Focused and Certified: Vijay Arora — From Shipping & Logistics to Salesforce

Capgemini Lead Consultant Vijay Arora

Vijay Arora is a Lead Consultant at Capgemini. He had previously spent 15 years in the shipping, transport & logistics industry when he became accidental Admin for his region. Find out what excites him the most about Salesforce, why he says getting certified is absolutely necessary, why he always uses Focus on Force for his exam prep, and what his advice is for fresh graduates aspiring for a career in Salesforce.

My name is Vijay Arora and currently I work for Capgemini as a Lead Consultant.

How did you get started with Salesforce?

I came from a shipping, transport and logistics background where I worked for more than 15 years in that industry. So my previous company was a French multinational company and was a long-term user of Salesforce for the last 20 years.

And as it happens with most of the guys, I became the accidental Admin for my region. One of my managers just asked me, “Vijay, would you like to take this role?” And at that time I knew Salesforce was like a buzzword in the tracking industry and I took that Admin certification as a challenge. But the thing that really excited me when I got that opportunity to work or handle — there were like 60 users under me and I had to retrain them; solve all their daily inquiries. And that you know, really excites you most.

What were your goals when starting and how did you keep motivated?

The things that really excite me, you know, are when you work with 50 or 60 users, and they always approach you for all the inquiries… And then some directors ask you to get some reports and dashboards — because those are given in a very layman's language right? And then you're working with the reports, you are formulating the clicks and codes and all the declarative functions — that really excites me.

Because earlier, I used to work on all the reports with Excel. I was good in Excel too but when I see the capabilities of the Salesforce platform and how it’s got endless capabilities. And that really, you know, excites me to learn more and more about the capabilities. And that's how I keep motivated about this platform.

What Salesforce certifications do you have at the moment?

So currently, I've got the Salesforce Admin certification, and my Service Cloud which I recently cleared in May. Definitely with the help of Focus on Force.

Note: Shortly after the recording of this interview, Vijay would add another feather to his cap—the Platform App Builder certification! He is now 3x certified as of this posting.

I know some people are a bit shy, but communication is really important because you need to communicate effectively to pass your thoughts to other people. And I believe it is the major key factor to your success in a Consultancy role.

Would you say that obtaining your certifications affected your career in a positive way?

Absolutely. I would say yes it is definitely. So getting the certifications is definitely putting a mark on your CV. Obviously, your previous experience or business experience — that helps you the most, but getting certifications I think is really important.

It means you don't need to explain to anyone about what you have done, right? And it definitely showcases your abilities in a very positive manner.

Of your 2 certifications, what would you say was the harder one?

I think Service Cloud is not very easy. When you do the Service Cloud, it's entirely different from the Sales Cloud features. It is a tough one. To me, when you are working on the Service Console features — this is the most important thing, although all the modules are really interconnected.

I would say if you want to clear the Service Cloud examination, Focus on Force materials I would say — those are the best because when you go through the study guides with Focus on Force and do the practice exams, it gives you really good motivation and all the Use Cases and Scenarios which you are using in your daily life. It gives really good advantages for you when you learn about the capabilities of this platform.

Note: Shortly after the recording of this interview, Vijay would add another feather to his cap—the Platform App Builder certification! He is now 3x certified as of this posting.

Of your 2 certifications, what would you say was the harder one?

I think Service Cloud is not very easy. When you do the Service Cloud, it's entirely different from the Sales Cloud features. It is a tough one. To me, when you are working on the Service Console features — this is the most important thing, although all the modules are really interconnected.

I would say if you want to clear the Service Cloud examination, Focus on Force materials I would say — those are the best because when you go through the study guides with Focus on Force and do the practice exams, it gives you really good motivation and all the Use Cases and Scenarios which you are using in your daily life. It gives really good advantages for you when you learn about the capabilities of this platform.

What’s a typical working day like for a Lead Consultant at Capgemini?

So when you work on a project — one, you have to do daily meetings; your daily standups. And when you discuss the requirement with the customers, they basically tell you their requirements in a very layman language. They can tell you the requirements but if you don't know the capabilities of the platform, you won't understand that, right? And they are just articulating their requirements and you need to convert those into user stories and then say, “Okay. I can use this feature to meet our customer’s requirements.” Then you have to work accordingly as for the customer requirement.

What certification did you use Focus on Force for and would you say it was helpful?

I always use Focus on Force materials. It's really good and sometimes if you are struggling with something, I always like to go back and revisit those study guides. And if I want to do some practice, you can always go and practice online with Focus on Force materials. 

I think there was some offer going on so I purchased the Admin, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud; Platform App Builder with both practice tests and the modules. There is a lot of everything on Trailhead but when you talk about Focus on Force, it gives you a very detailed view and pinpoints on the right points; what you need to study. And there are a lot of features or scenario-based questions that you can do over there.

And the very good thing about interacting with Focus on Force is that you guys are really prompt. I'm really impressed! Whether it's Mark with you or not, I know somebody is always there to respond in a very quick manner. It's absolutely good. And I also have got Martin's book which I think is really useful because he gave his own perspective on what he learned in the practical world. I always read it. (Laughter)

My advice to all the graduates or for those who want to enter into the Salesforce industry is do the certifications; some volunteer work. Experience is really important so maybe they can do some volunteer work.

Would you say that good communication skills are necessary for Salesforce professionals?

Absolutely. It is a must because I always deal with a lot of customers, or my internal stakeholders and the external stakeholders, and communication is definitely key. And even when you work in a Consultant role, communication is the key. I would say it is a must but I would say communication is the essence of success in everything.

I know some people are a bit shy, but communication is really important because you need to communicate effectively to pass your thoughts to other people. And I believe it is the major key factor to your success in a Consultancy role.

What advice would you have for fresh graduates aspiring for a career in Salesforce?

I think the most basic certification to have is definitely going to be the Salesforce Admin one. And my advice to all the graduates or for those who want to enter into the Salesforce industry is do the certifications; some volunteer work. Experience is really important so maybe they can do some volunteer work. Do scenario-based questions with Focus on Force materials because those are really helpful. If you have a good understanding of those scenario-based questions, then you can apply them really well in your examination modules.

What Certification are you studying for now?

Focus on Force currently provides practice exams and study guides for thirteen certifications