Gaurav Mantri's Personal Blog.

Moving On – Goodbye Cerebrata, Hello Cynapta!

Today’s my last day at Cerebrata. Wow!!! It has been an incredible journey for the last 5 years. I vividly remember when around the same time 5 years ago, I told my team in the US about my decision to move back to India to “do my own thing”. I was not 100% sure what I’ll be doing; there was no concrete plan – only thing I was sure of was to build a product development company in India. Never in my dream, I thought of achieving the success I achieved – First, built a pure product company that too in a small town in India. Second, successfully running and selling the company. Third, awarded Windows Azure MVP three years in a row. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more.

Looking Back – Some Random Thoughts

Looking back, some thoughts on few important things:

On My Team

You may get sick of hearing this thing but I’m really fond of my team! They trusted me with their careers and for that I’m grateful. Going down the memory lane, I see young graduates coming in becoming part of my dream and helping me achieve those. When they came in, they were raw out of college having no idea how industry worked. Now I look at them, I see them all grown up and thorough professionals. Together we built a culture of mutual respect and openness in the company and I thank them for that. I’ll always cherish their love, affection and adulation. They see me more as their mentor than their boss and I take pride in that. My only hope is that when their time comes, they would do the same. Only then, I would be able to pat my back. I’ll certainly miss working with them.


Picture of current & ex-team members taken during our grand farewell party

On Our Users

Our products are successful only because of our users. Like I said in the past, neither I nor my team were experts in programming or Windows Azure for that matter but our users were, and they helped us shape our products. Our software had issues (in fact many issues) but our users were patient and were willing to help us out and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that. Some of them worked with us diligently during the beta phases of our products while some of them found issues and provided resolutions in the released products. There were countless occasions where our users went out of the way to help us out from doing code reviews, providing solutions to just making our software better. My wish is to have same users helping me out in the next phase of my professional life.

On Red Gate

Prior to Red Gate, I was just an entrepreneur. Because of Red Gate, I am now a successful entrepreneur!!! I thank Red Gate for that. I’ve been working with them for past 18 months now (since the acquisition) and I can tell you they’re the best guys to work with. Not only these guys are real smart, their practice of “delightful user experience before anything else” is something I’ll take away from this relationship.

Every relationship has ups and downs and we had our share of the same as well. But they treated me like one of their own (in fact, sometimes better than their own). They simply pampered me. I’ve gone through many acquisitions in my professional career and generally speaking acquisitions suck (big time) however I can say that this was the best experience I had.

On Microsoft

We built products exclusively for Microsoft platform (that too Windows Azure only). If they wanted, they could have cannibalized us in no time but they didn’t, and I thank Microsoft for doing that. They really know how to build and nurture a true partner eco-system.

On top of that, they recognized the work I was doing in the community and awarded me with prestigious Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award. This is really huge for me!!!

One last thing I would like to mention about Microsoft is their BizSpark program. For a guy who was starting out on his own, I can’t tell you how valuable was it for me. Their MSDN subscription was a big boon for me. I was once doing an interview with somebody and he asked me about the biggest benefit of this program to me and my response was – BizSpark let me stay legit with software :). Otherwise it would have been tough!!! Anybody who’s starting out must try it out whether you love or hate Microsoft (or in other words whether or not building products for Microsoft platform).

Kind of cheesy confession: Back in the day when I was starting out, anybody with a email address was a celebrity in my eye :). <blush/>

Whats’ Next

Next up for me is Cynapta ( – really, there’s nothing to see there just yet). It’s my new company. I’ve some product ideas which I want to explore. Building products is more of a gamble and more than likely I will fail but I still want to scratch that itch (so to speak) :). So wish me luck!!!

I’ll be building my team again from ground up so that should be an interesting experience to relive and I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully I won’t make the same mistakes I made with my previous team.

Other than that, I would be spending my time on two of my favorite places on the Internet – MSDN Forums & StackOverflow, and obviously on this blog sharing things and on Twitter.

