Venkat Ratnam

Occupation: Sr Director & Head, North American PS, MetricStream

First Car: Toyota Celica (my brother was kind enough to give it to me!)

Favorite Restaurant: Mario’s Italiano, Mountain View, CA

1. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

a.)  I'm very good at remembering people’s faces! I have recognized and introduced myself to different people at different places: on the streets in New York, in doctor’s offices and in airports. I have met Ed Bradley (60 minutes), Stone Phillips (NBC), Carly Fiorina, Leon Panetta.
b.)  I can name all the Supreme Court justices!
c.)  I participated in a Speedcubing competition (Rubik’s cube) when I was 17 and solved it in 1 min and 45 secs.

2. What’s been your greatest adventure in life?

Observing and learning from different people all the time!

3. What’s your best childhood memory?

Spending summer holidays playing cricket all day and coming home in between for lunch and tea and then going to the beach every evening.

4. If you could have a conversation with a person of your choice, past, present or future, who would that person be and why?
Elon Musk – what motivates a person to launch three different ventures in totally different areas at the same time, not being an expert in any of them! Truly amazing!

5. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

Going uptown, downtown and midtown in NYC regularly on a single day to take care of different demanding customers!

6. Tell us about your favorite hobby.

Current affairs and politics - Looking for news and reading it on the web, magazines, blogs etc.

7. What are you currently reading? What is your favorite book?

Circle of Innovation – by Tom Peters

8. Do you have a favorite app(s) you can’t live without?

Khan Academy on the iPad (for my kid)

9. Is there a particular place or thing you want to see?

The Kingdom of Bhutan. I have heard it is one serene place. It is also a country that restricts the number of tourists that can get in.

10. If you could give $10,000 to a charity, what would that charity be and why?

Any organization that provides care to our disabled veterans returning from war.

11. If you weren’t on the professional services career track, what would you be doing?

I would be creating products and not just making them work!

12. What is the path that led you to Professional Services/Consulting?

My Masters in Computer Applications landed me a job at Wipro, then a <1000 people services company

13. What advice would you give to a recent graduate who just took a job in professional services?

Always understand the solution you are delivering and what the customer is looking for, then learn the consulting business, how to own and operate it.