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TechTalk 8/8/2010

Inaugural issue of
the BTC newsletter

Key highlights:

Events Calendar
Page 1

Amar Lakhtakia
on the thrills of
entrepreneurship
Page 2

Ganesh Ayyar:
“Taatpatti to the
Boardroom”
Page 3
Business Technology Club

Hello from Team BTC!


Hello everyone! Welcome to the inaugural edition The best way, in our opinion, to break out of the
of the BTC newsletter. This newsletter exists to bubble is to contribute, collaborate and learn. And
serve the members of the BTC in two ways – to what better medium to do that with than the BTC
update students about different BTC related events newsletter – TechTalk.
on campus and serve as a knowledge
dissemination point for technology news and Here‟s looking forward to a year filled with loads
information. of interesting events, thought provoking sessions
and the cherry on the cake, a great placement
As our maiden venture, this issue is admittedly season!
lean on the latter and constitutes more of the
former. We hope to remedy that in upcoming Events Calendar
issues by opening up editorial collaboration to our
members. Venky Rao,
Chief Strategy UST Global August 11
So please do get involved; send us whatever you‟d Officer
personally like to see in the newsletter - your op-ed
Microsoft
pieces, interesting articles, latest news etc. It is CXO August 17*
Global
exactly this content in the newsletter that forms a
good portion of what recruiters claim most Senior Business
interviewees lack – knowledge of current news and Manager, Client Infosys August 18*
information about the technology space. Relationships
* Tentative date

1
TechTalk 8/8/2010

Entrepreneurship 101 with Amar Lakhtakia, CEO and Co-Founder of


SherpaZ
The BTC Club invited Mr. Amar Lakhtakia, a Sales is king
seasoned executive and a visionary entrepreneur Mr. Lakhtakia spoke about a top-down approach
with an excellent track record of identifying new towards structuring a product roadmap since sales
opportunities, raising large venture capital and drives everything in a business. He said, “Listen to
scaling large organizations within the technology your sales guys early on in the product lifecycle.
sphere. Mr. Lakhtakia‟s talk centered upon some They‟ll be truthful and tell you exactly what the
common challenges faced by entrepreneurs and market is looking out for and exactly what your
how best to tackle them. product needs”.

Early lessons “Napkin thoughts” as a seed of innovation


At the outset, he said, “As a company you need to To a question posed by an audience member about
start at ground zero and then build around that”. how to ideate, he said his own ideas had not
He advocated the importance of bootstrap capital emerged merely from intuition but by keeping an
and aiming for a shoe-string budget rather than eye out for emerging sectors and spaces. He
extravagant capital expenditures while starting out. emphasized the importance of jotting down what
Venture capital is key to achieving scale once your he called “napkin thoughts” and revisiting them
model is proven. He also mentioned that the big later after researching the possibilities. The next
challenge for entrepreneurs who receive early step then is to conduct secondary research through
success is to stay focused, motivated and market sizing.
passionate for a sustained period.
He concluded his talk by stressing upon the
“Face competition head-on” importance of Internet marketing going forward to
One of Mr. Lakhtakia‟s early startups faced effectively gain a first-mover advantage in any
significant challenges from global application sphere.
market leaders such as SAP and Oracle. However,
he stressed that one should not think small and Amar has 22+ years of experience and is currently
should instead, actively seek out competition. He pioneering a new breed of Talent Supply Chain solutions
said, “Even if you do start off small, do not show it at SherpaZ. Previously, Amar was VP & Co-founder of
and more importantly, don‟t think small. Don‟t let Webify, which pioneered on demand web services-based
size hold you back; instead use it to your applications for the healthcare and financial services
advantage”. industries. Webify was acquired by IBM for over $110
million.
Simplicity and team work are great assets
While drawing upon his experiences, he mentioned Prior to Webify, Amar was Director & Co-founder of
that simplicity is powerful, but very often is hard to AristaSoft. He helped launch several industry-focused
find. He explained that it is important for solutions and formed 20+ strategic alliances including
entrepreneurs to keep the business model simple. J.D. Edwards, Clarify, Webmethods and Microsoft. He
Many a great idea has faltered because of an founded the ASP Industry Consortium and served on its
entrepreneur‟s inability to explain something as Board of Directors for three years. Amar also spent 6
years at Wipro and 4 years at Tata Unisys in various
simple as the pricing structure to the customer.
management roles encompassing marketing, business
development and account management.
Additionally, he attributed some of his own success
to good teamwork and stressed upon the need to
Amar has received several industry accolades such as
have a complementary and diverse team. He also
Upside Magazine's Hot 100 Companies. He is an MBA
said that one should get out of one‟s comfort zone.
from IIM, Bangalore, India and a B. Tech (Honors) from
BITS, Pilani, India.

