Chetan Nagaonkar is a member of:
I come from a family that has been running a business for over 125 years. However, I was never interested to join them into the business since it is relatively stable. Many veterans continue to manage it decently and it doesn't need too much of intervention on a day to day perspective. Although its a tobacco business, I am glad that they follow strict business ethics and are known for their integrity in that line of business circle.
Perhaps, I was the first one in our family who preferred a job for over a decade. Some of my cousins have either joined the business while others have opened up new ones.
Advice For New Professionals:
Since you are young; think, plan and most importantly, act on it. Don't hesitate to make mistakes and learn from them. Develop a set of skills that would be valued in the market and where you can contribute not only in design, development but, in grooming juniors in that technology/domain. Finally, explore if a solution/product/service can be built or offered to solve a problem. Develop a habit of giving back to the society in whatever capacity you can and ensure that you make it a practice and spread it.
Plans For The Future:
Not in couple of years; but definitely in 3-4 years, I would see myself leading an organization of 300-400 a world class team of high quality ITSM/BSM professionals. I would also see eStomi being referred as the most preferred ITSM/BSM partner/vendor contributing to customers' business IT life cycle.
1. Helping to groom career paths of our team members.
2. Bagging more number of customers than employees.
3. Being the first and the only certified OTRS System Integration Partner for over 3 years.
4. Being winner amongst top 21 out of 2700 start ups evaluated by Microsoft, Linked In, Crisil for Completely Boss event.
5. eStomi being conferred "Most Emerging company award" from Indian Achievers Forum.
I founded OPS in Jun 2010 and then rebranded it as eStomi Technologies in Jun 2011. Currently, I am Managing Director of eStomi.
My role is to grow eStomi where it is recognized as a global brand in ITSM/BSM. My vision is to create a niche consultancy that would cater to ITSM and BSM. I intend to make eStomi synonymous with ITSM/BSM. I have observed that most of the organizations intend to hire and place the people as contractors. We do not want to be in that category. We intend to work as consultants (experts) and rather advise/suggest/contribute to our customers using best practices. My role is to make our team members capable of delivering projects exceeding the customer expectations and with possibly zero-defects.
Changes In The Professional Environment:
It has changed radically - thanks to the technology advancement. Today, people are able to network more and get most out of it. The opportunities are many more than what used to be earlier. The employment and customer loyalty seems to be taking a big hit. Becoming a project manager is no more a dream. Many people are planning to start their own start ups, without being afraid of the results. Being in Support is not very glamorous from societal aspect and many from IT prefer to be associated with Development/Programming. The age of technical leads/managers/CXOs have drastically reduced. Internet is now much easily accessible and is no more a costly option. Communicating with counterparts across the world is more frequent than it used to be.
Current responsibilities comprise of managing the entire organization from technical as well as leadership perspective. I get to delve into Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations and Delivery. Since it is a small organization, currently, I end up involving in strategic as well as tactical decisions. I intend to make the organization self-sufficient by imbibing the practice of innovation/creativity within teams.
My role involves developing the next 2 sets of layers to manage the organization without compromising on quality. Since I also have a passion towards technology, I may take a back seat from managing the organization once I get a passionate CEO to drive the organization. I may take the role of CTO or CIO to groom the technical consultants.
The previous roles were more to manage the teams, deliver the projects with high quality, control attrition etc. My past experience, mostly, has been setting up onsite/offshore teams from the scratch and then growing them big
Degrees That Matter:
1. India's first certified OTRS ITSM Practitioner
2. Certified in Project Management at IISc (Indian Institute of Science)
3. Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics and Communications)
1. JRD Tata: The way he expanded Tata empire, mostly, which was built by giving back to the society in the form of generating more jobs and livelihood.
2. Richard Branson: The way he fearlessly built his organization comprising over 400 businesses.
3. Capt. Gopinath: The way he started low cost airlines and made it successful/profitable and changed the way Indians considered flying.
1. I would start business and experiment at an early age.
2. Sharpen risk taking ability.
3. I would get to know more on sales/marketing/finance/legal before starting the business.
4. Work to develop network of prospects/customers before starting the business.
The Journey So Far:
I have been founder and Managing Director of O.P.S (Obsessed Professionals Services) and eStomi Technologies Pvt. Ltd for past 3 years. Prior to that, I headed the Research & Development for Remedy ITSM at BMC, India.
I have also managed large teams at AOL that comprised of development, testing, System Admins, Database Admins and Support. Have set up Remedy practice at Hewitt, ADC and Satyam for India geography. Have worked in various leadership roles at BMC, AOL, Hewitt to contribute towards the organization.
I started my career with C and then moved to Microsoft technology before grooming my technical expertise on Remedy for over a decade.
The Decisions That Matter
1. I had made my first career mistake by stopping to learn technical aspects when I was promoted to Project Lead. After realizing the mistake, I opted to join as Sr. Software Engineer to regain the technical confidence. I don't remember losing technical touch after that, ever. Lesson learnt: In IT, you can grow; however, to ensure that you are not taken for granted on estimates, designs, architectures, it is necessary to know technology at a decent level. (This is my perspective, it may differ for others)
2. After growing to manager/senior manager level, I got carried by the number game - to increase the number of people reporting to you assuming that one grows as the number of reporting people grow, regardless. The mistake was to ignore the critical aspect/word "regardless". After realizing mistake, I started focusing exclusively to get only the best and retain the best. It didn't matter whether the team size was 10 or 100. 10 can be same as 100 if we hire and groom 10 quality people
Working Life Management:
I define professional and personal priorities and try to stick to it. Weekends are strictly reserved for self, family and friends. There are occasions when it is difficult; however, that does not deter to segregate time for professional v/s personal activities. Likewise, if I get to complete my professional commitments on weekdays, I spend time on reading books or with my family. We are movie buffs. Since we do not have TV at home, we spend time either reading books, watching movie or information videos or prefer sharing each others' experiences or planning vacation/discussing improvements, engage in our hobbies, contribute towards social causes etc.
I believe I have good technical abilities and decent learning curve.
I love and enjoy grooming team members on technical as well as communication aspects.