Interviewed By: Sandeep Kshatriya, Facilitator, The CEO Insights
The CEO Insights: Please brief us about your professional background.
Vinay Singh: In year 1996, I started my career as a chemical engineer at Reliance Industries Ltd. While it was amazing to be a tiny hand in the making of the largest grass root refinery of the world, I soon realized that it was information technology consultancy where my heart was. In next few years to follow since year 1999, I was lucky not only to quickly grow as a information technologist, but also to have the opportunity to work with smart people at clients such as Citibank, P&G, Cisco and Janus Mutual in South East Asia and America. In year 2003 while working at Sapient I felt that best way to realize the potential was to start a firm. I started my first entrepreneurial venture Gravity and ran it for 6 years. In year 2010, I and my co-founder from the previous venture, Vivek Gaur, got together to use our years of experience with midsize companies to conceptualize a focused pure play SAP solutions company Vital Wires Consulting.
The CEO Insights: Please describe your journey from 1996 till date, climbing up the ladder from a IITian to an Entrepreneur
Vinay Singh: When I look back, I feel I always did my dream job. Exiting IIT Roorkee’s amazing environment only to know that I was going to work at Reliance was as exciting as making the switch from chemical engineering to information technology a few years later. After reliance I liked my first day at Nucleus because I had to open an Oracle text book to find solution to a problem. For a year I enjoyed writing code that I knew only few could write. Soon I transformed into having the mindset of measuring my value addition in the form of a solution that I provided. Real transformation occurred at my next employer. It was while working at Sapient with some of the smartest colleagues, I grew in faculties that eventually lead me to believe that I could create much more value and best way to do that was to become an entrepreneur.
The CEO Insights: How do you look towards the SME market for the ERP solutions?
Vinay Singh: I feel SME’s can address their own business challenges by equipping themselves with a mature ERP solution. However the it’s space where ERP adoption has just picked up pace in India. I see it as a fast growing market.
The CEO Insights: What according to you is the biggest hurdle faced by the Technology Industry today?
Vinay Singh: I feel the biggest hurdle faced by technology industry is the way industry has sold itself to its consumers. IT is perceived as a cost by most business owners and leaders particularly in midsize segment. It’s on the industry itself to start working towards return on IT investment and articulate it in that manner.
The CEO Insights: What are the different kinds of services provided by you?
Vinay Singh: o We help midsize companies implement SAP ERP in a way that addresses their USPs, strategic enablers and pain points to facilitate the best return on investment for them. Once they have an SAP system, we also offer services to help them maintain and constantly evolve their systems to best serve their business
The CEO Insights: What kind of background and domain expertise you look for in your employees?
Vinay Singh: We typical hire chartered accountants, engineers and MBAs for business process consulting and MCAs as technical consultants. Expect that process consultants will have domain experience in their respective fields of 3-5 years.
The CEO Insights: As a CEO what kind of environment you create for your employees so that they feel motivated?
Vinay Singh: As a philosophy we believe that humans have tremendous amount of streachability and the distances they cover depends on how they were enabled and how they were lead towards a goal. We focus on helping our people fulfill their goals. As a team we live by our core values, which helps us create an environment that facilitates growth, leadership and a trustworthy enjoyable relationship.
The CEO Insights: How do you see Indian market, and what are your future plans for the same?
Vinay Singh: We are very excited about the India market. Only 15 % companies in midsize segment have a mature ERP product. Prospect of growth and competition from China is making it necessary for companies not to ignore a critical enabler such as ERP. We want every midsize company to implement an ERP system. We are focused in North India and plan to expand our services to other parts of the country by June 2011.
The CEO Insights: The buzz word Cloud is what people are looking for, what are the strategies Vital Wires suggest to meet the changing requirements?
Vinay Singh: At the heart of our DNA is to provide solutions that enable ROI for our clients. We understand how our target segment is going to benefit from this trend and have an assessment of their readiness to get into this model of computing for their enterprise solution. We have clear plans to make investment into this trend.
The CEO Insights: Who is your role model?
Vinay Singh: At different stages of my life different people have been my role model and sometimes I look up to more than one person. In all the cases it’s been very normal people around me who I have been working with and felt like learning a few things from. Among famous people Sir Richard Branson inspires me as someone who represents entrepreneurship in true sense.
The CEO Insights: Please give your views on Entrepreneurship? What different qualities shall an entrepreneur have?
Vinay Singh: I think entrepreneurship is a great cause. To say the least one creates jobs. It’s the best way to make a positive impact on the society. If one did well, one can leave a big positive impression on large part of society. I feel it’s more effective and dignified than charity.
Passion to carry through is what helps you survive. You have to make your guts as strong as possible.
The CEO Insights: Any Message for us?
Vinay Singh: CEO Insight is a great initiative. I have seen some of the interviews and content. It’s quite useful and inspiring
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