Working out of his Melbourne-based garage on an idea in 2013 is what landed Vinay Samuel, founder and CEO of data analytics software vendor Zetaris, to where he stands today. By this stage, Samuel had amassed decades worth of experience in various top roles in the technology industry, but came up with the idea to transform the way data was being analysed. When he’s not actioning Zetaris’ global expansion plans, you’ll find him strumming his guitar for popular cover group, Rip it up Band.
What was your first job?
My first job was playing lead guitar in a band, usually I was just playing for drinks when I was young. I continue to play guitar in my spare time with the popular cover band, Rip it up Band. Jason who was a finalist on The Voice, New Zealand is our lead singer and also the head of account-based marketing at Zetaris.
How did you get started in the IT industry and progress to where you are today?
I started my IT career decades ago at Teradata as a marketing data subject expert. My career has featured senior roles as Vice President Asia of Greenplum, CEO of GridMatics and Vice President APJ for Hewlett-Packard. Then I had the idea to transform the way data was being analysed.
In a rare pivot from being an enterprise level technology executive and CEO, who had never founded his own tech startup before, in 2013 I set up an office in my garage to work on the idea. Zetaris is an analytical data virtualisation solution that simplifies and expedites data analysis. Zetaris is decentralised so clients don’t have to move data into a centralised data warehouse, cloud or lake for analysis. This dramatically saves time, cost, complexity and reduces errors.
Zetaris customers include Telstra, NBN, Optus, Nokia, BUPA, Melbourne Water and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. We launched Zetaris on the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace in Australia in 2020 and together have expanded into nine global markets.
Zetaris is part of a global alliance with IBM, Accenture and Ernst & Young and recently signed a significant account in the US with a HR provider. Zetaris recently appointed a US country manager to supercharge growth in the region.
What are some of your plans for Zetaris in the coming months?
We recently raised $30 million, securing backing from In-Q-Tel (CIA backed), Exto Partners, Vulpes Ventures Singapore, 72 Capital and others. Zetaris is now valued at $110 million.
We are now strongly pursuing expansion into the US and bringing our technology to the UK, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and India.
What has been your biggest business mistake, and the lessons you've learnt from that experience?
After senior level executive roles, Zetaris was the first start up I founded. I learnt an important lesson from bringing in people who didn’t understand what it takes to build and scale a startup. This taught me quickly how to identify the right people to join the team, to take on leadership roles and also how to select the right investors and directors who understood the challenges of being a fast growth startup.
What are some of your ambitions - personally and professionally?
My ambition is to make data easy and accessible to everyone - cheaper, easier and faster than ever before. I am passionate about wanting to contribute to the development of the tech innovation sector in Australia and show the world the unique game changing ideas Australian entrepreneurs can deliver.
Personally, I am a father of four children and I want to be a role model to inspire them to follow their dreams, believe it is possible and to focus on making a real difference and positive impact.
What has been the best piece of advice you've ever received?
That product innovation alone won’t maximise the opportunity, you must innovate on the business model and articulate your point of difference well to the market.