Saturday, May 2, 2009

Business Transformation (Part III) : Simplicty works ? - An Interview with RND

Ranendra Narayan Dutta , is known for his simplicity .He also made simplicity, the mission statement of his company – Nature Technologies Pvt Ltd . But does simplicity helps to handle recession better . Straight talk with the CEO of Nature Technologies Pvt Ltd who is known also for his evangelist skills.

Joydip: You have been some time in Industry now . Worked as a techie and then in the middle level management of a Software Company . Then you have started your own venture . So this is the second time , you are seeing a tough recession continuing for a long duration after dot com burst . How do you find it different then the earlier one ?

R.N.D : Joydip, I have seen the recessions come; Upset every equation; Have analysts predict everything that makes sense; Yet be wrong time and again; Finally the Sine wave from Physics dominates Economics. From crest to trough to crest; the surge continues. I believe recessions come to be over some day and rejuvenate business with new caution. These are to be forgotten till the next recession knocks the door again.

My perspective of the recessions has always been in respect to Information Technology market, apart from my amateurish interest in Capital Market movement world-over.

I believe recessions are the stabilizing factor to erase out the non-sustainable elements of the market. They are for good. Last time during the Dot Com Boom, the phenomenon was not at all sustainable. That’s why it crashed with a boom. From the perspective of Information Technology the recession was targeted at the not so GREAT IT market. Finally the market corrected itself. So the wrath of the recession was mainly on IT sectors in Dot Coms and Y2K. The weak but hyped organizations perished. The organizations that made sense prevailed to GROW big. In my opinion the Dot Com burst was a blessing for the people who use IT and who invest in IT. Being realistic is important after all.

This recession of the current time is actually an aftermath of the Dot Com crash. People started investing on housing assets and prices rose to a level that was again UNREALISTIC. Now real estate drove things to sky high in the capital market. Information Technology has a limited share of its wrongs this time. But obviously since we are all in the IT services sector which is a tertiary sector, we get hit no matter what goes wrong in the financial market.

Last time , when we had the Dot Com burst and recession, I was a techie and saw the desperation of my employer, Mindteck India to stay alive. They survived and that too with a BIG BANG. We moved to Embedded Technologies from Enterprise Computing. My previous company where I joined as a trainee and grew to be in the managerial position catapulted itself to a great position, due to its paradigm shift. It was tough, but those who dare to face the recession make it BIG. Mindteck is now doing GREAT now days. Thanks to Mr. Shankar Velayudhan, the General Manager then.

This time when the recessions hit hard I am in the chair as a CEO managing, a 2 years old company, Nature Technologies, dealing in End-to-End Information Technology solutions for my customers in US and Europe. Things have been tough, but I had been brave this time. We did intelligent marketing, made pricing REALISTIC, approached the sectors that don’t suffer from recessions like Legal and Healthcare. We are doing well. We are expecting a growth in revenue of around 100% this year. Nature Technologies became even SIMPLER with the recessions storming the markets.

This time, I feel that the people who have money to invest and keep the markets rolling are skeptical but are willing to make investments in small chunks in Technology that minimizes their risks of seeing all their money gone in a fast time. Technology solutions with prototypes, marketing campaigns, small pluggable releases and payments are the call of this recession. We are offering the best price so that people can afford to dip their toes in the water.

Answering your question in a sentence; Joydip, I see this recession as a friendly recession for Techno savvy companies and realistic business. Because investors are no longer interested in UNREAL HYPE.

Joydip: You talk a lot about simplicity ? What do you mean by it? Can it be really practiced when the World is becoming so complex , specially on the time of recession , when the complexity reaches in its heightening discourses.

R.N.D :What sustains at the end is “SIMPLICITY”. Did Google disappear after the Dot Com bubble? No! Isn’t it? Google had a simple approach to business. It had its message UNAMBIGUOUS. “SEARCH THROUGH US”.

Simplicity is actually the strongest trait of HUMAN THOUGHT PROCESS. You love your teacher who taught you in simple terms. You love a website that is easy to use. You love the remote of your TV if it’s easy to use. You prefer a normal cell phone over a Smart Phone because it is simple. Isn’t it?

We are surviving this recession with Simplicity. I need to convince my customers precisely how they benefit. Use simple methods through technology. Minimize costs to simply make profits. We worked on our marketing strategy to make it easy for a business house to assess how we improve their ROI. We made our proposals short and simple. No hidden costs and conditions. People take the shortest time to accept us as a service provider. And that works great for us.

Nature Technologies is being driven by Simplicity and it gives us the speed to act upon and deliver.

I should say that whatever sustains is SIMPLE. Because if something is not sustainable you need to project it in the most complex way, to get the thing to the table and sell it. Ultimately the customers find out that its not what you meant and you are gone. So if something is needed the most now a days, then its SIMPLICITY.

Joydip: Do you see this recession is going to break the glass ceiling for the lower class to become entrepreneur ? There are more cases of slum millionaires will come forward, when corporate giants will fail ? As a Corporate evalengist, where
do you see the world in next 5 years ?

R.N.D :As I said before, the recessions are like a wave that cleanses the market and the competition. Generally as the Corporates grow, they tend to move away from practicality, to aggression based on individual’s dreams and aspirations. Most of the time than not, a corporate’s goal is not realistic. Often the big corporations forget who is the market. They tend to believe that they can change the market, people’s perceptions and the demands. Based on these insights a lot of money is spent, people are tried to be dominated into believing what is best for them, and in short term this seems to be doing good. But after sometimes this concept perishes and the UNREALISTIC dreams and offerings fall to the ground.

On the other hand the slum dogs are more PRACTICAL. They have learned to survive the hard way. Their prowess is limited to their own dreams. They go by the way a PRACTICAL customer thinks, and they get their support. So I should say, yes this recession will break the myth of the complacent jobs that one has with a multi national. It will break the myth that only the big survive. Customers are now looking for what MAKES SENSE. They don’t want big buzz words, bug promises and spend unnecessarily. They need performers and those who do it SIMPLE. Because Simplicity is EASY, LESS COSTLY and FAST!

1 comment:

Kaka said...

While people may have different views still good things should always be appreciated. Yours is a nice blog. Liked it!!!