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Ansys Employee Spotlights

Rafiq Somani

I am a mentor.

My Career Journey

My career began as an intern at a boutique computer shop in the early '90s when PCs were still new to India. After that, I was in sales at Minicomp Computers, India's first PC manufacturer. I then worked in CAD/PLM division at TCS for three years. Following that, I joined PTC as a sales representative and spent 17 successful years in different sales and leadership roles, including country manager.

I joined Ansys in 2013 and have been proud to be part of the team ever since. I will soon be completing my 10th year, but it feels like I joined only yesterday. I started as the Country Manager for India, and within a year, took the challenge of turning around the ASEAN and Australia/New Zealand business. Later, I had an opportunity to establish the best channel partner and growth practices in the Middle East and Africa for around two years. Today, I serve as the Area Vice President of India and South Asia Pacific, overseeing sales in India, Australia, New Zealand, and all ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation) countries.

How I’d Explain My Job to a Kindergartener

I see myself as a coach of a sports team. Just like a coach guides and supports their team to improve and win games, my role at Ansys is to lead and empower our team to grow and succeed. I strive to mentor and support our team members and channel partners, helping them excel in their roles and achieve fulfillment. As a coach, I also work to position our region and team as a valuable contributor to Ansys' global success.

What I Actually Do

My primary focus is to develop consistent business growth strategies for Ansys. Over the past eight years, we have achieved over 100% plan targets in the region, and I strive to continue this success. To achieve our goals, my leadership team and I develop effective go-to-market models and sales strategies that leverage our entire ecosystem, while also ensuring the growth and development of our teams and channel partners.

Why I Choose Ansys

I was attracted to Ansys because of the exciting challenge presented to me by the then VP of Ansys APAC. He recognized my potential for success in any company but asked me to consider an opportunity to turn around a struggling region. This challenge presented an exciting opportunity for me to leverage my skills and experience to create a positive impact both for Ansys and for our customers. Additionally, Ansys had great products, and the simulation industry was growing, which was a shift from the CAD/PLM industry I had previously worked in. This further motivated me to join the company. I am happy that I took the chance, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work for Ansys and contribute to its continued success.

Each and every day, I see the tangible results of our team's efforts in turning around the region. We revamped the go-to-market model as well as our culture, and we brought in new talent to drive the region's success. Driving that success was highly gratifying. Later when Ajei Gopal joined us as the CEO, his vision to scale the company and expand our product portfolio through new acquisitions further strengthened my decision to stay. The company's continued growth and expansion, coupled with the chance to be part of this exciting journey, have kept me highly motivated and committed to Ansys.

A Sense of Belonging

Ansys' focus on inclusivity and collaboration has fostered a strong sense of belonging in me. Our ONE Ansys culture has brought employees worldwide together for a shared purpose. Ansys stands out because of its willingness to listen and adapt to local needs while staying aligned with its global vision, allowing me to work on custom solutions for my team and region while still being part of the larger Ansys family. Ansys' commitment to building a diverse and inclusive work environment has made me feel valued and supported, and I am proud to be a part of this organization. 

My Best Advice

To new team members at Ansys, I advise you to remain curious, keep learning about our products and technologies, and have patience. With our rapidly expanding organization and diverse areas of expertise, staying invested and up to date is crucial. Take the initiative to find ways to add value to our company, instead of waiting for opportunities to come your way. By actively seeking out ways to contribute to our collective growth journey, your efforts will be recognized and rewarded in due time. 

Our Values in Action

My favorite ONE Ansys value is "Be Generous - Share, Listen, Serve." This value resonates with me as it aligns with the Indian Vedanta philosophy and one of its teachings of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,’ which means the ‘The world is ONE family.’ I believe that as a part of the ONE Ansys family, it is important to share, listen, and serve each other, our customers, and the community. It inspires me to be more compassionate, empathetic, and helpful towards others, which ultimately leads to a more positive and supportive work culture. 

Fulfilling Our Mission

The Ansys India team plays a crucial role in fulfilling the company's mission in two significant ways. Firstly, our region is one of the fastest-growing markets for Ansys globally, with a focus on new business growth in the local market. We are proud to add a high number of new commercial logos annually, and our percentage of channel partner business to overall business is among the highest. Secondly, with India emerging as a simulation capital for global product development companies, our team's expertise in all physics uniquely positions us to support most of our global GSS, enterprise, and semiconductor customers in their India centers. Our sales, ACE, product, and development teams collaborate with global peers to drive the usage of Ansys software and facilitate growth into new physics and technologies. We are committed to helping our customers succeed using Ansys software and take pride in supporting Ansys' mission. 

Getting Involved

I'm actively involved in various societies and resource groups inside and outside of work. At Ansys, I serve as the executive sponsor for our Women in Technology (WIT) employee resource group at the APAC level, and I'm proud of the progress our team is making in India and the region. I'm also on the Ansys India CSR Board, which supports programs related to STEM, women's empowerment, and skill development. Outside of work, I'm a member of the SAE-INDIA Off Highway chapter and an independent director at a bank. Moreover, I'm a director at one of India's esteemed academic institutions and a Technology Innovation Hub, and a volunteer for the Aga Khan Foundation as a Student and Startup Mentor. Occasionally, I lead bird walks for school children and citizens at a local Botanical Garden Park in Pune as an ornithology expert. These experiences have enriched my life and allowed me to be more creative at work, while also providing opportunities to give back to society and share my knowledge with others.

What You Might Not Know

Up until 2003, I was unable to run even a mile and became very focused on my health. Fast forward to the present, during my morning runs or walks, I make an effort to optimize my time by listening to Audible and finishing 2-3 books per month. This way, I can address both my health and gain knowledge simultaneously.

I once had the opportunity to stay at India's Rashtrapati Bhavan, the equivalent of the White House in the USA, as a technology support volunteer for a high-profile dignitary, who was a guest of the Indian government.

As a bird expert, I use a camera to study them, but people often mistake me for a photographer and ask for recommendations on cameras and lenses rather than bird details. I also co-blog with my wife, sharing our experiences at: On this blog site, you can find a collection of my birding experiences as well as our travel updates.