Going forward, my Cerebrata email account won’t work (though Red Gate folks have been kind enough to keep it active and if you write to me there, you’ll probably get an OOF) so if you wish to reach out to me you can do so by writing me an email at gaurav @

Closing Thoughts

I would like to end this post thanking my team and our users. If I didn’t have the support and encouragement from you guys, I would not have been writing this post. So from the bottom of my heart (and one last time) thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

<Taking a Bow/>


[This is the latest product I'm working on]


  1. Shakti Singh Dulawat says:

    You will Rock Always

  2. vajrasar says:

    Coming out from college, almost everyone told us to get internship in your company, that implies the work and effort you put-in your company, products and image you built for your team and yourself.

    I am sure that Cynapta will not be anything less then Cerebrata, but would be few steps ahead.

    Best of Luck, Sir.

  3. Vipin Wagh says:

    Congratulations and good luck with your new endeavor.

  4. Chandrasekar Ponnusamy says:

    Hi Gaurav, Awesome achievement! Good Luck with your new one. ~ Chan.

  5. Congratulations Gaurav and we are certain Cynapta will be another success.

  6. Brian Reischl says:

    Quite the success story! Personally, I’ve got Cloud Storage Studio and Diagnostics Manager running almost all the time, including right now. Best of luck in your new venture – I expect great things. 🙂

  7. Indu Shekhar says:

    Gaurav – You truly inspire! All the best.
    Indu Shekhar

  8. Excellent journey and path paved by you of Success.
    Every IT guy in Udaipur is proud of the achievement you have made.

    Highly inspired by you and would try to emulate you always.
    Congratulations once again for the past as well as new journey.


  9. Simon Munro says:

    When everyone else was ‘playing around’ with Azure, you were building products that were crucial to the community at the time. Without your contributions, Azure would have had a harder time getting started. Without the tools (that Microsoft lagged in providing), Azure storage would have been too difficult to use in production environments. . I wish you luck, I hope your new venture also makes as big a difference.

  10. Hi Guarav,

    I can’t wait to find out what beautiful creation will come out of your new venture. If it is half as great as the products Cerebrata produced, you will be successful again. I have no doubt your new ideas will grow into yet another series of great products. I’m wishing you the best of luck!



  11. Felix Hu says:

    Hi Gaurav

    Congrats! Though I didn’t talk to you for a long while, I know you have done a very good step ahead from your posts. Wish you good luck with Cynapta!

  12. Hi Gaurav,

    I would say Cerebrata has saved me at least a semester getting my Ph.D. I am sure your next products will be equally good or better. I wish you all the luck and look forward to knowing more about Cynapta.

    – Dinesh

  13. Vaideki says:

    Hi Gaurav

    You are always a great Achiever. Wishing you good luck with you new endeavor.


  14. Brij Mohan Pandey says:

    Hi Gaurav,

    You have been a true mentor for all the developers who are working on windows azure.
    I hope something very great from your new innovation.

    Best of luck .


  15. Best of luck for your new venture. 🙂

  16. Carlos Sardo says:

    Good Luck Gaurav!!
    I wish you all the best in this new challenge!!

    Carlos Sardo

  17. Gaurav,

    Much luck to you in your new endeavour! Can’t wait to see what Cynapta is all about! 🙂

  18. You’re an inspiration to us all Gaurav – good luck in your next project!

  19. All the best. Best of luck for your project!!

  20. Ramesh Babu Kotha says:

    Hi Gaurav,

    First let me congratulate you for your success towards establishing & selling the excellent product company and contribution towards to Windows Azure community.

    Best of luck to you to your new assignments like building new company – Cynapta etc.,.

    On 15-Mar-14, I have attended the Reboot cloud camp at Bangalore and heard your starting session. Your session was very good.

    Ramesh Babu


  1. […] New Beginning September 27, 2013 By Gaurav Leave a Comment It’s been 6 months since I started Cynapta so I thought I will share with you about what I have been up to for last 6 months and some more […]