We’re celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by spotlighting and celebrating the stories of our Onas.
As CPO, Ashish is responsible for ensuring that Onapsis products continually evolve to address the latest challenges in protecting business-critical applications. She is in charge of product strategy, planning roadmaps and executing effectively to deliver the best capabilities for customers. With more than two decades of experience in the cybersecurity industry, Ashish has helped build new markets and industry-disruptive products. Prior to joining Onapsis, Ashish managed products at Cybereason as the first executive hire and was instrumental in establishing the company and the product as a leader in the Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) market. Ashish was also an early executive at Veracode and helped create the first SaaS-based application security testing product. She holds a Master's Degree in Computer Applications and studied strategy at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
What is your proudest career accomplishment to date?
I am not sure I can pick any specific accomplishment but I do remember feeling the proudest when I talked to my daughter about my work career and her eyes lit up! She asked a lot of questions with curiosity and excitement. She was inspired to think about the kind of profession she would choose and how the sky was the limit if she set her mind to it. That was definitely a very proud moment for me.
How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My dad was an entrepreneur all his life and growing up, I spent a lot of time steeped in our family business. You can say business is in my blood and along with technology, was a strong part of my upbringing, as were the fun conversations around the family dinner table. My dad instilled in me the importance of hard work and perseverance. And most of all, to speak my mind honestly and with respect. To stand for what is right, be empathetic and care for the most important thing in our lives—family and friends. I hope to inspire others along my life’s journey.
Amy is the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis and is responsible for leading the long-term planning, financial forecasting and business analysis processes for Onapsis. She leads a team of analysts who are partnering with each area of the business to support decision making and economic management of the business. With over twenty years of experience working in financial leadership positions across a variety of industries, she is most passionate about working cross functionally to deliver insightful analysis, and in developing the financial team to support business growth and scalability. On the personal side now that her two daughters are in college, Amy is looking forward to learning how to properly play golf and traveling outside of school vacation weeks! She studied Biology and Economics at Northeastern University and is a Fellow of The Partnership’s Leadership Development Program.
What is one activity or dish from your culture that you think everybody should try?
Definitely Dim Sum! It’s the term to describe a brunch where there is a large variety of small dishes and is traditionally served with tea–it gives people the opportunity to try many dishes without having to commit to a large portion of something they may not like. Most Dim Sum in restaurants have a unique serving method where servers regularly come by your table and offer a particular specialty. Some carts are steam heated, others can have built in mini grills, and some are just layered in breakfast cakes and buns–all you have to do is point! I have always found this a fun activity where there are some popular staples, as well as different specialties by city…..there is something for everyone!
What is your proudest career accomplishment to date?
My proudest career accomplishment was how I was able to achieve a game-changing working capital improvement goal. I worked at a multi-billion dollar manufacturing company that was facing huge pressure on performance from competitors and needed to drastically improve manufacturing operations. The CFO chose me to work with one plant to figure out a model that could be implemented across all US operations. I was basically airdropped from Boston to a plant in Kentucky. To say I didn’t blend is an understatement! No one from the plant was happy about someone from “corporate” coming in to fix what they didn’t think was broken… let alone someone with the last name 'O’Brien', Chinese and wearing a skirt and heels in a hard hat and safety goggles environment! I stuck with it and used my skills as an analyst to show the improvement possibilities using their own data and was able to be a catalyst for that organization in building an entirely new manufacturing sequence. After six months of construction and testing, they were on the road to achieving a 30% reduction in inventory while also improving service metrics. The plant team in Kentucky became the heroes that year and their model was going to be duplicated across all the other US plants and Germany. The best part was that I was able to use my analytical skills to build strong trust and relationships.
Krunal Gala is a Senior Sales Engineer at Onapsis, with over a decade of experience in Information Technology and Security, holding various roles in multiple disciplines like radio-frequency engineering, technical support, network security and application cybersecurity. Born and raised in India, Krunal came over to the United States for his Masters in Electrical Engineering at NYU. He’s passionate about architecting solutions for his customers and is an integral part in Onapsis’s mission of securing world’s mission-critical applications. Krunal works with our prospects and customers on a day-to-day basis helping identify gaps and blinds spots in their application cybersecurity maturity programs and serves as a subject matter expert for Onapsis’s product suite. Outside of work, Krunal pursues photography as a hobby, enjoys traveling, especially road trips, and is an avid soccer fan, Chelsea FC being his favorite team.
Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?
Having been born and raised in India with a rich culture and heritage, I cherish a lot of Indian festivals and traditions like Holi, Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. But, one tradition that I really look forward to every year is Diwali, the Festival of Lights and Hindu New Year. Diwali is when the entire house is decorated with flowers and rangoli, lit up with diyas (oil lamps) and lanterns. The entire family meets, offer prayers to Goddess Laxmi and enjoy a traditional feast together. Celebrations include festive foods and elders giving gifts and blessings to the young ones in the family. Since moving to the States, my wife and I have continued this tradition with friends who are like family, to keep up with the values and the sense of belonging that I was brought up with.
What advice can you give other Asian/Pacific-Americans pursuing a role in cybersecurity or sales engineering?
Cybersecurity is one of the hottest and most sought-after careers in today’s world. One piece of advice I have for anyone wanting to pursue a career in cybersecurity and/or sales engineering is to be very customer-centric, to always put yourself in customer’s shoes and focus on the customers’ needs. Try to find solutions that “fit” customers’ requirements. By putting the customer first, you will eventually be able to anticipate their future needs and provide them with the best solutions.
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