Downtime with Sulabh Upadhyaya: On Freeing Users and Big Bang Moments

Welcome to the latest installment of Downtime, our interview series spotlighting the people of Kraft Kennedy.

Sulabh Upadhyaya is a Practice Manager within Kraft Kennedy’s Enterprise Client Systems Group. Based in Houston, Sulabh is an expert in software lifecycle management and deployment. He leads teams on projects involving Microsoft Office, Windows 10, virtualization, and remote access.

Sulabh Upadhyaya

What is the story behind how you got into your line of work?
I started university as a pre-optometry major. This was about the time that the internet went mainstream; think AOL CDs. I realized very quickly that life sciences were not for me and enrolled in a few engineering and business classes. I found my way to building computers part-time and settled into the business school, which had an MIS program. For me, it was a good balance of business and technology, without the deep dive of engineering or life sciences. Fun fact: my first job out of college, for an engineering firm, was programming warehouse management systems for a large meatpacking company, followed by a job automating brew houses.

What’s a buzzword you keep hearing in the world of desktop and application delivery and what does it mean to you?
Intune. It is all about doing more with less. I’m seeing a transition toward simplicity with more out-of-box capabilities for users. The idea of locking down user experience is going away. The thing now is to give them options and take them to the ledge without letting them fall over.

What’s the biggest challenge you see your clients having?
At some point we forgot to learn and teach that restarting your computer is important and should be done on a regular basis.

What advice can you share for people getting into your field?
Don’t think of work as a job. Think about it as a ladder with bands of knowledge and experience. You can start on one rung of the ladder, and on one side of the band, and work your way over absorbing all that you can. Then you step one level up, rinse, and repeat. Oh, and remember that the best-laid plans will change, as there is always a Big Bang moment. It will take you places. Embrace that. A quote I read recently: “Change begins at the end of your comfort zone, so start getting uncomfortable!”

What is your signature dish or recipe?
I love pizza but my kids love my veggie chili with mac n’ cheese. It was something that was created when mom was away on a work trip some years back.

Describe your perfect Sunday.
No laundry. And, most importantly, reflecting on the past week and thinking about how to make the coming week better as a human, husband, father, family member, and, of course, at work.

What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?
One of my pastimes is to dabble on turntables on the 1s and 2s. It’s definitely a hobby and not a career. And yes, my DJ name is DJ Yaya.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Fair enough.” Not sure why. In reality, it does not always make sense. But it works well in conversations. Does it mean “good enough,” does it mean “okay,” or does it mean “we are agreeing to disagree”?

Where would you most like to live?
Southern California, on the beach. There’s something about the warmth and amazing beaches.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty. Without that, what is the point? What you see is what you should get. It can be ugly at times, but that is to be expected.