What the Nutanix folks did next

Dheeraj Pandey and Manoj Agarwal left Nutanix last year and now they’re trying to revolutionise software development

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DevRev

Through the 2010s, Nutanix quietly staged one of the most impressive coups of recent IT history, disintermediating datacentre storage, compute and networking giants with its revolutionary converged approach to those elements. Today, Nutanix has a market cap of nigh on $8bn but CEO and co-founder Dheeraj Pandey surprised everyone when in 2020 he announced he was leaving the company. Now he’s back together with another ex-Nutanix star Manoj Agarwal at a new company, DevRev.

I spoke to Agarwal by Zoom as he was visiting Bangalore, India to open DevRev’s R&D centre there. He tells me he is not from the area but from a small village lacking electricity, never mind colleges. But it was there that his entrepreneurial spirit was kindled. As a boy he started a building materials company with his father where he learned, avant la lettre, about the value of ecosystems, churn, customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.

“At that stage you don’t know the words but you’re thinking about suppliers, customers and how you can make them happy,” he says.

Coming to America

Like Pandey (the pair have been friends for almost 30 years) Agarwal became a star student and hotshot programmer and, like so many brilliant Indians, made the trip to study and work in the US. He joined Nutanix in 2013, four years after it was founded and when it had fewer than 200 people. He soon became a key figure in product engineering and in the various transitions Nutanix made to become a software and cloud subscription-based company.

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