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Enterprise software executive and an investor, Aneel Bhusri is the co-founder and CEO of Workday Inc. and also serves as a partner at Greylock partners. Aneel Bhusri has been a great leader, product visionary and an innovator in the software industry for more than 20 years. Bhusri feels that for the things that have already been done, Workday has come up with much better ways for doing the same things. Aneel Bhusri is a leader in enterprise cloud applications for human resources and finance. With the leadership of Aneel Bhusri, Workday has invested in continued growth. According to Bhusri, business is valued in terms of dimension of the business more than anything else. Despite of the executive position, Bhusri is always accessible and maintains a welcome gesture for those who seek feedback from the stakeholders. Bhusri prefer playing offensive and not defensive.

Early career ...

The first job of Bhusri immediately after his college was as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley. It was in 1999, that Aneel Bhusri serves PeopleSoft as Director of planning. He served different leadership positions at PeopleSoft, including senior vice president and was responsible for product strategy, business development and marketing. Then he worked with David Duffield and then went on to co-find Workday Inc. Initially Bhusri was responsible for the product strategy and marketing and was later serving as the Vice chairman. Workday is meant for delivering financial management, human capital management and analytical applications that are designed for the major companies spread world-wide, educational institutions and some of the government agencies.

Since 1999, Bhusri was also associated with Greylock as a partner. Greylock is into software investment which backed many of the companies like Facebook, Groupon, Dropbox Airbnb. He was also one of the investor for cloud technologies at Greylock.

It was in 2005, that Workday was founded by Aneel Bhusri along with David Duffield and which was mainly funded by Greylock partners. Workday Inc., is mainly involved in selling software and some of the services using SaaS model. Bhusri also serves as the Chief Executive officer at Workday Inc and as the chairman of the board of directors till May 2014. In addition, Bhusri also serves as a member for the board of directors for Intel.


Since Workday was set up, Bhusri always concentrated on creating an employee-centered environment filled with fun. Bhusri was successful in pleasing the workers on the assumption that happy employees equal to happy customers. He also believed in the concept that a happier workplace would lead to financial success.

In terms of industry, Bhusri always considers education, government and healthcare as the first priority and financial services is the next big push for him. Hence Bhusri opines that there is a hope of finding some interesting products to be built. Most of the major retailers trust Bhusri and hence are working with Workday and will be continuing to work. It is on the part of Bhusri to ensure that right things are done with the retailers on some of the capabilities for retail, and for HR. Bhusri does not concentrate on getting too far ahead of self, but is going to start seeing more and more of the companies which talk about the success by just choosing Workday. It is at this point that the rubber meets the road and took off on the HR side.

Bhusri has applauded the ambition of Workday. The perfect solution for 21st century is to focus on the vertical market. This well aligns with the manner in which the role of modern CFO is evolving. The right strategy is to take the lead while nailing the critical FPA function for the present period. In short, the strategy of Bhusri is to make an offensive play out of what at first seems like a defensive position.

The main motivation of Bhusri is to position Adaptive as the best in the class solution and which can also be sold along with the other non-Workday solutions. Bhusri never cares about what people say about using big data, machine learning and all the buzz words that people throw around. At the end of the day, Bhusri looks at financial transaction associated with a dollar value and which resonates across every dimension that can be possible of imagination.

Leadership success...

The success that his company has recorded was not expected and was really unimaginable for Bhusri. He never anticipated that the business would lead to enormous success only after a few years of its inception. He gives the success credit to his employees first, next to clients who have worked out well for Workday.

Under the leadership of Bhusri, the stock prices are rising high and this Bhusri opines that the market has started recognizing that Workday is getting established in the high-end enterprise market. Transparency is always maintained by Bhusri regarding what exactly is happening in the high end of the market.

Workday is selected and used by organizations which range from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises. Bhusri plans to invest in different ways in order to ensure that Workday remains as an industry leader which stands in the test of times. In order to build the long lasting company, Bhusri believes in fostering the great talent from within the company and deploy the leaders in the strategic areas of continuous growth.

Workday today has the core markets for the financial products, which can handle the largest customers. Workday has large healthcare, large financial services customers. But the new aspect to Workday is selling of the enterprise. As per the data as of 2018, the Net worth of Bhusri is around 190 crores. Bhusri feels that even if Workday gets 50% of the Fortune 500, then it is considered that Workday is on the right pathway of HR and even for financials. Bhusri has not just bought the product, but also the working of the product and should be really working well.

Future plans...

Bhusri is trying and dreaming to get a place where customers use Workday for making better business decisions, make better planning and better analysis and get a close link together and as a whole serve as a seamless business platform for running their own business in much better and improvised way. Bhusri wants to take Workday to such a position that the businesses should be of the opinion that, if business is not run by the assistance of Workday, then the business is at a great disadvantage.

Bhusri is also looking out for the opportunities for expanding and moving into vertical industry markets. One of such kinds, first industry initiative is Student. The first initiative Student is set for a great start. To reduce the risk of talent attrition, the cultural alignment issues that arise due to change in control requires to be carefully managed.

Philanthropic side...

Bhusri values in giving back. In May 2018, Bhusri has joined Giving Pledge, which is a commitment by the wealth people around the world for dedicating most of their wealth towards philanthropy. He believes that his company is a part of the community and thus plays a significant role in the growth and success of other companies. For the benefit of the community, Bhusri serves a foundation that is being partnered with non-profit organization.

Personal life...

Bhusri has been graduated from Brown University in Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and Bachelor of Arts in economics. Bhusri has Master of business administration degree from Stanford University. Bhusri is a Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He is married to Allison Thoreson and has one daughter.

Awards and accolades...

Aneel Bhusri has been awarded as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the year 2013.
Bhusri has been on the Forbes Midas List for about six times since 2008.
Bhusri was nominated for the Chronicle and St.Mary’s College Visionary of the Year Award.
Workday stands 7th in the list among the list of the companies whose employees like their employers.

Interesting facts about the personality...

Bhusri loves to mentor young people. Bhusri embrace reverse mentoring. In order to guide the strategy, vision and innovation, Bhusri connects purposely with the younger employees together with the business partners and clients.
Bhusri is very much employee centric. Bhusri takes time to interview the potential workers for their skills, and Bhusri looked out for the candidates who have excellent cultural ethics, who prove to be good team players and who have customer focus.
Bhusri believes that charity is a way of appreciating people who let the business to thrive.
Bhusri opines that security and privacy are the main lessons that have a lot to teach the consumer cloud companies.
Bhusri interacts with everyone. To him, it is not about innovations in business or companies, but it is the innovations of enabling the individuals to stand up and attain the position where they can feed themselves and be protected.
The business of Workday Inc. was started along with his co-founder over a brunch.

His two cents for future entrepreneurs...

All entrepreneurs should identify and find an excellent mentor as proper identification has plenty of benefits associated.
Have a system which lets your employees hire the next level individuals.
Never replace luck and timing.
If the problem that you are solving is not hard, then it is not worth doing.
Always listen to your customers
Your culture is your brand.
Charity and mentoring is in the DNA of great companies.
Leadership diversity and succession planning is key to success.
All applications must be intelligent applications.

Hope readers caught up the spark...