In Speaking

Meeting Micorsoft’s COO, Kevin Turner

When I got a call from Microsoft to inform me about their global COO’s visit to India, it all sounded familiar. Last year, I got a call informing me of their CEO, Steve Ballmer’s visit. It was for an event called IndiMix and they had wanted to shoot a video of me pitching for the event . The video never got published. They invited me for the event but when I got to know I’d be part of at least 5000 other people, I let it pass. You achieve nothing in such big crowds. As you can guess, I had good reason to brush off the recent call.

But I was wrong. The call came from D’Souza, a passionate web evangelist at Microsoft. Evangelists are good people, way better than sales folks. I have known D’souza earlier when he had invited me to speak at a few Microsoft events. He wanted to meet up with me in person.

When we met up, he handed out a personally written invitation (in calligraphy) signed by the General Manger of Microsoft India, inviting me for a round table discussion with Kevin Turner at Mumbai. And I quote a line from the invitation…”We are trying to bring together the key web influencers in the country to enrich our understanding of the space – thereby adding value to the offerings that we bring to the market in the future”.

As if I wasn’t impressed enough, he said it was a round table discussion with ten other invited folks. Good. So, it is NOT going to be 5000 folks. Just 10 of us with Kevin. Makes for a better chance for a meaningful conversation and hopefully I get to add value to the discussion.

I’m looking forward to meeting up with Kevin Turner and I won’t hide the awe. The awe is understandable when you get to read his profile. As the COO, he is responsible for all sales & marketing initiatives. He heads deptartments that has 35,000 employees (that’s half of MS’ 70,000 employees) and responsible for generating revenues of $44 Billion.

And he is just 40. His photograph lies about his age. Damn! He is just 7 years older than me. Sigh!

In addition to Kevin, I’m looking forward to connecting up with the other invited members. I heard a few names and I was impressed. I should get to know the entire list by today.

Should be fun.