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7 Questions on Leadership with Sayed Peerzade

Name: Sayed Peerzade

Title: Chief Cloud Officer

Organisation: Yotta Data Services

Information Technology veteran with over 20+ years of successful experience in national and global level Technology innovations, Cloud technologies, product development , Operations, Business ideations through Digital transformations.

He is pioneer of many firsts in technology Innovations in India, especially in Cloud and Analytics domain. As CIO, He designed first private cloud IaaS model with first of kind OPEX commercial deal, for his Reliance Entertainment's Digital businesses.

With passion of innovations, carrying an ambition of building path breaking products on Cloud, Edge & Containerisation, currently he joined hands with Yotta & working towards building a complete Indian hyper-scale Cloud ecosystem along with Edge & 5G ecosystem.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Sayed's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

A great leader knows when to be firm and when to be flexible — they have set defined boundaries. The leader knows what matters and what’s not essential. They understand what the bottom line is and are flexible on the way to achieve it.

It's challanging to mention this principle as most of leaders are either see things as black and white, or they are 'yes' leaders. my take on these breed is that, It won’t be long before the team becomes chaotic with no processes in place. Everyone does what one likes. The team won’t last too, as the team has no focus or direction.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Everyone starts from the scratch, so does I. Started from customer support engineer, to Tech and business leader, it's a journey. A journey of self initiatives, Innovative mindset and of course results, which gives you ladder of growth.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Pre planned way. I keep a week's schedule in hand and work accordingly. There are many parallel projects going on and unless its planned nothing is going to work.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

A smart tech leader, while also having opinions, knows when to keep their opinion to themselves and just listen. They know when they should harvest the knowledge of their team members and synthesize them into a better solution before deciding the course forward.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Work Rules by Laszlo bock: with clear-eyed, data-driven look in to today's works place, Bock reveals the non-traditional practices that can fundamentally transform businesses of all kinds. Fundamental leadership lesson here is, Think out of the box, no excuse, bring innovative thinking to transform your department, the organisation, industry and the country.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

A great leader, specially technical leader demonstrates technical maturity, and constantly able to provide sound rationales behind one’s decision. “Because I say so” is not in their vocabulary. Although one has veto power for one’s team technical direction, it’s rarely used.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Consolidation of multiple organisation and tech mandate i received during my Reliance days. Here you need to deal with people and tech to consolidate, hard decisions and at the same time humanity need to be prevailed. Don't want to go in deep on this story, however lesson i learned is, Empathy, along with clarity of your goals as leader works.

There will be some critical occasion, the tech lead has to do some unpopular decisions, challenging the status quo. In doing so, though it’s an uphill task to convince the team — they strive to ascertain the team of the decision and how it will benefit the team. Unless the team follows, they will not move forward. There’s no beating required.

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