Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ideas to IPO: MindTree co-founder tells all at XLRI


On October 10, Mr. N. Krishna Kumar, one of the co-founders of MindTree and currently the President and CEO (IT Services) of MindTree Consulting, visited XLRI to share the story behind the spectacular rise of MindTree.

Mr Kumar had passed out from XLRI in the year 1981. He addressed the gathering on how MindTree had transformed itself from just an idea to a $150 Million dollar public company and the challenges faced by them during its journey.

He spoke about how they had felt that the then existing model of low cost centres was not sustainable in the long run and about their decision to enter into the IT industry based on knowledge and expertise. He emphasised the importance of intellectual property for the success of any company in the services sector. He was disappointed with the fact that even today many of the IT companies were looking at maximising returns out of their low cost advantages which is slowly being eroded. He advised the Indian firms to move to a billing system based on the quality of output produced rather than the existing system based on the number of man hours invested.

He spoke about the current challenges that was being faced by the IT sector and gave tips to the budding managers on how to tackle them. Through many examples and experiences he spoke about the difficulties faced by MindTree during its journey from a start up Services Company to a reputed multinational. He also advised the budding managers to look at problems coming their way as an opportunity to reinvent oneself and come out of their comfort zones.

He also spoke on the challenges being faced by the HR leaders and how it is very important for an organisation to build confidence of its employees. He urged the organizations to convince employees that they would continue to back them in the long run in spite of small mistakes that maybe committed so as to give them freedom to try out new and innovative ideas. He also advised the future leaders to become role models for their employees.

Mr Kumar then had a brief interaction with the students of the one year GMP program. He spoke about the opportunities available for the executive management students from top B-schools and also on how they would fit into MindTree's expansion plans.

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