Meet Bihag Karnani. He’s a Senior Operations Analyst based in Waterloo, Canada. In this post, Bihag talks about how he’s become a better analyst and agent of change after experiencing life and work in three different countries, and how he finds “home” no matter where he goes.
When did you start your journey with OpenText™?
I joined OpenText™ in December 2017. It was a really fun time of year to join the company, because I got to experience the annual Waterloo Holiday Party shortly after I started!
What drew you to OpenText?
Last winter, I had just moved from San Francisco to Toronto – that’s a long story. I usually just tell people that I moved to Canada because I prefer the weather here – I love to see everyone’s reactions! Five days before I moved to Toronto, I applied to OpenText. As an IT Engineer, a hi-tech company like OpenText felt like the perfect fit for me when I was looking for jobs in Canada. The hi-tech world was one that I knew very well, having previously worked at Cisco, VMWare, Intel, Amazon and Samsung Electronics before joining OpenText.
How was your interview experience with OpenText?
Out of the many interviews that I’ve had in my career thus far, the OpenText interview process was – by far – the best experience I’ve ever had. The recruiter, Rob, was not just representing the company when he interviewed me; he became my advocate during every step of the process. After every round, Rob would call me to ask me how I was feeling, and how the most recent round of interviews went. He would then congratulate me for moving on to the next round and help setup the next meeting. Even after I accepted the offer, Rob helped me during the background check process and provided me with lots of great onboarding resources. To this day, I truly appreciate Rob for not only going out of his way to make me feel comfortable during the entire process, but also solidifying my belief in the OpenText culture, which I now appreciate even more.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I work in Corporate Operations as a part of the World Wide Field Operations team. My primary accountability is to solve problems and make sure things are working efficiently. A few examples of the problems I solve regularly include: helping the global sales team use Salesforce effectively, handling any change requests needed to OpenText’s instance of Salesforce and integrating the sales processes and policies of the companies OpenText acquires with our existing processes and policies.
On any given day, I’m multi-tasking between handling process improvement or integration project tasks and everything in the world of Salesforce – all the while supporting the sales teams through a ticketed system. The best part is reaching out to different subject matter experts, gathering information to spark ideas and presenting those ideas to the decision makers so they see the potential in that idea. This brings value to our team and provides great opportunities for our customers.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Typically, the sales team members try to solve problems on their own first, so they don’t usually email us unless they’ve exhausted themselves. I’m sure it’s extremely frustrating for an Account Executive to experience delays on an important deal due to an error in Salesforce. So, I try to get on a call with the Account Executives or Sales Managers right away, so I can fix their problems as soon as possible. It’s simply amazing to hear their sighs of relief when they realize they can move on to the next stage of their deal, hassle-free.
Throughout your career, you have lived and worked in many different places around the world. How do you think this has shaped you personally and professionally?
During my MBA degree, my professors would often say that in today’s world, your emotional quotient (EQ) is more important than your intelligence quotient (IQ). Living and working in three different countries – India, USA and now Canada – made me appreciate different perspectives and has given me the ability to step into other peoples’ shoes. This has truly helped me to better understand the needs and situations of others, and has allowed me to process information faster and work more effectively.
Observing and accepting the stark difference between Asian and North American culture, and even the subtle nuances between Canada and the USA, has also made me more sensitive to peoples’ behavior patterns and beliefs, which has made me a more empathetic person. All in all, I believe that it has made me a better analyst and a better agent of change here at OpenText. Over the years, I’ve formed strong relationships with my team, with my colleagues from other teams and with stakeholders who are impacted by my work every single day.
Since you’ve moved around a lot over the years, where is “home” to you?
Personally, I’ve realized that “home” is impermanent. Home is where my family and friends are, regardless of the country, state or city they live in. I’ve moved ten times in the last four years, so I’m excellent at packing, moving and making any place feel like home. It also made me realize how awesome it is to buy used furniture!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I recently founded and now lead the Purdue Alumni Club of the Greater Toronto Area, which I’m very passionate about. I love bringing alumni together and creating a group that is rooted in a great educational institution. Planning and managing events for this group typically takes up one weekend of every month.
I’ve also started painting recently, which has fast become an obsession – from just a hobby to something akin to breathing. Painting is like meditation for me and it usually takes up many of my evenings and weekends. I’m also a closet poet and a singer, but I only sing for the most important audience of my life: my wife.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love how inclusive it is here at OpenText. Not too many people understand how it feels to be in a new country, city, and company all at the same time. When someone immigrates to a new country, there are so many things to figure out – things that many others take for granted. When I moved to Canada, I felt so grateful to settle into such a safe and welcoming environment. I felt comfortable asking questions – even the most basic questions. It turns out, asking these questions made my transition so much easier. I’ve also had a lot of good laughs while asking questions! For example, a few months ago, I asked my manager, “Why is milk sold in milk bags in Canada as opposed to milk cartons?” I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having conversations like this. But in all seriousness, my manager’s openness to talking and sharing information has truly helped me succeed both personally and professionally.
I’m so proud to be a part of the OpenText family!