NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Startup 9: R. Swaminathan, MD and CEO, Matrix Business
R. Swaminathan is the Managing Director and CEO of Matrix Business Services. He has extensive experience in banking and financial services with Citibank, American Express, and GE. His experience extends across marketing, credit risk management, product management, and service delivery. Prior to co-founding Matrix, Swami was with GE Capital Services India as Vice President and Region Head. Swami is a chartered accountant and a management graduate from IIM, Ahmedabad.
About Matrix Business Services
Matrix enables enterprises to mitigate business risk and increase business efficiency. The company provides verification services to meet the risk mitigation requirements of their customers and also offers process outsourcing services to increase their business and operating efficiencies. It is also one of India’s leading employee background verification agencies. Matrix is headquartered at Chennai, India with branches at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Pune, and Kolkata. In addition, it has access to a network of associate/franchisee offices at 125 locations all over India that provide local execution capability.
Swaminathan provides his entrepreneurial viewpoint to NASSCOM’s Indian Startup EMERGEOUT initiative.
1. Why did you take up entrepreneurship journey?
Swaminathan: Firstly, I wanted to start something from scratch and build it to a meaningful level of size and scale. I had worked over a decade in large multinational corporations. These organizations gave me meaningful careers, but what I was missing was the excitement of starting a completely new business with no history and baggage. Entrepreneurship gave me the opportunity to experience this unique journey. Secondly, I wanted to experience what risk is. You can know risk by only taking risks. Entrepreneurship is all about risk-taking and I wanted to really learn what risk-taking was.
2. What keeps you going (how and where do you find your motivation levels)?
Swaminathan: Growth is a great motivator. There is great satisfaction in seeing revenues and profits grow every quarter. Another motivator is the visible positive impact on the lives of employees and their families. There is nothing more heartening than seeing the success of employees you have hired and nurtured. Another thing that keeps an entrepreneur going is the opportunity to experiment with new ideas and experience the results.
3. What is your advice to wannabe entrepreneurs in India?
Swaminathan: Patience is a great (and under-rated) virtue. I would advise entrepreneurs to combine patience with dynamism. Be dynamic in your actions, but be very patient when it comes to results and rewards. Often it takes a long time to harvest the fruit of the seeds that are sown. The relationship between cause and effect is not immediate. It helps to not get frustrated too quickly. Have the maturity to wait for the right time when outcomes happen on their own.
4. What success means to you and your organization?
Swaminathan: Success is a journey and not a destination. There is no point of arrival, and the journey itself is the goal. When a milestone is achieved, it is simply a trigger for raising the bar higher and setting a bigger goal. Every achievement is a starting point for the race towards the next achievement. Success is also about impact on others’ lives. Success is collective and never individual. You can succeed only if your customers succeed, your employees succeed, and if your vendors succeed.5. What are your learnings from the failures?
Swaminathan: It is clichéd to state that failures are stepping stones to success and this cliché has been repeated often. If I were to give a more meaningful insight about failure, I would say that there is NO such thing as failure. If success is a journey, then you are successful as long as you continue the journey. Failure happens only when you decide to stop.
With such a worldview on what success is and getting motivated by others’ success is a truly remarkable attribute that has helped Swaminathan see purpose in taking to entrepreneurship.
As part of the Indian startup NASSCOM EMERGEOUT initiative, seven entrepreneurs have shared their views. To know what they are, please visit the links given below.
NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave, Chennai, April 30, 2010
NASSCOM EMERGEOUT conclave comes to Chennai on 30 April 2010. With “Nurturing the IT DNA in India’s growth sectors” as its theme, the conclave’s objective is to help understand what opportunities do the Indian growth sectors present for you and how you can tap into these emerging opportunities.
Mr. Bharat Goenka, founder, Tally Software is the keynote speaker. The story of Tally was started with a belief and vision of one man – Mr. Bharat Goenka. A truly Made in India product Made for India. Tally epitomizes what a visionary can do to bring about technology revolution. Tally is now synonymous with accounting software in India. The product is used by a significant chunk of SMEs across all industry sectors. Mr. Goenka has developed in Indian context a product that is most essential to run a business. Would you miss hearing him?
Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan, Vice Chairman, Cognizant, has kindly consented to give the valedictory address. Lakshmi Narayanan has been a technology industry leader for over 30 years. As a founding member of Cognizant, Lakshmi has been responsible for the company’s high-touch customer relationship and delivery excellence model. Under his leadership, Cognizant became the youngest IT services company to reach the $1 billion revenue milestone. So he is worth listening to to find out what strategies he applied for successful execution of plans to reach a historic milestone in quick time.
To find the speaker list, please visit http://bit.ly/dvMYqq.
Please register for the conference here.
–Contributed by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chief Evangelist, YourStory