each and every employee – which is what ultimately drives Egnyte. Through this series I hope to showcase the outstanding individuals whose combined talents make Egnyte what it is today.

Avantika Sharma -This Is My Spark

* Bold Writing Represents the Voice of Egnyte CEO Vineet Jain

Where are you located and what’s your current title?

Financial analyst in our Mountain View HQ.

What’s your current hardware?

My phone is an iPhone 6S and I use a 13-inch MacBook Air at home. I’m an Apple person, but I was struggling to get my Apple Watch started this morning! At work I use a Windows Laptop since we need the processing power for Excel and Mac is awful for heavy duty Excel usage.

Tell me about your parents.

My mom is a physics lecturer and my dad is a mechanical engineer. They’re both from Kanpur but my dad’s job took them to Bangalore when he started his own hardware company (with a partner in Singapore). They’re still based there, where my dad runs his company and consults on the side. Bangalore is very much home now; I met my husband there!

What’s your background? How did you come to Egnyte?

My Bachelor’s and my Master’s were both in finance, the former in India and the latter at the University of Colorado Denver. I was initially referred here by Trey Howard, a former Egnyter who’s a dear friend of my husband. I actually chose to start on my birthday in 2014!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually get in around 9 and grab a little breakfast. I don’t get that many emails compared to some of my colleagues; I only really report to Ron and Steve. I’m also doing a lot of collaborating with the heads of marketing or sales ops or other departments. My work tends to be more forward-looking and I don’t usually have a lot of meetings besides keeping Steve and Ron updated.

I usually start my day with work that needs to be done immediately or by EOD. Board meetings, for instance, tend to bring a lot of work. When work is particularly busy I’m usually here ’til 6 or 7 PM. I’m the kind of person who will go home when the work is done; once I stop, my focus is hard to get back.

What’s your favorite thing about Egnyte?

In my position, I regularly interact with most department heads: Tal, Chris, Isabelle, Charles, Cherise. I can actually see how all the respective pieces come together and I love being able to see the whole picture. I don’t think everyone gets that picture, so I really enjoy being able to interact with anyone and ask any question.

What are some goals for yourself, your team and Egnyte as a whole?

In the next few years my goal for Egnyte is to hit the revenue target we’re all marching towards, which is really amazing to see coming closer day by day. Whenever we’re looking at positive financial numbers with Steve, it’s really nice to see how excited he gets.

Speaking to my goals for my specific financial team, I want to be really responsive. My goal is to be able to furnish you or Steve or anyone with everything they need at the drop of a hat.

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What’s something unique other Egnyters don’t know about you?

A lot of my weekends are spent doing photography projects. When we’re home my husband often takes pictures of me, but we also go to Yosemite a lot. He has just the one Nikon D80 camera because he believes composition is much more important than equipment.

We’re actually heading up tomorrow for a day trip, which we do kind of frequently! He has one website where he does aluminum printing, but I can’t remember the name.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? and the worst?

I’ve lived by this for quite a long time: be kind because you never know who’s fighting a harder battle than you. I try not to hurt people, and I know that advice is a little more philosophical than professional- or career-oriented.

The worst: I don’t know. I hope no one ever gives me bad advice!

Does that imply that at work you won’t pick any fights?

That would defeat the whole purpose of being at work! If someone messes up, I tell them. I don’t do it rudely, but I think there are ways to be nice to people and still convey the message.

If you had the opportunity to sit down for dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Probably my maternal grandfather. He passed away after his third heart attack when I was just 10 or 11, so I didn’t get to know him very well. He was a physics lecturer (my mom followed in his footsteps) and principal of a college in Kanpur.

The thing I appreciated in him was he was a simple man, truly happy in his life. He was ambitious, but kept a very mellow perspective which I think contributed to his living a very full and happy life.

This has been fun! I’ve noticed our backgrounds have a lot of overlap, including both being born in Kanpur. My mother’s family is from Kanpur so as a kid I’d spend one month of my summer breaks there. My mom’s brother still lives there and I grew up with his sons (who are older than me). Going back to Kanpur and sitting with them is one of the best experiences I can have.

I feel the same! It’s a much nicer, much slower pace of life.

My cousins, who are elder brothers to me, have done really well growing their own businesses. But they still live in the same house and live the same way we did when I was young. That’s probably why I feel completely in my element when I’m there. Material trappings aside, I think home with the family in Kanpur is my favorite place!