The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

EliteCore:Neutralizing Network Security Threats

Hari Anil
Monday, January 2, 2012
Hari Anil
"An IT product company from India! You got to be kidding me," this would have been the standard response from anyone who heard about the idea back in the late 90s. By that time, Indian IT service companies had already made a name in the global IT scenario, but when it came to IT products; it was a very different situation. No one could believe that a good IT product can actually come from India. The perception was so strong that even Indian companies gave homegrown products the cold shoulder. Paradoxically, India had the necessary talent, cost arbitrage and other advantages, yet the country was unable to change its perception as a global IT services destination. Facing up to these bottlenecks, Hemal Patel decided to start his IT product company with a mission to build a global sales and distribution channel!

Patel knew the hurdles and the long wait time involved in building a product company from scratch. Yet, equipped with years of hands-on experience in several multi-million dollar IT projects and two previous entrepreneurial ventures, he was inspired to start a company that would forever change this perception. Thus, Elitecore Technologies was born in Ahmedabad. There are theories, experiences and books on the building blocks of a product company but achieving this feat from Ahmedabad, India became an art rather than science. The essentials of the art included the passion to achieve and strategic thinking in fighting market perception, building appropriate corporate culture, creating leaders and setting up internal processes.

Patel took three strategic calls: one, to maintain highest profitability compared to competition by allowing long project life; two, to build the company’s base in tier-2 or tier-3 locations to produce high performance products at lower cost; and third, initially not look for clients in the developed markets like U.S. or Europe, but focus on the emerging economies (which were called third world countries before 2004). These, in the course of time, proved to be a strong factor in the company’s success. Patel’s strategic thinking and passionate drive has enabled Elitecore to sell its products in 110+ countries and grow to become 700+ people organization. Innovation in every direction became the life-line of the company and "platform for innovators" became its vision.

Building culture and creating leadership

Patel knew that building the right corporate culture and creating leadership in Ahmedabad were among the initial problems that had to be overcome. Developing a product mindset requires drop ship thinking wherein the product design encompasses common defaults as part of a standard product; however, Indian culture adheres to a complete hand-holding mindset when it comes to evaluating any product. In a handholding culture, consumers expect their vendor to facilitate everything from product installation to training. To build a product company, the senior management must instill a collaborative and competent culture where management decision and accountabilities are de-centralized. Establishing corporate core values with vision, mission, goals and appropriate metrics which help create transparency and a performance-driven organization. Patel has demonstrated superb execution by emphasizing well-communicated strategies to the entire company.

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