TrailheaDX India ‘19: The Launchpad for All India Trailblazers

Our India Trailblazers are thriving. To celebrate this growth, the much anticipated, first-ever India Salesforce Developer Conference, TrailheaDX India ’19, took place in Bengaluru on Dec 19, 2019. Here, I share my highlights.

Jan 20 · 8 min read

Our India Trailblazers are thriving in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In just 11 years, we’ve grown to more than 1 million India Salesforce Developers and have the second largest Trailblazer Community in the world after the US.

And we are just scratching the surface.

The first-ever TrailheaDX India

Over 2 days at the sold-out event, a magical gathering of 3,500 like-minded developers, admins, architects, entrepreneurs, partners, IT leaders, CXOs, students, and Salesforce employees came together to learn in-demand skills, connect to opportunities, have fun, and give back to the community.

A welcoming, inclusive experience for all learners was delivered on our company value of Equality For All. The energy in the room as we opened the doors was infectious — with the local audience hungry for the event they’ve been so eagerly waiting for.

It was an awesome experience with the right #TDXMasala!

Learn: Hands-on workshops and sessions led by experts

We opened TrailheaDX India with a pre-show. Veena Srivani played the veena followed by Trailblazers Shruti Sridharan, Gaurav Kheterpal, Aladin Banwal, Veda Hebbar, Abhinav Gupta, and Neetu Bansal sharing their heartfelt stories.

They were impactful and full of #Trailheart, and the audience was touched. This was followed by the lighting the lamp ceremony so that light could shine and make for a successful conference.

Srinivas Tallapragada, President, Technology at Salesforce, along with product experts Asavari Tayal, Christophe Coenraets, and Natala Menezes, delivered the Opening Keynote: Continuous Innovation with the Customer 360 Platform to a room packed to capacity with an excited and engaged audience.

Products such as Einstein, Lightning Web Components, Customer 360, Tableau, Blockchain, CMS, CLI, and MuleSoft were weaved throughout the keynote, super sessions, breakouts, and the TrailheaDX Expo.

We also had the privilege of hearing Surbhi Narula (Noida WIT Leader) and Sagar Pareek (India Student Developer Group Leader) speak as they shared their Trailblazer stories onstage.

And for the first time in India, both of them were gifted the most coveted Trailblazer Golden Hoodie.

The learning continued in the TrailheaDX Expo. The TrailheaDX Quest program was a great way to start the learning journey, earn the Trailblazer Astro, unlock lots of cool swag, and be part of the Salesforce donation to SUKRUPA children.

The Customer 360 theatre was the place to get an overview of how to build smart and integrated experiences with the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform. There were also 26 in-depth, expert-led Salesforce demos of our latest product innovations.

“Hands-on” has always been at the heart of Trailhead events. And TrailheaDX India was no exception. There was something for everyone, whether they were new to Salesforce or experienced pros, including Camp Quick Start, Trailhead Hands-on Workshops, Mini Hack Basin, and the Kids Coding Camp.

The demand for Trailhead was huge, making Trailhead Peak a popular place for folks to learn how to skill up for the future with Trailhead, myTrailhead, and Salesforce credentials.

With an Olympic medal, 11 Superseries titles, 2 World Championships, 5 Commonwealth titles, and countless other accomplishments, the one and only Saina Nehwall hosted the closing keynote. A true Trailblazer, Saina was incredible and astonished the audience with what she had to share.

She is arguably one of India’s most successful sportspeople and has inspired an entire generation of youngsters, especially young women, to take up sport as a profession.

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Connect with fellow Trailblazers

Networking with Trailblazers and Salesforce employees took place throughout the whole event.

You could see community leaders engaging with Trailblazers in the Trailblazer Community Cove, folks talking in the lounges and eating together, executives getting to know each other in the Executive Lounge, and everyone at the Trailblazer celebration connecting with each other in a whole new way (while dancing!).

