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Coffee With Chandrakanth – Managing Director of Theorem Inc

23 October 2008 6 Comments

Hi All,

It is my pleasure to host Mr. Chandrakanth B N today on CWS.

Chandra is the cofounder and Managing Director India of Theorem. He has over 13 years of experience in the IT industry and a rich experience and knowledge of technical and management skills. He has a Master’s Degree in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from Bangalore University. On completing his Master’s, Chandra managed the IT infrastructure of a manufacturing company in the Chicago area. Upon his return to India, he founded and managed a software services company, Pairee Infotech, providing software development services to clients in North America.

Coffee With Sundar

Me: Sundar Rajan G S

CBN: Chandrakanth B N

Me: Hello Sir, Welcome to Coffee with Sundar!! Can you tell us what is theorem all about? How is it different from its competitors? Who your customers etc..

CBN: Theorem is a technology company focused on the digital marketing domain. Theorem provides online marketers including technology companies, advertising agencies and publishers with expert technology outsourcing services ranging from routine back-office support to higher end complex solutions. Leveraging a large team of 400 people, domain expertise, global infrastructure and technical skills, Theorem helps drive down costs and improve operational efficiencies. Theorem is uniquely positioned to service our customers by providing not only the technology support but also the valuable advice they need to make intelligent business decisions in the digital marketing domain. This sets us apart from other generic technology service providers. Theorem has customers globally covering the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Me: Sir, You have over 12 years of experience in IT industry.. Can you talk about the evolution of IT & ITES.. You have seen the various phases of the industry.. What are some of the best and the worst phases of the industry?

CBN: I have about 14 years experience in the IT industry. While the beginnings of the IT industry were in the early 80s, the fast paced growth happened in the 90s. With the internet revolution in the 90s, we saw a huge spurt in investment in IT companies which created a big .com bubble. The other big contributing factor for this growth during that time was the Y2K phenomenon. With a lot of irrational investments, IT industry saw an unprecedented growth during that phase, which ended in 2000 – 01 when the bubble burst. While US was in the forefront of the IT and Software growth in the 90s, Indian IT industry showed tremendous growth, post the .com burst. This was largely due to the outsourcing which was necessitated by cost cutting measures adopted by US corporations. Post 2000 we also saw an emergence of the ITES industry in India, which has since matured and contributed significantly to our economy.

Me: Sir, you are a MD at Theorem! What are the top skills needed to do well in your position? Can you throw some light on having/not having an MBA at your positions?

CBN: I strongly believe one of the essential qualities for a leader is to have a vision, passion, ability to build teams which share that vision and be able to carry that team along. Empathy towards your people and being genuinely interested in them goes a long way in ensuring peak performance and loyalty. Empowered employees always perform much better than those who are micromanaged. The other key qualities according to me are the ability to take risks, think big in the long term but reality in the short term, swift decision making and being able to walk your talk.

MBA can act as a good foundation for a management position, but nothing is better than real life experiences. Management programs train people on the essential skills and provide the necessary tools to perform well in the corporate world. However, implementing the same in the real world becomes a challenge. A good attitude and work ethic is crucial to achieve success. Human Beings are the most complex creatures. A lot about leadership is managing this complex being while keeping one’s own emotions under check. High emotional quotient is absolutely important for managers to be able to succeed in their roles.

Me: Can you share some of the lessons which you learnt outside the classrooms

CBN: Class room scenarios are always idealistic. In the real world, there are a lot more complexities in every situation than one can envision. Real challenges and issues are rarely simulated. Dependency on people, unexpected challenges that come from nowhere and the ability to calmly deal with them is something I have certainly learnt outside the classroom. As I have said earlier, people management is learnt largely through real life experiences.

Learning never ends, each day teaches you something new. Being open to new ideas, keeping ego aside to make business decisions that ensure organizational growth and success, taking unpopular decisions in the larger interest of the stake holders, thinking out of the box are some of the key learning I have had. Crisis management is another big thing I have learnt at work.

Me: Are you looking for people of any particular profiles? Is there any job openings?

CBN: Theorem has grown steadily over the last seven years and recruitment is an ongoing process. Our numbers have almost doubled over the last year. At Theorem we’re on a constant lookout for people with potential who can be groomed into good IT and Digital marketing professionals. We recruit at several levels. For our entry level positions, we look at graduates from any stream with basic knowledge of internet technologies, good communication skills and a hunger to learn. For leadership positions we look at people who are good at people management, have the potential to mentor teams, and are visionaries, creative and innovative. But of course, since we’re in the Online Media Marketing domain, people with a background in Advertising and Digital Marketing are always welcome to make a career with us.

Me: Finally, is there something else which you would like to share with readers of CWS?

CBN: Thank you for this opportunity. I would like to share with the readers of CWS the whole new opportunity that is being created around the online media marketing space. This is one of the fastest growing domains fueled by the need for corporations to get instant real time data on ROI for their marketing budgets. It also provides a platform for cost effective means of running marketing campaigns. This has created a whole new career opportunity for young engineering and marketing graduates to pursue.

Internet is a revolutionary phenomenon and the biggest invention for our generation and the near future. Generation X and Y are adapting to Internet like never before, which opens up newer opportunities in this domain. Technologies in this space are constantly changing, creating challenges for those hungry to learn and adapt to newer IT opportunities. SEO, SEM, Rich Media, Mobile and Social Networks are emerging as new interesting phenomena in online marketing. A number of innovations are around the corner to improve the online marketing eco space. These are exciting times and I hope many young graduates look at making a career in this space. Theorem being a pioneer in this space can provide excellent opportunities to people with passion and willingness to learn.

Me: Thank you soo much sir for taking your time for this interview

CBN: Readers, Hope you enjoyed this edition of Coffee With Sundar. On a closing note, I would like to introduce you guys to a blog started by CWS interviewees – Sean Johnson & Jake Levirne – http://artoftheproduct.com/ Jake on an email mentioned that CWS was something which inspired them, atleast in part, to start this blog.

Have nice time!




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