Salsarian since 6 May 2019
Salsa is thrilled to welcome Akhil Bhandari to the Salsa team. Akhil has come on board as our Canberra-based Engagement Manager. He’ll be focusing on our Federal Government clients based in Canberra, liaising between clients and our tech team to translate business requirements into digital solutions and deliver projects. He describes himself as the “Salsa Canberra Champion”, which is apt given he’ll also be involved in business development!
Akhil will work with our clients from project discovery to launch, making sure projects run smoothly — on schedule and on budget.
Akhil started his studies with an Advanced Diploma in Asia Pacific Marketing (while also trying to decide exactly what direction he wanted to take). He then moved to a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, choosing this business degree because of its focus on marketing and advertising rather than straight economics.
After uni, Akhil became a product manager for Gesix, a Queensland-based software development company that relocated him to sunny Brisbane for three years. While there, the company needed a website so he volunteered and built the site in Dreamweaver, teaching himself HTML and CSS at the same time. After the product development role, Akhil set up his own digital agency with a business partner who was a developer. However, after five years and with his first child on the way, he needed to look for more ‘reliable and steady’ work. He secured a government job quickly, and started working for the Department of Communications and the Arts in Canberra. Akhil started off in IT web projects enhancing the corporate website, and then moved across to the communications branch responsible for larger digital projects. He worked there for almost eight years before moving to Salsa.
Akhil also has some pretty advanced, self-taught design and tech skills. He ‘dabbles’ in graphic design and brings HTML and frontend development experience into his role at Salsa. This tech knowledge also means he can more effectively ‘bridge’ the gap between the client and Salsa’s tech team, taking the client’s business and marketing needs and interpreting that for Salsa’s developers and other technical specialists — and translating it back to English for the client.
In terms of project management, Akhil started off using the waterfall method and is qualified in PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments). A couple of years ago he converted to the ‘hallowed’ agile approach and is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) — like all of Salsa’s engagement managers.
Akhil also holds the Foundation Certificate in Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which covers IT service management.
Akhil was very familiar with Salsa, having worked with us in his role at the Department of Communications and the Arts. Akhil happened to notice the engagement role on Salsa’s website and approached Alfred. “I knew Salsa, knew Alfred, and respected the high quality projects and work ethic of the team. I also liked their flexible approach...if there was an issue they simply focused and worked with the client to solve the problem. I was really attracted to this more relationship-driven approach. I was also interested in the fact that Salsa was a smaller agency that had won the very large GovCMS contract. It made me think, there’s definitely more to Salsa than meets the eye.”