Managing the Business of ‘Self’

Jul 22, 2016 | Posted by admin in Events & Happenings   No Comments »

Mr Gopi Natarajan, CEO, Omega Health Care Ltd.

On the  penultimate day of the foundation fortnight, the students had with them Mr. Gopi Natarajan, CEO, Omega Health Care Ltd. Happy to be with the youngsters, Natarajan also admired the  galaxy of speakers who had earlier interacted with the students during the foundation. He asked the young audience what had made them choose MBA over other career options. A girl among the students said she wanted to become a  become a “better version” of herself. Another student a boy shared the fact that he had started a venture after his graduation and wanted to learn the the ropes of the business and management; And that explained his presence there.

Natarajan, then briefly recounted his successful career trajectory in USA, where he had spent 25 years before venturing into  entrepreneurship. Today, his company has  offices in USA and Europe. However, he said, the company has recently opened an office in Trichy, a tier II town in Tamil Nadu . The rationale behind the move, that too, to a tier II city, as  he shared was the  availability of talent in the region which also would catalyse the  economic growth and development, there. And would also create  employment. Also the  region was  quieter, greener and hence idyllic. It also gave him respite from the infamous  Bangalore traffic.

The Young Audience

The tenor of the talks being ‘Entrepreneurship’, Natarajan extolled the virtue of  taking risks in the world of business.  He  said he was aware of the widely prevalent Indian mindset  which abhorred  risk and failure. He  confessed of the fear of failure in his  hey days because of the  punishment  tagged with it. He also brought up the issue  of parents being  more stressed about  their children’s academics and future, than the children themselves. So insane an attitude.

He told the audience that as they gain experience in life and grew they would learn from failures too.He cited examples of some well considered e-commerce companies, which had initially  failed  in their business models. All business ideas cannot be successful, he said sharing the example of his  new  venture in Healthcare in USA. The venture could not work out hence  he exited. But the failure did not deter his passion for entrepreneurship. And later  Omega Healthcare was born.

Natarajan  further expounded the importance of selecting investors judiciously. He said the market is flooded with investors – angle investors, venture capitalist, and family managed business. There was  a ‘dumb money and smart money’  philosophy which he personally adhered to  while seeking funds for his business.  Before allowing investors to invest , one should ask for references in the market/industry . It is imperative to understand whether the investment is short term or long term. If an investor is just seeking 5 x multiplies for his investment then – one should walk away from such a deal. He further said the owner should always have control over the  company. Wisdom lies in welcoming investors who along with profits have long term growth and commitment on mind.

Mr Natarajan (l) with Professors Mohan Chandra (c) and Githa Heggde (r)

Advisory board is  the core of a new company . It brings to the table experience, expertise and intellectual capital. In the same context he advised  the students to read the book ‘Crossing the Castle’. Be committed and passionate.  Money is important but route one takes is equally important.

Outlining his experience of entrepreneurship and work culture in USA and India, he shared in his observation that the  levels of creativity and application which are almost  missing in India are contrastingly high in USA  these are high. In USA companies encourage employees to be creative and cited the example of Google – where the company has announced that 80% of products in future would be next generation product and hence it is mandatory for each employee to spend two  hours daily  for creative upliftment. Speaking on Healthcare Industry, he said the same was in a  nascent stage, hence a lot of scope for action there. He particularly mentioned the  electronic medical devices. His   company  had huge data on healthcare and hence offered huge opportunities in Data  Analytics, which in turn would  help companies  design new products.

The Panel


Exploring the self. Challenging a task. Isn’t it ? But then that was the core of the panel discussion of the day with Prof AKN Prasad   chairing the same. The panel comprised industry leaders who were delighted to be with  the young audience  and talking to them on the concept of ‘ Exploring the self. Mr RK Srinivasa Murthy , Ex CEO, Lotus Control, looked on ‘Self ‘ as a complex phenomenon comprising  physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual elements. When  integrated, these result in a pleasant and positive persona. It is a delightful experience and people love working and interacting with such a person. It is the individual who decides whether to evolve or devolve.

Dr. Mukul Saxena - Sr. Vice President and Head, Corporate Research and Technology, India – Siemens Technology and Services Pvt Ltd spoke briefly about his interest in Mechanical Engineering, which started at an early age, fuelling his dreams and later the higher studies.During his tenure with General Electric Ltd, USA  he met the renowned business leader – Mr. Jack Welch – who was known for quizzing people during business presentation. When he  questioned Welch – what made  him go for  a particular business plan, Welch told   it was the strong conviction about it. Saxena averred that passion and energy are important for success.

Recalling  his early career, Prof. B.K. Kulkarni, VP Health care Siemens Information Technology Pvt Ltd, shared how after failure he decided to pursue higher education in USA. He told students that it was  important for a leader to tell stories to connect with people. Right communication can work wonders. He advised students that ‘Honesty & Truth’ have unparalleled value.

Batch 2016- 18

Another expert on the panel Mr. Prasad Prabhakar, Director, Human Resources at Trianz, told students to have a good knowledge of self and how one can make  a difference.  He underlined the importance of  active learning   apart from passive learning which happens via reading and in classrooms.He advised the students to watch Jackie Chan’s – ‘Who Am I?

Kulkarni, advised students the importance of working in teams without ‘EGO’  & ‘I’while dealing with people. Saxena said he looked for people with strong conviction and belief in self  , while hiring people at Siemens Ltd. Murthy in his closing remarks spoke about the importance of converting ideas  into ideals.





Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Singapore SEO SEO Blog  SEO Web Design  Mind Movies