Speaking with Sanjay Beri is always an energizing and illuminating experience. His intelligence, wisdom and experience are truly inspiring. Sanjay is the CEO and founder of Netskope, which he started in 2012 after seeing that cloud computing and remote work were going to transform business and lead to a ripple effect of security and networking challenges for organizations worldwide. Now, 11 years later, Netskope is rapidly growing, has more than 2,500 customers globally (including 25 of the Fortune 100) and is redefining cloud, data, and network security.
In 2022 Netskope added SD-WAN to its portfolio of products through the acquisition of Infiot and its flagship Intelligent Security Service Edge (SSE) was just named by Gartner as the top-right Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge.
Sanjay, who is nominated for an HMG Strategy 2024 Global Leadership Institute Award, brings more than two decades of awe-inspiring leadership, innovation and success in the cloud, networking, and security industries. His unique business sense, technical acumen, vision for the future of the industry, and unwavering focus on culture have contributed to his building of a world-class team and an iconic company.
Prior to Netskope, Sanjay was VP & GM of Juniper Networks’ secure access business unit, driving it to market leadership throughout his tenure. He is also the co-founder of one of the world’s first data center encryption companies, Ingrian Networks, and has held leadership positions across numerous security and networking companies.
I spoke recently with Sanjay about how his visionary leadership philosophy plays an essential role in his career success. “I spend an inordinate amount of my time meeting and connecting with networking and security leaders and their teams,” he says. “You’ve got to spend time with the people that you're trying to help and that you're trying to partner with. There is no substitute for that, and you could say that I’m obsessed with getting to know what our customers are experiencing and going through.”
Great leaders also recruit top talent, he points out. “We’re always looking to recruit. People are the lifeblood of your company. As the CEO, you’ve got to spend time with the top people and the top candidates.” Sanjay is also committed to staying in touch with innovation and development across the industry, spending time on products and understanding what's coming next to help anticipate what customers will need. “I'm a big believer that the best tech leaders really understand the industry and can see where it’s going. Look at AI for example. While it’s getting a lot of attention right now, we’ve been leveraging AI for years because we saw how we could develop models for recognizing patterns in data and imagery. I feel fortunate that we’ve assembled the right team that stays curious about where things are heading to keep innovation woven into our DNA.”
I also asked Sanjay about the importance of developing a winning attitude in a highly competitive business environment and his response truly resonated with me. “I always tell people that you want to win the right way. That comes back to your culture. I want to wake up every day knowing I'm making an impact for this company. And that I'm doing it in an honest and transparent way. I'm winning the right way,” he says. “When you are the founder and you build your own company, what matters is that when you put your head on the pillow, that you feel good about it. And so, for me, it's very important that you win -- and that you win the right way.”
I’m genuinely grateful to Sanjay for sharing his valuable advice with our global community of top-tier technology executives. At HMG Strategy, we strive to produce the world’s best summits and events, custom designed and developed to lead effectively into the C-suite and to accelerate your career ascent. I urge you to check out our amazing schedule of high-powered summits and see for yourself how the strength and power of our world-class community can help you and your team.