Vineet Nayar is the Vice Chairman of HCL Technologies. He became President & CEO of HCL Technologies in 2005 and during the next seven years, spearheaded HCL into a multi-billion dollar business. Vineet is also the author of Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down. At the recent Young Turks Conclave, Vineet spoke about the key drivers on an entrepreneur’s road to profitability. Here are excerpts from his talk.
The first thing we need to think about is purpose. Organizations are always built on purpose. Whenever leaders have been able to define a compelling purpose, they have been able to pull together people who take any odds during the journey.
Experimental flexibility is very important. Don't be married to just one idea, a market or a strategy. You are in the business of building an organization, not an idea. Therefore, the more flexibility you show and more resilience you show, one step at a time, is good. Only in the discovery of unknown will you get to the road to profitability.
Configuration of your organization is very important. If you configure your organization in such a way that all your people are in circles and the leader is right in the center and the people are saluting the leader, you are not going to go anywhere. So how you are going to structure yourself as an organization is critical to getting rewarded in the corporate world.
If you don't have people who are in the business of solving problems, you have got the wrong hires. People like river rafting (similarly entrepreneurship) because it is the most exciting thing to do in the world. You need to look at life as river rafting, you are in the business of uncertainty, you have to take last minute decisions, you have to configure a team around you where all of them are capable of last minute decisions. With that mindset, you will make profit.
Below are some things that HCL does differently and in Vineet’s words what has led them to profitability:
- We have a commitment at HCL that we will reinvent ourselves every 18 months and go after new business models
- I always like when decisions are taken ground up, we do this at HCL
- Most organizations make the mistake of putting their best and the brightest in defending existing business models, but what we at HCL do is our best and brightest are always exploring. Because of which we are constantly out-performing the challenges.
- Always define your vision keeping your employees in mind. Most times when organizations define a 10 billion dollar goal, they are not taking into account how the employees feel. In most cases, employees do not even relate to that vision. At HCL, our vision is to create a million smiles.
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