2
TechTalk 8/8/2010

“Taatpatti to the Boardroom”- The Metamorphosis by Ganesh Ayyar, CEO


of MphasiS
this time leading the HP-Compaq integration from the
former‟s side.

Mr. Ganesh Ayyar joined the now 37,000 strong


MphasiS as CEO in January 2009. The numbers speak
for his success in this role: a 43% increase in annual
revenue, a 121% increase in annual profit and cash
increase from $12 mn to $293 mn; add to that two
successful acquisitions.

Mr. Ayyar strongly believes in empowering people in


his organization and holds quarterly open-forums for
Dataquest in their report for July, 2010, listed his employees. He sees MphasiS as a teenage company
MphasiS as 1 of the 5 fastest growing in the future but still wants them to be known as the
companies for 2009-10. Against the backdrop of “new kid on the block” who strives that bit harder!
this stellar growth, Mr. Ganesh Ayyar, CEO
MphasiS relived his own eventful journey from
childhood to becoming the CEO of MphasiS. A
Chartered Accountant by education, Mr. Ayyar
has more than 22 years of experience across
functions and has worked predominantly in
South East Asia. To a packed audience here at
ISB, Mr. Ayyar shared some key learnings and
insights he acquired during this interesting and
very successful journey.

Mr. Ayyar spoke of how at a two day workshop


at HP, he unexpectedly discovered his hidden
skill for sales. He talked about his experience in
various sales roles thereafter, the
Mr. Ganesh Ayyar joined MphasiS as the CEO in January
responsibilities he was bestowed with and the
2009. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, Managed
accolades he won on his rather eventful
Services, Asia Pacific & Japan in HP. He joined HP in
journey.
1989 and held several roles across its diverse business
groups across geographies. In 1999, Ayyar was the president
A strong advocate of „customer first‟ attitude,
of HP India and was instrumental in strengthening the
Mr. Ayyar excelled in his assignment as the HP
company’s position in India. His outstanding efforts saw
India Head, delivering a whopping 77% CAGR his move to the position of Asia-Pacific Director of
over 2 years. His passion for his job and Marketing for the Business Customer Organization in
willingness to meet people catalyzed an 2001. He was also the co-lead for pre-merger Integration
eventual shift and he transitioned into the role Planning for HP-Compaq Merger for Asia Pacific & Japan.
of Marketing Head, APAC.
Mr. Ganesh Ayyar was accompanied by Mr. Seshagiri
The people person that he was, Mr. Ayyar was Dhanyamraju who heads Strategy, Benchmarking and
not too happy being unable to connect directly Service Excellence at MphasiS and is also a member of the
to his customers in this role. He shifted again, executive council of MphasiS.

3
TechTalk 8/8/2010

BULLETIN BOARD
BTC Quiz Challenge Winners – Quiz 1 Microsoft Global Service India
(MGSI) Event
The first round of the BTC Quiz
Challenge was conducted in 1st Place
collaboration with the Quiz Shyam Sunder Sec A
Club on July 29th, 2010. More Divyashree Bhat Sec E
than 15 teams participated, Siddharth Vij
with 6 moving into the final
round. The winners of the 2nd Place
finals were given cash prizes. Abhiram Alamuru Sec C
Neha Wadhawan Sec C
Over the course of the year, the Rahul Rajappa Sec C
BTC and Quiz Club will
3rd Place A team from MGSI, led by Mr.
conduct these quizzes every
Rakesh Krishnan Sec B Ramshankar Krishnan, Head of
term and teams participating/
Aditya Wasudeo Sec B Marketing addressed a rapt
winning in successive quizzes
Karthik Kishore Sec D audience on August 4th, 2010. They
will be in the running for a
provided an overview of the work
grand prize at the end of the
that they do. Being a strong
year! So keep quizzing and
recruiter, they also provided an
keep winning!
insight of various profiles and a
typical day at the workplace.

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If you‟d like to contribute to the newsletter, or have any ideas, suggestions, or feedback, email us:

Prerna Jain Chaitrali Joshi


Knowledge Initiatives Coordinator - BTC Newsletter Editor – BTC