Sunday, December 21, 2008

A breather -Navigating tough times

Amidst all the brickbats that Satyam Computers has been getting in the last one week, here was an example of an act that Satyam could surely be credited for doing it right! I am referring to a presentation made by a Satyam prodigy-whose idea was incubated as Satnav-almost a decade ago, before the company was spun off into an independent entity in 1993-in the IT products space!
Every third Saturday, the Hyderabad chapter of the ERA invites a speaker from the corporate circle -to address us in our monthly meetings. Yesterday's session gave us an insight to how an entrepreneur has been navigating his way into some unchartered territories!

Amit Prasad , in his very unassuming way, shared some of his impressions-and 'continuous course corrections' in his setting up (-as of now) three companies..Satnav Technologies, Sunshine Preschool & daycare chain, and Aircraft maintenance organisation.

Admitting that as a student back in the eighties, he had set up a 'computerised horoscope' stall in an annual exhibition at his school (that day-he earned more than what his father's monthly salary!) he grew up with the conviction that 'making money wasn't bad if it was providing value to a lot of others' and that one needed to 'back one's instincts' always despite a whole lot of well wishers trying to dissuade one from forays into new domains!

Speaking 'straight from the gut', the freewheeling discussion provided me with the following take aways!

-Passion and belief in one's own inner skills- helps an entrepreneur -who has only about 30 positive days in a year-to overcome perhaps the 335 negative days one is likely to be battling against! A good night's sleep always helped one wake up to a less gloomy day :-)!

-Citing that one needs more than a lifetime to learn from one's own mistakes, he admitted he has always learnt his most from the mistakes his competitors make!

-Contrary to the hype on focus, he advocates if one has the bandwidth to expand, one must not just manage to tap the existing market, but go on to diversify -as one is more likely to make the course corrections better.

Referring to the current economic situation, he concurred that the 'employee' had been pampered with some unrealistic market expectations, and that as employers, this is the best time to take stock -and ensure one upgraded not just the technical but also managerial skills. And may be -especially for battling the dwindling margins in IT services, companies would be well advised to be switching a six day working week!!

The mantra for us managers/owners of recruiting firms?

-invest in quality processes-ISO, CMM

-hire only those who are at least 70% skilled for the roles

-improve every team members 'customer outlook'

-review every decision that does not generate revenue ie-lay off non performers if the cost of retraining is lesser than the cost of carrying skilled but presently non billable resources

-Have a 'surprise wow delivery' package for the customer-to get that edge and loyalty. It isn't enough to have the 'best ' price, and the 'best' offering-that's the given!!

- be open to getting investors on board..for they would constantly challenge one's perspective!!

Lots of food for thought??

PS the company is expected to launch a new product in early January-for 'lost callers'. Imagine getting lost on the way to a destination, and getting navigational aid -by dialing a telephone number! Would not we all do better with a career management tool like this?


Saikat Saha said...

Hi!!!! Hope u doin good!!!!

The last line of your post truly captured my imagination!!!!


I believe any career mgmt tool today only serves a cosmetic purpose of securing a top slot in any 'Best employer survey'....I don have any problem with that's imp....but what is even more imp is a career leadership ethos[and not a tool] which doesnot merely end up managing career but also provide a lazor sharp direction to it....

Your blog is immensely thought provoking....and I am the latest fan of your writings....

Merry Christmas.... said...

I found this jobs site in india doing good services to indians : -

tell your comments about this site said...

Hi !!! Here we presents you a New Year Gift...Specially For Women.

For Once Visit Our website

We have launched a New Job/Carrier Portal Specially For Women Jobs.

We cordially inviting both the Employers & Job Seekers.

Registration is completed Free for Employers till April !!!