Over two weeks in late September, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella visited Asia and met with thousands of developers, customers, partners and employees to find out more about the region and to share his experiences, and more importantly, his vision for the company.
Korea: Meeting developers at TechDays Korea
Hundreds of developers and students arrived early at the InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas in Samseong-dong, Seoul and waited in keen anticipation for Satya Nadella to deliver the keynote address for the 2014 TechDays Korea conference.
The atmosphere was charged. When Nadella arrived on stage, he was met with raucous applause and cheers from the audience, much like a meet-and-greet session worthy of a K-pop star.
Developers warmly welcoming Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, on stage to deliver the keynote address for TechDays Korea
“I’ve grown up in Microsoft in the last 22 years, and I’ve (attended many) events, but I must say that this is the most stressed I’ve ever been in front of developers,” Nadella candidly shared with the warm, enthusiastic crowd.
He spoke passionately about Microsoft’s vision in the mobile-first, cloud-first world, the impact of the changing technology environment on developers and the great opportunities that Microsoft wants to create for them. The discussion resonated strongly with the audience and it was clear that this was a topic that was close to the Microsoft CEO’s heart – Nadella previously headed the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise division and led the successful transformation of the cloud infrastructure and services businesses.
Nadella also met with local partners, customers, industry players as well as Microsoft’s local and regional business leaders. His personable character and willingness to share left a deep impression on the hundreds he met in Seoul, setting the tone for the subsequent stops of his Asia visit.
China: An industry that respects innovation
In China, Nadella engaged with local students and young innovators, including participants of the Imagine Cup and YouthSpark programs. At a public seminar at Tsinghua University, Nadella recounted his personal journey and experiences as a developer and business leader, and discussed his belief in continuous innovation, which is essential for Microsoft to continue its success in a hyper-competitive market today.
“Our industry does not respect tradition, it only respects innovation,” Nadella said. “While Microsoft has seen great successes, we are well aware that these were results of great innovation.”
India: Homecoming in Hyderabad
Nadella’s next stop, India, was a milestone for the CEO who is just about nine months into his role. Originally from Hyderabad, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, his visit was celebrated locally as a proud homecoming.
Hundreds of Microsoft employees gathered in the Microsoft India Development Centre (MSIDC) for his address, while thousands more across India viewed the proceedings via webcast.
During his visit, Microsoft India announced that the company will offer commercial cloud services – Microsoft Azure and Office 365 – from local datacenters by end 2015.
“Microsoft is deeply committed to helping people and organizations thrive in our mobile-first and cloud-first world – that’s why we are proud to offer our commercial cloud services through datacenters in India,” said Nadella. “With more than 250 million Indians using Internet-connected devices today, there is incredible demand and opportunity for India with Microsoft’s cloud services.”
At Microsoft Talent India 2014, Nadella spoke with over 100,000 students and offered his thoughts on the opportunities and challenges that India’s next generation will soon face: “If you look at what is happening today in India, look at the business model innovation, look at the designs that are made for this country, and at the same time, the engineering skills, it’s that coming together. That multi-disciplinary approach to innovation which is what I believe all of you represent, is perhaps going to shape and change what you will do and what you will create.”
On his personal mantra, Nadella shared his favourite Gandhi quote: “Live everyday as if it’s your last day, but learn as if you’re going to learn forever.”
Japan: Office Premium launch in Japan
At the final stop of his tour, Nadella took the opportunity to launch new Office Premium services (combining the Office suite and Office 365) and exclusive Surface Pro 3 bundles targeted at the Japan market, encapsulating the mobile-first, cloud-first vision and ending his Asia visit on a high.
For more resources, recap and information on Satya Nadella’s visit to Asia:
- Watch: Satya Nadella TechDays Korea 2014 Keynote http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechDays/TechDays2014Korea/-TechDays-Korea-2014-Keynote-
- Microsoft India News Center: http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/news/
- Microsoft India on CEO Visit: http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/news/ceo/photo-diary.aspx
- Tsinghua University: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella participates in Tsinghua Seminar: http://news.tsinghua.edu.cn/publish/news/4211/2014/20140926162111588754081/20140926162111588754081_.html
- Microsoft Japan on CEO Visit: http://www.microsoft.com/ja-jp/news/exec/nadella/ceo.aspx