Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. Our baptism by fire came in the initial phase and truly tested our conviction and passion. Just months after the company's launch in 2001, we were staring down the barrel of a gun as the dot-com bust sent the Internet industry into a tailspin with no money available from venture capitalists. MMT was down to just a month's worth of money in the bank. But we were lucky to secure some angel money and had a niche business model that helped us survive.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. My decision to join MMT was less about the company and more about joining Deep Kalra. I have learnt a lot from various people over the years, but Deep, who is also a close friend, has always been my go-to person for advice.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. Some of the most important lessons in life are learnt from real-life situations, especially when you are facing failure. We are generally programmed to play safe and don't like to take any risk. Taking risks in real life need not be blind bets in a casino; it is more about following your gut with self-belief and inner security. One should not stop trying for fear of failure. Instead, learn from it and strive to work harder and smarter the next time.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. Humility and empathy are essential. They help empower the people you lead in counter-intuitive ways and also help you understand customer pain points. Another key trait is leading by example. As leaders are culture carriers, it is imperative that they live the values they represent.