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Five-minute interview: Anton Shelepchuk, Nakivo

The vice-president of worldwide sales at the data protection and recovery software player shares some personal insights, including his teen dream of becoming a professional footballer and some investment advice that he was wise to ignore

Morning, Anton, tell us what you do for a living.

I have been working at Nakivo for the past 10 years. I started as a business development manager and worked my way up to vice-president of worldwide sales, currently managing a team of 42 people.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I am the right person to lead a large group of sales managers because I have been there myself. I learned how to do this job through failures and victories, and this experience has allowed me to build and maintain a successful sales organisation.

What gets you up in the morning?

The ability to live happily and enjoy life. We all started to value life more during the pandemic. Another thing that motivates me is that I really like achieving new goals, and there are many goals I would still like to achieve.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

My parents. From early childhood, they instilled important values in me, such as the importance of education, respect for others, and how to set and achieve goals. Being a non-native English speaker, I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to study English language for four hours a day, which started from the first year of junior school. Thus, kudos to my school.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

The best advice was never respond to an email while you are angry – leave it and come back later. The worst advice was to invest in a Bitcoin farm. I declined the idea, and two days later Bitcoin crashed. I’m glad I did not follow that advice.

“It is never late to start in IT. If you are reading this and have an aptitude for IT but are still hesitating, go for it. IT is no different from other jobs – work hard and you will achieve success”

Anton Shelepchuk, Nakivo

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Don’t get into IT. Just joking. In my opinion, IT is the best field of occupation for young individuals who want to build a successful career. I have many friends who studied economics, law, or linguistics, but ended up finding themselves in IT. It is never late to start in IT. If you are reading this and have an aptitude for IT but are still hesitating, go for it. IT is no different from other jobs – work hard and you will achieve success.

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning digital transformation?

Yes, it is possible. In fact, I will prove it by not talking about it here ;-)

What do the next five years hold for the channel?

The global pandemic has imposed a lot of challenges on the channel. For example, Nakivo had to get very creative to maintain close relationships with partners during Covid-19. I do know that in the next two years everyone will be excited about going back to offline events, face-to-face meetings and joint activities with partners. I’m looking forward to meeting our partners in person again, to shake their hands and thank them for their great work. Apart from this, the channel has become heavily focused on meeting customers’ demands for cyber security and ransomware protection. I think this trend will continue, as ransomware and cyber attacks are becoming the nuclear weapon of the 21st century.

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I wanted to become a professional football player until the age of 15. By football, I mean real European football. I’m still a big football fan and watch a lot of games.

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

I have many goals, one of them is to visit 100 countries. I like travelling and meeting people from different cultures. I am also hoping to see how Elon Musk gets humanity to Mars soon.

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

1984 by George Orwell.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Mortal Kombat (2021).

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

I would take Eminem’s albums with me.

What temptation can you not resist?

I cannot resist eating chocolate, but lately I’ve been making some progress in consuming fewer sweets.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car was the Opel Insignia. It cannot be compared to the Tesla Model S I am driving now. Tesla is infinitely more advanced and technological.

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

I would become a lion. My zodiac sign is Leo, so I relate to this animal.

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

I would pick Superman. I believe he is the most powerful superhero.

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