IT Services 2.0

Since launching The Smart CEO in October 2009, we consciously stayed away from featuring the CEO of a large company on the cover. Our covers focused on entrepreneurship development and lessons we could share with managers and decision-makers on building a large enterprise. We also featured stories on developmental sectors including microfinance, clean energy and the education sector, and ensured we gave our readers a 360-degree perspective of starting up and growing companies in each of these areas. While planning out our June 15th edition, we wanted to mix it up a bit and analyze the story of a growth company. At the same time, we wanted to identify a company, whose strategies would throw out several lessons for an early-stage entrepreneur. After some careful analysis, we finally decided on MindTree Consulting. We spoke to Krishnakumar Natarajan, CEO and MD of MindTree, and discussed everything from their early stages to what we can expect to see in phase two of the Indian IT industry.

Our story titled ‘The MindTree Way’ focuses on the differentiated strategies employed by MindTree over the years. Since being founded in 1999, MindTree’s unique approach to conducting business and never following the herd played a key role in their growth so far. In just eleven years after being founded, their FY 2010 revenues stand at a whopping U.S. $ 272 million. MindTree was the fastest Indian company to touch U.S. $100 million in revenues. Our story titled, ‘MindTree’s Mission 2014’, analyses Natarajan’s strategy to reach the U.S. $1 billion mark. They have expanded beyond just IT services and application development, and now offer higher-end product engineering and intellectual property-driven services. The growth of MindTree presents a case study for early-stage entrepreneurs, especially on topics like scaling up and differentiation.

Stories about idea-driven startups always make an interesting read. While Silicon Valley continues to be the hunting ground for these startups, India is not far behind. Several Indians are now going after implementing homegrown ideas. These ideas are not just copycats of similar startups in other markets, but concepts that are designed keeping the Indian market in mind. One such startup is Patna-based Husk Power Systems. Husk runs power plants using discarded rice husks to deliver electricity to off-grid villages in the Indian ‘Rice Belt’. Today they operate close to 30 power plants in several Indian villages. They’re working on an expansion plan of scaling up to 2000 such small power plants by 2012.

In this edition, we also introduced a new column titled the ‘Legal Diary’. This section will focus on simplifying complicated legal aspects of running businesses. Aarthi Sivanandh, partner at corporate law firm Universal Legal, will be anchoring this section. As Aarthi rightly mentions in her article, several startup entrepreneurs minimize costs by relying on Google searches to understand non-core issues at startups. Everything from incorporating your firm to charting out your stock options strategy requires deep analysis, and this is where experts come in. In this edition of Legal Diary, we cover seven important legal decisions that are crucial at the early-stage.

Our article titled ‘Retain with a Personal Touch’ takes a closer look at strategies being adopted by small and medium sized businesses to curtail attrition. With the Indian economy booming, and jobs not so difficult to come by, retaining top-quality talent has been a major problem. In this article, we take our readers through the efforts taken by companies like Organic India, activecubes and Integrated Securities for retaining people, and more importantly, creating a work environment that keeps them happy.  

We hope you enjoy reading this edition of The Smart CEO.   

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