Get To Know: Lenovo Vice President and General Manager Ajit Sivadasan
Ajit Sivadasan manages a team spanning 10 countries worldwide, focusing on driving online and digital demand generation and brand campaigns integrated with social media, SEO/SEM, retargeting, advanced segmentation and affiliate marketing strategies. He also spearheads several marketing optimization strategies using advanced analytics and big data concepts.
Mr. Sivadasan’s achievements with Lenovo over the past six years include driving significant increase in the firm’s internet business from consumer and small to medium-sized businesses, driving penetration of the business into newer global markets.
Prior to joining Lenovo, Sivadasan was Executive Producer, Gateway.com where he led significant transformation to rebuild Gateway from a direct marketeer to a retail entity as head of gateway.com. He also worked as a Senior Consultant for management consulting firm Deloitte and Touche.
Mr. Sivadasan will be presenting the keynote address at SMX London on May 13th at the Chelsea Football Club.
Vice President and General Manager, Lenovo
- Age: 43
- HQ: Morrisville, NC
- First Job: Business Analyst, Ashok Leyland, India
- Apple or Android? Android
- Hobby: Painting, playing racquet sports
- First Car: Honda Accord
What mobile device can you not live without?
Can we take a peek at your phone’s home screen?
What app do you use most often for work?
What social media network or website do you frequent most when you’re not working?
What’s the first thing you check on your phone in the morning?
Take me through your typical workday.
Nothing typical about my work.
When I am not traveling or speaking at conferences, I start work at 6.45 am in my office. Usually spend most of my day in reviews of our web initiatives, working with my leadership team on various topics, ranging from demand generation to fixing customer satisfaction issues in our online sales or speaking with my extended team or colleagues about their challenges or getting help on mine. I end the day around 3 pm, work out at the gym or home and get ready for evening calls or something I may need to spend time on. I keep Mondays and Fridays open for all the thinking type of activities I need to do, like, presentations for conferences, strategy decks, creative stuff and anything ad hoc that comes up. I find that my productivity goes up significantly when I prioritize work this way.
What work challenge keeps you up at night?
Mostly thinking about growth, shifts in markets and customer experience issues. I am very focused on agility of our web solutions and its ability to scale as Lenovo continues its dramatic growth. I worry about how we can become more seamless in our offerings across our customer value chain from a web standpoint.
What has been the most exciting work development this year?
We recently launched a fully responsive web design for our mobile users. We really had to think hard on our approach, no one has done a particularly great job in the PC/CE space on mobile design, so in many ways we were trying something new and that’s always exciting.
How many miles have you traveled this year?
Actually, not that much this year, probably 40,000.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your team would be surprised to know?
I am not sure if my team would be surprised by this revelation, only because I have told them of this before… I like to paint and have been for a while. Most people are surprised because they think of me as a very logical left brain sort of person. The other one that I am very proud to tell people is that I am a student of Peter Drucker who taught at Claremont Graduate University, business school. It was a remarkable privilege for me to listen to him speak about management.
Why did you go into marketing?
Actually, I went into sales first and the marketing part because of necessity. I realized that web marketing in particular was more science and math than anything else. I am fascinated by human behavior and marketing helps with understanding this.
What other career would you like to try?
Interesting question. I would like to see if I can be successful as an entrepreneur, doing something that’s thoroughly consumer focused.
What does your desk look like right now?
Typically I am organized, so the desk is clean :) I have a lenovo display which I use for projecting charts and presentations in my office. You can see my favorite notebook in the background, X1 carbon, arguably the best business notebook in market(I could be biased :) You can also see my interest in BIG Data (HBR) and books on human behavior like Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely or Outliers by Malcom Gladwell on my bookshelf. I have a nice corner office with a 270 degree view of the classic North Carolina greenery.
What is the last business book you read?
The Honest Truth About Dishonest People by Dan Ariely and Bill Bryson’s One Summer, America 1927 work of non-fiction on history and early entrepreneurship.
Outside of your company’s efforts, what marketing campaign or video caught your eye recently?
The social campaign that Coke drove around personalizing their coke bottles I thought was brilliant. I also saw a Geox campaign on crowdsourcing shoe designs that was pretty cool.
Register Today For SMX London
Ajit’s keynote, “Will Data Save Marketing?” is one of the highlights of SMX London, featuring two packed days of great content on search, social, mobile and online marketing. Don’t delay – register now!
Looking forward to seeing you in London!
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)
Discover what's up in the business of marketing each Friday.