NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Startup 27: Sanjay Prasad, CEO, MindRiver


Sanjay Prasad serves as the Chief Executive Officer at MindRiver Information Technologies, a privately funded IT services company incorporated in April 2003.Sanjay brings to MindRiver 22+ rich years of experience in sales, marketing management, and technical leadership in the high tech industry. He has cross-functional process and operations experience and track record in developing and monetizing new businesses in addition to strong Customer relationship management expertise with focus on solutions and consultative selling with specialized knowledge of high tech and communications technologies.

Over the years Sanjay has built strong relationships with leading telephone companies and enterprises and possess strong communication, influence, and team leadership skills. Before MindRiver, Sanjay was the Vice President & Head – Information Technology & Consulting for WebEx India (now a Cisco company), the country’s premier audio and web conferencing company.

Sanjay has a graduate honors degree in commerce from the Bombay University.

Sanjay has been instrumental in growing MindRiver from a 5 people startup to a 350+ people strong enterprise with revenues of $4 million. MindRiver’s main focus areas are infrastructure management services (IMS), IT consulting, business consulting, systems integration, and managed services.

Over the years, MindRiver has grown both in revenues and people at an average of 150% and today boosts of some of the most marquee names as its clients such as Alcatel-Lucent, McAfee Software, Symphony Services, HP, Etisalat, Cognizant, NetApp, Columbia Asia Hospitals, JDA Software, Kingfisher, and so on. MindRiver is its customer’s primary IT services partner in most of the cases.

MindRiver is specialized IT infrastructure management services company, headquartered in Bangalore, India and incorporated in year 2003. MindRiver has 360+ employees working in various projects across India and Middle East.

MindRiver supports customers' business strategies as a long-term technology partner by offering comprehensive IT management solutions. The Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) offers a wide range of world class services covering IT infrastructure, management consulting, remote infrastructure management (RIM), managed services, and design and implementation of IT infrastructure. Onsite and off-site IT infrastructure support services are also provided through a team of highly skilled professionals. The company is growing at 50% year on year, and most of the revenue is generated through IT infrastructure management services and the revenue for the year 2009-2010 is $4 million. The company has one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry.

Sanjay has built a robust services company with focus on infrastructure management. His views on entrepreneurship as told to Indian Startup EMERGEOUT initiative by NASSCOM is given below.

1. Why did you take up entrepreneurship journey?

Sanjay Prasad: I had a burning desire to build a firm from its inception and help nurture and grow it to a size that would have impact in the space that it was created to be in. It was this desire and passion to create and build that led me on my journey of entrepreneurship. This is my third venture and each time I do this it is more challenging and exciting and adds fuel to my passion and keeps me steadfast on my journey of entrepreneurship.

2. What keeps you going (how and where do you find your motivation levels)?

Sanjay Prasad: Motivation comes from seeing a seed build into a tree that stands on its own. Every day that MindRiver grows motivates me and keeps driving me forward. It is the hunger to succeed at what I have thought to create that keeps me going on and on. Plus the passion that every member in our team shows just adds more to that ever growing pool of motivation.

3. What is your advice to wannabe entrepreneurs in India?

Sanjay Prasad: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging journey, one that requires great passion and a strong desire to succeed. You need to be focused at all times on the goal you have set, whether things are up or down. It needs a hunger so strong that it fuels your passion and helps you build what you have dreamt of. It is not for the weak hearted as success does not come easy but when it does arrive it is a fulfillment of all your desires.

4. What success means to you and your organization?

Sanjay Prasad: For us at MindRiver being a SME success means everything to us. Every single member in our firms strives towards succeeding at what they do for their success adds to the overall success of our firm. It is this passion and hunger to succeed that has taken us from a 5 people startup in September 2004 to a 350+ strong enterprise today and has helped grow our revenues from virtually nothing to INR 16.60 Crores as on 31st March 2010.

5. What are your learnings from the failures?

Sanjay Prasad: Every failure that one encounters helps educate us and teaches us the way to counter and ensure that in the future that failure does not reoccur. It makes us stronger and more determined to continue to strive further towards the fulfillment of our goals. We at MindRiver see this as a great learning in bettering our processes and services to our customers.

As part of the Indian Startup EMERGEOUT initiative by NASSCOM, 26 entrepreneurs have shared their views. To know what they are, please visit the links given below.

1. Kishore Mandyam of PK4 Software

2. Anil Pagar of Spadeworx

3. Ajay Sharma of Shristi Software

4. Pallav Nadhani of InfoSoft Global (FusionCharts)

5. Manoj Srivatsava of Hanu Software

6. Sriram Raghavan of Comat

7. Sushil Chaudary of Mann-India

8. Manav Garg of Eka

9. R. Swaminathan of Matrix Business Solution

10. Suresh Sambandam of OrangeScape

11. Ajay Mian of Alletech

12. Prasad Guntupalli of Attra

13. Varun Khurana of Wirkle

14. Anil Kaul of AbsolutData

15. Amit Sadana of PharmARC

16. Yadu and Naresh or Robust Designs

17. Ananth Seshan of Fifth Generation

18. Shoma Bakre of EmPower Research

19. Raj Hajela of Estel

20. Sanjay Shah of Skelta

21. Prakash Rane of ABM

22. Rohit Singal of Sourcebits

23. Vishal Borker of NextBiT

24. Srish Agrawal of A1 Future 25. Bijal Mehta of Arctern

26. Sanjay Vijayakumar of MobMe

Contributed by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chief Evangelist, YourStory