Braze Announcements

Braze Welcomes New Vice President of Sales to the APAC Team

Team Braze By Team Braze Dec 12, 2023

At Braze, we're dedicated to powering interactions between customers and the brands they love worldwide. As we continue to serve our growing global customer base, we're excited to welcome our newest team member, who will be instrumental in continuing our commitment to helping our brands succeed in this dynamic customer engagement landscape. Please join us in welcoming Shahid Nizami, the new VP, Sales, APAC at Braze.

We sat down with Shahid to discuss his experience in tech, what brought him to Braze, and his leadership style. Let’s dive in!

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I was born and raised in India in an army family, which meant we were in a different part of India every two years. Growing up this way, I got to experience and appreciate diversity very early in my life. I moved to Singapore in 2007, and this beautiful island state is home for us now.

As for my career, I’ve been a MarTech person since the early days, having completed my MBA in Marketing and IT. I’ve been in tech sales for more than two decades, working with some amazing companies across the APAC market like Google, Oracle, and HubSpot.

What attracted you to Braze?

During my long career in MarTech, I’ve come across Braze quite a bit and have been impressed with the platform. Braze had the vision that the world was going towards mobile, and I saw how they worked to bring that vision to life. But what really attracted me to the company was watching the evolution to a world-class customer engagement platform across all channels.

I am also a big advocate of culture and Braze has won multiple global awards for its culture. I also really resonate with the Braze core values.

What are some of your accomplishments you’re most proud of?

I’ve had the privilege to lead some incredible people over the years in my career. What I’m most proud of is when I see so many of these people doing well in their careers. It’s incredibly fulfilling to me that so many of my teammates are in leadership positions at top companies. I want to believe I played a small part in this successful journey of theirs.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I strongly believe that travel expands your perspective in all aspects of life. You get to understand and experience various cultures, cuisines, and traditions outside of your own, which ultimately can create better awareness about diversity. As a bonus, you also get to see some amazing natural and man-made wonders. My wife and I have a philosophy that travel is not an expense but an investment for life.

What advice would you give your younger self?

This could be a long list as I did make many mistakes in my early days and I am still not perfect. But if I had to pick the top three pieces of advice to my younger self, they would be:

1. Pick experience over money: Don’t get obsessed about how much money you are making, especially at the beginning of your career. What really matters is the experience and exposure you get in your role, and how it helps you and your skills grow over time.

    2. There is no alternative to hard work: I hear some people say that a person just “got lucky,” but my take is the harder you work, the luckier you get.

    3. Always be learning: The world around us is constantly changing and what got you here, won’t get you there. It is of the utmost importance to have a curious mind and be willing to learn. Remember that you can learn something from everyone.

    What drives you as a leader?

    I have a concept of 4 Ps of Shahid (just like the 4 Ps of marketing) to define what drives me as a leader. They are people, passion, positivity, and purpose.

    • People: No matter which industry you’re in, we’re all in the people business. As a leader, it is extremely important to ensure the people I work with are my top priority and treat them like the biggest asset. If your people are happy, it will translate to your customers. The only role of a leader is to hire great people and help them grow. Everything else is a subset to that.

    • Passion: We spend half of our waking life at work and if you are not passionate about what you do, then I sincerely feel it is not worth doing. No matter what I do at work, be it updating a spreadsheet or preparing for a customer presentation, I put my heart and soul into it. That way I also come across as an engaged individual both with my team and customers.

    • Positivity: By default, I am a very positive person. I have this weird example where I don’t even look at the glass as half full, but “full full”—it is half water and half air. It is imperative to have a positive mindset no matter what. In my experience, positivity breeds positivity and, especially as a leader, you need to infuse that dose of positivity in your team.

    • Purpose: “Starting with the why” is paramount, especially when you are leading a team. My favorite story is about when (supposedly) JFK walked into NASA and saw a janitor who was mopping the floor. JFK asked him “What are you doing?” and his reply was “Sir, I am helping to put the first man on the moon”. For me, it is important to build this sense of purpose for my team, no matter what role they play. This helps build a great culture and a sense of belonging for the entire team.

    Team Braze

    Team Braze

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