Many relationships people had built via social media were solidified by meeting in-person for the first time at TDX India. It felt like a #SalesforceOhana reunion — one that will lead to stronger bonds being forged throughout the India Trailblazer Community.

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There’s fun, then there’s TrailheaDX India fun

The first day ended with an awesome Trailblazer Celebration. Ambili Menon rocked the crowds with old and new Bollywood hits and top English songs, ending the evening with some spicy Bhangera.

Each time I passed by the photo-opp bridge, there were large groups taking photos and building memories.

I was then humbled when the India Developer Relations and the Trailblazer Community Leaders threw an unforgettable party on the top floor of the World Trade Center and surprised me with the “Father of the India Salesforce Community” cake. This was so special and full of #Trailheart!

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Giving back is in our DNA

The TrailheaDX India Quest was a hot ticket. It was a great way to earn an exclusive community badge and receive a Trailblazer Astro (plus other cool swag). And for each completed Quest, ₹ 100 was donated to the SUKRUPA children — with a total contribution of ₹ 200,000 made.

We also invited more than 200 non-Salesforce developers and students to TrailheaDX India. They had completed their 3-month Journey to Salesforce ecosystem program and were ready to be interviewed by one of the 27 hiring Salesforce partner companies at the career fair.

The results were amazing!

80 students and non-Salesforce professionals got job offers, 75 were shortlisted, and 18 received internships.

Salesforce demonstrated a commitment to India by partnering with ICT Academy, Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK), and the ICT Academy of Kerala.

Together, we pledge to train 250,000 students to learn Salesforce skills by 2022.

Using self-paced and bite-sized learning content from Trailhead in the classroom, this initiative will empower students to skill up for the jobs of the future through gamified learning and hands-on challenges.

And, in an effort to be more sustainable at TrailheaDX India, attendees received a reusable water bottle to help reduce single-use plastic. They were also able to learn more about responsible Trailblazing with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

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A brighter future for the India Salesforce economy

Salesforce will continue to invest in India. You could see this clearly everywhere at the TrailheaDX India ’19 conference, and nowhere more than the panel discussion, “Your Future in the Salesforce Ecosystem by 2025.”

Designed to get Trailblazers’ minds on the future, it featured a diverse panel with representation across multiple segments within Salesforce (Bhanu Dasgupta, Kavindra Patel, Kiran Manyala, and Shweta Rajpal Kohli ) and from the Trailblazer Community (Gaurav Kheterpal, Abhinav Gupta, and Prajakta Samant).

It was a rare opportunity to get some amazing people together for a candid and thoughtful conversation. So it’s not surprising it was packed with standing-room only!

A common theme that surfaced was the need for Trailblazers in tier 2 and 3 cities who had great technology skills to differentiate themselves by focusing on developing their communication skills.

The Indian economy is booming

It is projected that India will be the third-largest in GDP by 2026. According to the IDC,

Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners will create 548,400 new direct jobs and $67 billion USD in new business revenues in India from 2019 to 2024.

So, you are in the right place at the right time to not only impact your career but also the future of students and other aspiring Trailblazers.

The India Trailblazer Community has more than 1 million developers and is growing fast. They are passionate about learning new skills, hard-working, and always willing to help others succeed in the Salesforce ecosystem. There is no stopping them.

I encourage all India Trailblazers to plug into Trailhead, as well as your local Trailblazer Community, and use TrailheaDX India ’19 as a launchpad to fuel an amazing future for you, your family, and your local community in the Salesforce economy.

Happy trails for 2020! 🙏🏼🤠

The Trailblazer

Blaze your trail to a top job by skilling up with Trailhead. Discover how Trailhead brings the Trailblazer spirit to everything we do by putting YOU at the center of learning.


Written by

Lived in Uganda, India, Belgium, and in the United States. Worked at Sun, BEA and now I lead the global Trailhead Events & Programs team at Salesforce.

The Trailblazer

Blaze your trail to a top job by skilling up with Trailhead. Discover how Trailhead brings the Trailblazer spirit to everything we do by putting YOU at the center of learning.

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