Nina Alag Suri, Founder Nastrac Group of Companies.

By Team YS|13th Jun 2009
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Most Indian companies do not have an international presence; then again neither do most Indian companies have a woman as their head. Nina Alag Suri is not only a member of the fairer sex but also a consummate entrepreneur. Since 1997 she has made headway into not just national but international markets by finding the people who find people, or simply put she has a nose for finding talented head hunters.

She heads the Nastrac Group Of Companies and she told us about the brands under it saying “The group has companies that compliment each other in the area of human resources. “Nastrac” is the executive search arm of the company that focuses on Leadership hiring solutions globally. “Contact Recruitment” focuses on recruitment solutions to technology and multinational organizations.

“Rec2rec” is the first and the only recruit to recruit company in South East Asia that provides employment solutions to the employment industry by recruiting recruiters and talent acquisition professionals for the search industry and corporates. “Rectrain” provides training for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals. The company has offices across Singapore, India, UK and plans to open offices in Europe in the coming year.”


“The company has global operations with offices across Singapore, India, UK and a forthcoming office in Europe. The assignments are global in nature and most of the business comes from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Australia, India, UK, and Dubai.”


“We help roughly 25 senior management professionals find suitable placements and approximately 600 middle to senior professionals.”


Nina also filled us in on the various factors that separate her company and give it a unique menu to offer to clients. She emphasized their exclusive offerings saying “We are a boutique firm with high emphasis on personal touch with our clients. All our consultants are practitioners and have spent sufficient time in the corporate world hence with very strong domain knowledge as well as having been on the other side of the hiring table, are able to service clients with great empathy. The global presence helps movement seamlessly across countries. Company has 40years of experience behind it hence has tested through all economic times and proven itself.”


Going by their expansion plans, it seems their motto should be “the world is not enough”, Nina says “We have plans to develop offices in Europe and Greater China region”

She also told us her reasons for leaving the corporate world and joining the ranks of the Young Indian Entrepreneurs. She explained saying “Corporate world was getting limiting and I definitely felt I needed an environment where the sky was the limit and there was a direct proportion to efforts with rewards. I also wanted to be a creator rather than a follower and like creating operations out of nothing. I created my first office with Rs 50000 of which I pretty much spent Rs 40000 on PC and Internet, all of the revenue was created pretty much from this investment. This gives me a thrill and I always want to ensure all my operations breakeven within 6months of starting up.”


Money was a problem but not for long and her winning ways soon won over investors, she says “Financing used to be a challenge till a few years back but now we are delighted by the number of banks and financial institutions wanting to invest with us.”


She also told us about a stumbling block they faced initially. After the stumble however they quickly found their feet, Nina states “Cost Management was probably a mistake in the initial years. The business earned a lot but we spent terribly high and hired a lot people in a rush and in excitement. Wrong people and hires in a rush always result in loss of revenue and increased cost.”


Their first operation was started with Rs 50000 back in 1997.Since then they have grown in leaps and bounds, and Nina explained her under lying philosophy saying “I have always believed that I should first make $3 out of $1 dollar invested before I invest more so it’s been careful organic growth in the initial years. Subsequently one operation funded the other and so on and pretty much all operations have been self funded. Recently due to the economic downturn, for the first time we had to resort to loans from banks but that was so we could save jobs rather than put people into retrenchment.”


Nina regards their domino effect style growth as their biggest feat. She says “When I started the India operations in 1997 I was able to setup another operation in Finland totally funded by India operations within 2 years of startup. We then setup UK operations which again were totally funded by Finland operations. In 2003 I was able to sell a large stake of my company to another recruitment firm. After setting up Singapore operations in 2005 and again breaking even in 6months, I then did a management buy out in Jan 2009 due to some excellently low valuations because of the downturn and hence in a span of 6 years sold part of the company and got a good cash out then again regained my stake by paying a substantially low price for the same piece!”

Their Singapore operation currently employs 30 professionals, while India has 20, and UK has 30.


Nastrac has also attracted a lot of press coverage over the years. Unwilling to give up on her entrepreneurial pursuits Nina explains her motivation behind pursuing a high octane life style; she says “There is a constant passion to grow. I like creating positive environments around us and work with like minded professionals. I think the key to success is a positive mindset and an undying belief in your self.”


By 2010 she also hopes to integrate talent and management she says “I am hoping that our seasoned team members will become part owners in the business hence giving me the bandwidth to further expand and grow our operations.”


To the readers of her story, and those looking to emulate her success she advises saying “Main ingredient of success is positive attitude and belief. Think nothing is impossible and work with the right mind set - Hunger for growth always.”


Yourstory thanks Nina and Nastrac for the insights into their world and wishes them good luck with their goals.

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