Boxer Spotlight: Varun Parmar, VP of Product

Varun Parmar, VP of Product

Tell us about where you were before Box.

I've been working in the content management market for 18 years, having held product leadership roles spanning the entire spectrum - from launching several new products to running a billion dollar product line. For over 7 years I was at Adobe working on the Acrobat/PDF franchise and Adobe Document Cloud. After that, I was at a startup called YouSendIt (acquired by OpenText), which was in the large file transfer space. I moved on to become the Chief Product Officer for EMC's Syncplicity Business Unit. I always wanted to create a start up, so I then co-founded Doculus.

What makes you excited about joining Box?

Box has focused on providing delightful, collaborative, easy user experiences for the digital workplace and now there is a focus on bringing that over to digital business so that they coexist. Every single day we work on things that require us to do ad hoc stuff - from approving an expense to hiring someone to giving feedback on a product spec. Box is the one solution where you can work on all of it from the ad hoc to the more structured.

What's changing in the world of workflow solutions?

Traditionally, it's only the most complex processes that are candidates for getting automated because of the costs associated with them. But if you look at the opportunity for where workflow automation can be rolled out inside an organization, we've only been looking at a small percentage of what can be done.

There are a few trends that can unlock that opportunity to reach farther:

  • Building something that every single business user can use. This scales the use case to several repetitive things like status updates, or updating decks that get published out to the field. Automating processes is only as good as the processes you are automating.
  • Bringing in intelligence, which not only creates a way to build and optimize processes, but so that the processes are actually becoming better. 
  • Thinking about process from a user experience perspective. Typically, it is only thought about from a business perspective. There needs to be a focus on how can you make it easy so that participants in the processes can interact and get things done no matter where they are.

What was your first impression of our CEO Aaron?

He's very passionate about products. I think my first meeting was on day 2 and the meeting invite said "weekly workflow update" so I thought I was going to meet with a bunch of engineers, designers and product managers which would be a great way to learn about what's going on. I walk into the room and Aaron is sitting there and I thought I was in the wrong room. But then people walk in and he rolls his sleeves up, wants to see designs and is so involved. It was great. He is really passionate about this stuff.

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