Alation India Kickoff 2023: A Time to Connect

By Joy Wolken

Published on May 5, 2023

Alationauts at Alation's India KickOff 2023 (IKO) dancing and having fun together.

In the past year, Alation has grown in leaps and bounds. We became a Centaur with $100M+ in ARR in September, raised a $123M Series E round in November, and celebrated it all with a global Company Kickoff this February. We also opened our new office in Chennai last April. With that, there was one thing left to do: come together with our Alationauts in India to celebrate all we’ve accomplished with an India Kickoff 2023 (IKO)!

IKO 2023 was a special moment for the Alation team, many of whom had never before met in person. India was hit harder by the pandemic than anywhere else in the world. As a result, many of our employees in India were quarantined at home for long periods of time, with their children out of school for two years or more. It was long overdue to bring everyone together and celebrate not only their achievements but build our in-person community.

We launched our India R&D team in 2018 and in less than 5 years, have grown that team to an incredible 170+. Many of our founding team members continue to lead the charge in India and IKO gave the broader team an incredible opportunity to learn about others work and fuel up for charging forwards.

During the three days, we met with employees from all over APAC and learned their stories. Some had joined Alation right out of college and had helped set up the team from day one. And in India, employees don’t just invite colleagues to a party, but also their whole family. This made our kick-off party at the Chennai office an incredible experience because we welcomed our extended Alation family: children, spouses, and even parents!

Our CEO, Satyen, pictured here with Sarath Kaza (our very first Engineer in India) and his daughter.
Our Alationauts in India know how to put on a show and support their teammates!

Now, I have worked closely with engineering groups throughout my career. So when I learned about the karaoke competition and drummer dance night… I anticipated a lot of wallflowers (myself included). That was not the case at all! The entire team participated in the festivities with high spirits and open hearts, much to the e-staff’s surprise and delight.

Indeed, the India team’s spirit and heart were unique, and they were exceptionally talented, both technically and operationally, and onstage! The gathering allowed for connections to be made, friendships to be formed, and a feeling of unity to be established. From the moment we stepped off the plane, attendees were humbled by the kindness and spirit of the entire country.

How did Alationauts feel? One attendee, Tapish, shared that he had wanted to meet some of the US folks and get to know them better. The gathering allowed him to do so, and he made lifetime friends in those three days.

Another attendee, Santosh, came away with renewed wonder at how impactful the work each one of us does contributes to our customer’s and Alation’s success. He felt lucky to have met so many incredible Alationauts in India (and learn about their hidden talents). The result? He came away feeling energized by the power of in-person connections.

After a tough few years precipitated by the pandemic, IKO gave us a chance to come together and celebrate our team’s remarkable business achievements… which culminated in some fabulous spectacles! We had a dance party with a DJ painted drummer, an incredible karaoke show, and a give-back opportunity.

Being part of the crowd, and feeling the love from and for our fellow Alationauts, cheering and supporting one another – these were my personal highlights and high points. Check out the video clips from the event to see the joy and happiness everyone experienced!

I’ll end with this: Each time someone joins a new company, they are making a life-changing decision. This gathering brought together people from all walks of life to celebrate that decision together. It was a special moment for the Alation team. We celebrated all that we have built, while further building our own community and strengthening the in-person connections that give our lives meaning.

Alation’s CEO (Satyen Sangani), Alation’s CPO (Joy Wolken), and Alation’s CTO (Junaid Saiyed) posing behind an Alation newspaper cutout.

We can’t wait to do it again next year!

Interested in joining a new team? We’re hiring at Alation, and would love to speak with you!

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