Meet Gireesh Sonnad, the CEO of Silverline, a technology leader known for his ability to execute a strategic vision to achieve business goals through effective utilization of global team management and development of sophisticated Information Technology solutions. His involvement in technology spans a lifetime, through studies in computer science, a career as an application developer, participation in dot-com start-ups, leadership roles including CTO/CIO, and finally Entrepreneur as the founder of multiple software consulting practices focusing on the cloud computing model. He studied Computer Science and Computer Information Systems at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Gireesh founded Silverline in 2009 with Rich Resnick, and soon the two of them drove the growth of Silverline from a partnership to the global organization it is today. As the CEO at Silverline, Gireesh directs the overall strategic direction and growth of the firm. Silverline has been repeatedly recognized for incredible growth and employee satisfaction, and is the preeminent Salesforce Solutions Provider for the Financial Services, Healthcare, and Media industries. Gireesh and his team at Silverline also offer CalendarAnything, a popular scheduling application on the AppExchange, as well as industry-proven accelerators.
When Gireesh founded Silverline, he was initially focused on solving tactical and technical problems for clients in the best way to meet their business needs. This quickly became about how to assemble the best team for each client project, and now he gets to think about growth and scale at the enterprise level, such as which new markets or geographies Silverline should enter? The journey has evolved from decisions in a small circle to a sphere with multiple rings and dimensions.
At Silverline, Gireesh’s main purpose is to create a rewarding experience for his team, clients, and the world we live in. Gireesh and his team do not just focus on the company’s financial growth, they also focus on the growth of employees. Gireesh hopes that, whether employees stay for 2 years or 20 years, when they look back at Silverline they will fondly remember the teams they have worked with, the innovative software they built, and the impact it had on Silverline’s clients and their lives.
Motivating the Team
Gireesh strives to foster a community of feedback across multiple perspectives, and challenges the team to drive each other to grow. This helps the entire company to be more innovative and allows Silverline’s people to be excited about what they’re doing.
For example, when pandemic restrictions were lifted, many at Silverline were feeling ‘lockdown fatigue’. Everyone needed to get out of their chairs, away from Zoom, and back out into the world. The leadership team reached out for ideas, and the entire organization came together to create a fun and exciting wellness challenge, using simple Salesforce functionality to connect Silverliners around the globe. What started as a four-week wellness challenge ended up being a daily ritual for many challenge participants, allowing them to connect by sharing photos and videos of local scenery and outdoor activities with friends and family.
Gireesh and his team have built out a team, called the Silverline Foundry, which works closely with the industry leaders to identify and bring new technologies to market. Silverline’s industry leaders have spent years working directly in those ecosystems. They set the strategic direction of solution accelerators that help drive best practices and project success, reduce time and cost to implement Salesforce, and create a greater return for the client’s platform investments.
Current Market Scenario
As one of the largest pure-play Salesforce partners, Silverline is poised to benefit from the current landscape and the future potential of the Salesforce ecosystem. A study from IDC finds Salesforce and its partners like Silverline will create 9.3 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion in new business revenues worldwide by 2026. The study also finds that Salesforce is driving immense growth for its partner ecosystem, which will make $6.19 for every $1 Salesforce makes by 2026.
Gireesh expects Silverline to continuously take advantage of the ecosystem it is in, and leverage the growth opportunity it has ahead of it: the firm’s capabilities, the skills of its people, and its ability to service clients. For Gireesh, this includes finding new ways to drive the global growth of his team into new markets -Silverline has already expanded from the USA to now Canada, India, and Central America -while driving the satisfaction of employees.
Suggestions for New Entrepreneurs
When we asked Gireesh to provide some suggestions for upcoming entrepreneurs, he said, “Keep pushing! When times are tough, and they will be, keep putting one step in front of the other. Even if it seems like this massively huge problem in front of you, if you just chip away at it a little bit, you will get through.” He also suggested seeking mentorship and advice. It is likely someone has experienced this problem before and can support you, or at least be a sounding board that will help you move and grow much faster than if you go for it alone.
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