Shiva Pillay

Shiva Pillay, the General Manager and Senior Vice President for Asia, Pacific and Japan at Veeam Software discusses motivation, self-improvement, and career progression.
Shiva Pillay
Shiva Pillay
Veeam Software
Shiva Pillay, Veeam Software


  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology
  • Graduated from University of Wollongong in 2006
  • Attained the INSEAD business strategy and financial performance certificate in May 2021

What does motivation mean to you? How do you keep yourself motivated in challenging times?

I see motivation as the desire to accomplish goals that you have set – being motivated means you will go the extra mile and maintain that effort consistently to succeed in what you do. 

To me, success is not permanent. Knowing that it is always fleeting and never taking it for granted is what provides me with the drive to succeed. No matter how well a project is going or how the team is performing, there is always room for improvement.

The process of striving for excellence is far more exciting than excellence itself. I stay motivated because I see every challenge as a milestone for me to overcome before moving to the next goal with my team.

Name three (3) ways a student or fresh grad can invest in themselves.

Look for ways to expand their skill set: This can take on many different forms and doesn’t just entail furthering one’s education. They can enrol in workshops, attend conferences, or participate in webinars to sharpen their skills in specific areas to advance their career and widen their network. 

Dedicate time to a hobby that you are passionate about: This helps to unleash creativity, allowing you to develop new perspectives and view problems and solutions in different ways, as well as to utilise other parts of your mind that may have been previously untapped.

Take care of your mind and body: We need to occasionally remember to slow down in our fast-paced society to avoid overtaxing our bodies and minds.

What are the qualities that separate leaders from managers?

A manager’s role is to ensure everyone is doing what they are supposed to do to make strategies effective, make workflow productively and ensure processes are running effectively. Leaders, on the other hand, aren’t so much about managing processes, even though they are equipped to do that. They are the ones with the vision, drive, and inclination to push things forward as they constantly have their eyes on the horizon and continuously develop new strategies and tactics that propel the business forward. 

Two other key qualities of a leader are their ability to inspire trust and their strong emotional skills. Emotionally intelligent leaders instil teamwork and motivation to affect the change they desire and can demonstrate their willingness to change by example.

If you could turn back time, how would you improve yourself – personally or professionally?

I believe in taking chances, trying new things that are outside of my comfort zone, and embracing change. I’m thankful for the path that has led me into sales, despite it being vastly different from the career direction that my Psychology degree had put me in. 

Although entering the sales industry was first intimidating, it soon become clear that it was a fast-paced environment that rewarded hard work. The pace at which technology evolves has always fascinated me and it motivates me to maximize the impact that great solutions can bring to our customers.

If I could turn back time, I would have helped a lot more of my colleagues earlier in my career.

What is the one habit that has continued to help you grow as a person?

To ensure consistent improvement, I often compete with myself and others to discover new areas for me to enhance my skills. I frequently remind myself to do better than what I did the last round, and it motivates me to constantly seek growth in this fast-progressing environment. I recognize that there is always room for improvement, and I should never stop seeking progress. 

Having a balance between short-term goals and a broader long-term vision allows me to understand that not every day has to be a great day but a step closer to the longer-term path.

Name one surprising or interesting fact about yourself.

I am an introvert, even though I exhibit like an extrovert most of the time during work.