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Achievers

IIM Lucknow Alumni Association

Vol 10, April 2011

This newsle er features highlights from our interac on with alumni


who are con nuously raising the bar in their chosen profession or
doing something completely out of the ordinary. This month, we
spoke with Mr. Bimal Patwari, an alumnus from the class of 1990.
Bimal is the founder and CEO of Pinnacle Infotech , rated
among Top 50 IT Innovators by NASSCOM in 2008.
What has been your career path after graduating from IIM
Lucknow?


Mr. Bimal Patwari
1988-1990: PGDM, IIM Lucknow

1990-1991: Consultant, A.F.Ferguson

1991-present: Founder & CEO,
Pinnacle Infotech

After graduating from IIM Lucknow, I joined A.F.Ferguson, the


leading management consultancy rm of our times and very soon
realized that I could not work in restricted environment and I was
wired to become an Entrepreneur. I could not even complete a year at
the job and started Pinnacle in 1991 at Durgapur. Information
Technology was the most promising eld and I had an electronics
engineering background. Venture capital was unknown in those
days I started modestly with a small capital of Rs 5 lakh from my
father in a 1000 sq. ft. rented premises. Pinnacle started as a one
point IT solution company providing Hardware and Software
consultancy, supply, training and support in our region.
In 1998 we got the break into the International market and started
providing Engineering and Architectural CAD services globally. In
2002 we opened fully operational ofce in USA and today Pinnacle is
recognized as the Global leader through its global delivery network
In India, USA, Italy and Middle East.
Can you please tell us more about your company Pinnacle
Infotech ?
Pinnacle Infotech is a global leader in providing engineering and
architectural design, modeling and coordination solutions to the
international construction industry. We pioneered the Building
Information Modeling (BIM) technology which virtually constructs
the buildings with all services and enables complete coordination of
all utilities before starting construction. Our solutions increase
construction efciency and quality, reduce costs (by 5-15%) and help
beat the construction schedule.
Pinnacle has a world class production center spread over 12 acres
(around 3 lakh sq. ft) with a talented team of around 400 architects,
engineers and CAD professionals with a thorough understanding of
international architectural and construction standards and practices.



Achievers

Pinnacle has successfully executed various prestigious global projects,


including hospitals, airports, hotels, water treatment plants, power
plants, commercial projects, high-rise towers, university buildings,
residential projects, and schools.

What was the motivation behind choosing Durgapur for starting


Pinnacle Infotech ?
I was born and brought up in Durgapur. So with limited capital and
resources, it was a natural starting point. Durgapur has colleges and
research institutes for manpower, stable law and order and decent
physical infrastructure. However the city has disadvantages with no
eco-system for an IT export unit as we were the lone IT unit operating in
the city. We took this as a challenge to put Durgapur on the
international map and prove that global leadership can be achieved
from a Tier III city by a team mostly from villages and small towns.
Almost 80% of our team is still from villages and towns and some of
them have to still cycle to reach their home- For more than 90% of our
team, it is still their rst job.

Entrepreneurs must have a


strong belief in themselves;
passion, high levels of energy
and ability to handle success
and failure in stride

IT industry is a very dynamic industry. How do you keep pace with


the changing trends?
Our success lies in understanding the emerging trends before others
and responding to it. We regularly meet clients to understand their
pains and opportunities with the emerging technology. Our team
regularly attends international exhibitions, technology shows and scans
the environment. We have created an environment for innovation and
everyone is encouraged to experiment and stretch the technology .

According to NASSCOM, Pinnacle was regarded as one of the Top


100 IT innovators in 2006. How does it feel?
It was a proud moment for the whole team and recognition of their hard
work and passion for excellence. We got the Nasscom Innovator award
in 2007 and again in 2008 we were among the TOP 50 rubbing shoulders
with Infosys and TCS. This had put Pinnacle in the same bracket as
established large IT players of the country and electried our team.

Pinnacle campus



Achievers


How did IIM Lucknow help in shaping you as a person, both
personally and professionally?
In the beginning years, an entrepreneur has to handle all aspects
of business preparing business plan and projects reports,
nancial projections and sensitivity analysis, prepare sound HR
policies, devise systems and processes. IIM Lucknow gave me the
condence and thorough ability to handle all aspects of business.
I got a solid foundation in Finance and can challenge any CA /
nance professional. The case studies were very useful and I get
reminded of those when I land up in similar business situation. I
couldnt appreciate OB at IIM Lucknow but felt the need once the
team got bigger.
As a person, I learnt to be organized and generate options and
evaluate them at each stage. IIM Lucknow helped me in
developing team spirit, gave me condence and red aspirations
in me.

Batch outing
You graduated with the Directors gold medal from the Institute.
Do you think there is any relation between academic success
and professional success?
Billion dollar question and I would denitely like to sponsor a
statistical analysis on this. I often have discussion with our
recruitment team about this selection criterion. Wish I had a
formula/machine to determine the chances of professional
success! A good academic performance does indicate some of the
personality traits - ambition, planned approach and hard work.
And to get a gold medal at IIM Lucknow, it needs a lot of all these.
In our batch everyone was generous to let Kapoor and I get it. It
was a case of famous Lucknow hospitality Pahle Aap, Pahle Aap.

How was your experience as a student at IIM Lucknow? Any


special memories related to institute, professor or friends which
you would like to share?

Bimal with his family

Our class size was small less than 30. So we had a very good
student teacher ratio and we got lot of attention and pampering
from the faculty. Small batch had some disadvantages as well.
Everyone had to participate in the case study and do homework.
We had occasions when Professor reached our hostel to check the
absentees. So, one could not even fake illness!




Achievers


We had some great professors who generated interest in their subjects.
What business we are in! became our Gurumantra from Prof Krishna
Kumars Business policy class and this is how our batch mates greet each
other even today. When it came to Field study Consumer behavior
buying for refrigerators, air-conditioner etc., we had tested the patience of
every household in Aliganj. Initially they loved the attention and greeted
us with tea and Thandai but towards the end they had started slamming
the doors on us.
Hotel Kohinoor had a 24 hours Coffee shop with unlimited rells. We
ensured that they changed the policy to 1 rell. I wont be surprised if
they have stopped rell totally.

Who are the people who inspired you and why?


My grandfather has been my greatest inspiration. He taught me the
importance of integrity and hard work in our life. He had seen so many
ups and down in his life and his life is an excellent study on how to
manage adversity.
I have been inspired by the adventures of Akio Morita and the value
system and leadership of Dr. Narayana Murthy. Parthiv Patel is my hero
in cricket for his Never give up attitude.

What would be your advice to current PGP batches at IIM Lucknow?


Take the course seriously. IT matters whatever you do in life. You need
good exposure to all departments.

Hobbies
Reading. I read inspiring books
from successful people. Travelling
near nature and people. Nature is
most inspiring. SO much to learn
from simple grass. We crumble it
and it gets totally dried up in
scorching heat but turns green and
fresh at the smallest opportunity.

Favorite Books
Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish
Break all the rules

Analyze your strengths and weakness and decide what suits you well. Do
not be guided by the herd attitude. What is good for someone may not
work well for you.
No hurries! Opportunities come at every stage of our life and it is never
too late. So dont get impatient to become entrepreneur immediately. (I
still feel I should have worked more for couple of years before taking the
plunge!) Jump in when you have the right idea, passion and support
system.

Published by the PGP Alumni Committee on behalf of the IIM Lucknow Alumni Association
Please send your feedback/suggestions on this newsletter to
alumni@iiml.org

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