Tathagat Varma (TV) was announced as the the winner of Agile Leader of the year award at India Agile Awards 2015, held in Vivanta by Taj, Bangalore , an annual award function, that is held every year and attended by hundreds of IT professionals in India. After winning the award on 19th June,2015 among 5 other final nominees, we caught up with Tathagat Varma and interviewed him to find out more about him about winning this award and his success. We also gained an insight on what influenced him and what advise he would give to other IT professionals.
UNICOM: What was your approach in filling up the application form?
TV: Every time you sit down to write down things about yourself, it is a great opportunity to reflect back upon your work. I have never felt that one should use such opportunity to “brag” about their accomplishments, but rather use it to retrospect upon the learning they have undergone as a result of what they done. So, I had a very similar experience. The fact that a professional jury was going to look into it was my added incentive – it’s always nice to learn from experts.
UNICOM: Please share the first thought when you realised that you have won the award?
TV: I initially felt happy to be bestowed by the honor. And the next feeling is that of being deeply humbled by the respect shown by the jury and the community. You feel a sense of obligation for the community to serve it even more, and find opportunities to help as many people as you possibly can. When a lot of people look up to you, you have a great responsibility to live up to their trust and respect – not just for them, but even to yourself!
UNICOM: What was the significance of winning this award to you/your organisation?
TV: I was already a freelance agile coach and consultant by the time I was announced the winner for 2015. Personally, it was a good feedback on my thought process. Though on a professional basis, I haven’t used this accomplishment to really “sell” myself, as that would perhaps be a bit shallow way of looking at one’s journey. All I can say is that it gave me a new sense of energy and purpose to keep doing the work, and and then some more!
UNICOM How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you would like to share?
TV: There were lots of wishes from friends and professional well-wishers. I am ever grateful to them for their support and encouragement.
UNICOM: Please describe your experience of the day the award was held?
TV: It was a wonderful day. We had the keynote by Mr. Ashok Soota, who was awarded the Lifetime Award. He also delivered keynote and graciously accepted the award. I was conducting the Agile Olympiad during the day, which always draws a large number of professionals, and we had some great teams in the final round. I remember going to all the winners and personally congratulating them on their accomplishment.
UNICOM: What do you think differentiated you from rest of the nominees?
TV : I think all other finalists are well-respected thought leaders in the agile field, and were equally worthy of being crowned as the winner. I know most of the other finalists, and have a deep respect for their professional accomplishments. I can’t say on behalf of the jury on what they found different in my work, but if I have to take a guess, it probably will be my community work in terms of presenting at conferences, delivering talks, writing articles, etc.
UNICOM: What message you have for those reading your interview?
TV: We have a vibrant community of agile practitioners and enthusiasts. Get involved in whatever way you can – as learner, as volunteer for the events, as speakers for the meetups, as bloggers for conferences, and so on. Your involvement makes a BIG difference. You will not only learn about agile, but you will be able to network with other like-minded professionals who will help enrich you professionally.
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