Life at Oracle an Interview With Vivek Marla by Pushpa Sreenivasan

 

As head of Oracle SSI, Vivek leads one of Oracle’s prominent global consulting organizations. He leads a team of consultants specialized in global consulting delivery in a remote/onsite mode. His team delivers rapid, high quality and cost effective solutions across multiple industries using Oracle Technologies and Oracle Applications, to customers worldwide.

I had this good fortune to meet up with Vivek to talk about his life in Oracle and his journey. Some of them that I gathered were:

1. How did you board the Oracle ship?

I was working for a small consulting company in US and the company was not doing well. Hence I was on the look out for another job. I was contacted by a recruiter about a company called Oracle looking for an Applications consultant. I knew very little about Oracle then. It sounded like a very ambitious organization, determined to move beyond Databases and make a difference in the Applications and Applications consulting world. Its culture seemed to fit well with what I was looking for. I joined Oracle as one of its first two Manufacturing consultants in 1989 in its Los Angeles office.

 

DSC_2853

Vivek Marla
Vice President
Oracle SSI


2. How do you want to describe your journey in Oracle?
In a few simple words, I would describe the journey in Oracle as exciting, challenging and fulfilling. This journey has enabled me to live and work in multiple countries, work in multiple lines of business, work in different levels of technical and management roles, and work with clients from varied industries and backgrounds. I started my career in Oracle as a Manufacturing consultant, and when I left Los Angeles 6 years later, I was heading the Manufacturing Consulting Practice in Los Angeles. I joined Oracle Korea as the head of its Consulting group and started the Oracle Korea consulting group almost from scratch. I moved to Thailand and managed the implementation of a very large ERP system for Nissan Thailand and started an Automotive Consulting practice for APAC. I moved to India and set up the Oracle India Consulting Practice, again almost from scratch. I moved on to head the Pre-sales group for Oracle India, and 2 years later I moved on to head the Corporate Sales function for Oracle India. From there, I moved back to consulting to head Oracle SSI, Oracle’s largest offshore consulting group, serving EMEA and APAC.

It is only at Oracle I could get such diversity of roles, diversity of countries and cultures to work in and diversity of challenges to manage. These are the kinds of opportunities that Oracle provides for its employees.

3. What is it that you enjoy about Oracle?
I like Oracle’s penchant to be in the leading edge of technology and products. I enjoy the dynamism that exists at Oracle. While its long-term strategy is very clear and strong, tactically it is very adaptable to change based on business needs. I thrive in this change. I also enjoy the diversity of opportunities that Oracle provides to its employees. Most importantly, I enjoy the people I work with, no matter which country I am working in.

4. What qualities and characteristics would you say Oracle looks for in its potential employees?
Primarily Oracle looks for brilliant minds to work on their leading edge products, technology and services. Equally important, Oracle looks for people who are dynamic, flexible, adaptable, hungry for knowledge, ability to multi task, people who thrive on challenges and people who relish working in a high performance culture.

5. How would you describe the Oracle culture?
In my view, Oracle has a very high performance culture. It is highly results oriented, with a strong desire to be the best in the world in its products, technology and services. It empowers its people and gives them intellectual and functional freedom, subject to overall corporate guidelines. It has a strong value system that it inculcates in its employees.

6. How does Oracle manage to get the best out of rest?
First of all it makes sure it hires the best people. In general, the caliber of the people working at Oracle is very high. Being a results oriented organization, Oracle encourages its employees to set their goals, encourages them to be aggressive in their targets, allows them the freedom to achieve their goals and gives them the best tools, training and infrastructure. Naturally, every employee ends up giving his or her best to the organization.

7. What opportunities can Oracle provide for its staff?
Oracle is known for its training programs - both technical and soft skills. Employees at Oracle have probably the best opportunity to regularly sharpen their saws and keep themselves at the cutting edge of knowledge. This is the reason, Oracle looks for people who are hungry for knowledge. Oracle, with its huge portfolio of products, technology and world wide operations, offers its employees unparalleled opportunity to broaden and deepen their experience and to grow horizontally and vertically. I am an example who has leveraged this opportunity to the fullest.

8. How does Oracle support its staff?
Very briefly, Oracle supports its staff by providing them a conducive environment to learn and to grow, by providing them a supportive environment to enable them to face challenges and to achieve milestones and by providing them world-class HR policies that facilitates personal and professional growth.

9. Any advice for people who want to be with Oracle?
My short advice would be: You try to be the best you can be and make a true difference to the organization you work for. Oracle, in return, will make a difference to you.

The author of this article has been with the Oracle India Recruitment Team for the past three years and can be contacted at pushpalatha.sreenivasan@oracle.com.

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