Commercial possibility, differentiator, and sound business plan – these are the three most important things for new entrepreneurs, says S. Mahalingam, former CFO, TCS.
- Commercial possibility – This is the very critical one. The idea might be a great idea, but there should also be the commercial possibility to convert that to something.
- Differentiator – Anyone can copy any idea very, very quickly. And, therefore, how much of lead time do you have is a very critical thing. It is the differentiator that help you last longer.
- Sound business plan – This is important because you have got to go for the longer run.
Maha, as Seturaman Mahalingam was popularly known, is a chartered accountant by qualification. He began his IT career as a consultant with Tata Consultancy Services in 1970, notes a profile of his in CSI page. “In his 42-year career with TCS, Maha has been involved in myriad aspects of the company’s operations and growth, before being appointed as the chief financial officer of the company in February 2003 and as executive director in August 2007,” informs his profile in CMC, which is one of the companies to have Maha on the Board.
A former president of Computer Society of India (CSI), Maha was also at the helm of the Southern Region of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and the Institute of Management Consultants of India. “Maha was chosen as the best ‘CFO of 2009’ by Business Today. He was also voted as the best CFO of India, (2010) by Finance Asia magazine’s annual poll of investors and analysts. He was conferred the ‘CFO of the Year’ award 2006 announced by International Market Assessment (IMA). Maha was also the winner of CNBC TV18’s Best Performing CFO Award in the Technology Sector for 2007.” More recently, CII Connect 2013 recognised Maha for his lifetime achievement.