EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH
VictoryTales with its objective to strive and grope vigorously to bring some of the meaningful and powerful stories from around the world to empower and motivate our growing community of entrepreneurs, this time we are introducing Mr. Santosh Kotnis is CEO & managing Partner, Tech Entrepreneur & M&A, Board Member & Advisor, Growth Strategist & working for Global Growth, VC & Angel Investor, Start-Up Mentor & Growth Hacker , International Business Growth , Conference Speaker , Committed to Academia and an eminent Writer.
Santosh is a growth oriented individual, with key focus on strategy, ideate, global scale-up and execution. Having wide range of experience across geographies and domains & as CEO and Business Unit Head and Start-ups. He is an experienced global business executive with a solid track record of IT and business management experience that involves strategic planning, operations & financial management, program execution with complete P/L responsibility for the business units and organizations ranging from innovative start-ups to international leading organizations. Strong change agent with focus on organizational transformation for success. Have strong experience of M&A activities; as operational/business leader and at board level.
Santosh has experience of establishing & managing P&L of an organization with focused service, sales and operations divisions by implementing strategies and overseeing division heads to maximize profitability and ensure the best customer experience. He played a leading role in establishing IT Infrastructure & Cloud Operation practice which grew up to the size of $20 million; through effective sales & marketing initiatives, sustained delivery efforts and by bringing out differentiated offerings to the customers.
He has enormous experience of setting up Offshore Delivery Centres to offer IT Services, leveraging offshore advantages and to build streamlined processes to maximize the profitability. He has been a key Enabler in increasing the top line & bottom line by innovative products and services aided by technology-optimized business processes.
Santosh has developed and executed global sales/business strategies and have managed multi-cultural teams across multiple geographies. Managed large delivery teams working on multiple projects involving numerous disparate verticals [Bank& Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Retail] applications platforms, ensuring delivery success through meticulous review mechanisms.
Know more About
Spring up Capital is a Micro-VC fund and Scale-Up Accelerator, focusing on spotting, funding, mentoring, and scaling start-ups. Supported by strong accelerator program, Spring Up enables start-ups across the world to find market to scale. Aimed to raise $10 Million in the first round, with an average investment of up-to $500 K.
Spring Up Capital is supported by global investment and technology professionals, who will enable global technology companies to grow their business by providing expertise, ecosystem, and capital for the growth
Our exclusive interview with
Tell us a little about your organization and your organization’s journey so far.
I am involved in multiple projects right now; all are exciting and thrilling at the same time. This gives me an opportunity to work with a great team, allows me to work with different sets of customers and learn from those interactions. This is quite satisfying at the same time.
I am a growth mindset guy and accelerated growth thrills me. I want to focus on building profitability and great teams, which constitute the building blocks of accelerated growth.
SpringUp Capital: SpringUp Capital is a Micro-VC fund and Scale-Up Accelerator; focusing on spotting, funding, mentoring and scaling start-ups. Supported by a strong accelerator program, SpringUp enables start-ups across the world to find a market to scale. SpringUp Capital is a Micro-VC fund and Scale-Up Accelerator, focusing on spotting, funding, mentoring, and scaling start-ups. Supported by a strong accelerator program, SpringUp enables start-ups across the world to find a market to scale. We are working with some of the interesting startups which we are backing to scale globally.
SpringUp Labs: We are developing great software products, with an absolute focus on customer obsession, quality of the code/services, and help companies innovate. The initial response from the customers has been really encouraging and we would like to keep building a customer-focused team to scale this business.
As investor I am involved in FactoryMind, which is Nordic based Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform; trying to bring Artificial Intelligence to manufacturing and plant data; thereby helping plant efficiency; predict failures, improve forecasting, and improve machine uptime. This allows us to work with manufacturing data and help customers build an AI-powered digital twin. We are excited about the initial success of the platform and the idea. And we would like to take this platform to the global level.
In addition to this, I am also teaching at Geneva Business School; this helps me to interact with some of the bright brains and stay relevant.
Tell us a little bit about yourself (background) and your journey as a entrepreneur, please;
I am typical; Corporate Executive turned entrepreneur.
I was born and raised in a small village in interior part of India; the environment gave me a true sense of freedom, opportunity to try out different things and fail. I was extremely good in academics and got much needed attention all through my education. Got out of comfort zone of home after primary school in pursuit of further education, this taught me to be independent, made me tough to face challenges and independent in managing money.
My best days are at IIT Bombay campus, in a sense these days changed my personality, by just interacting with the environment, campus and openness. My initial career was great; was mentored by best managers; had long stint in the US, which exposed me towards market needs, managing customers and elements of building the business. It was a fantastic, fast paced journey during initial part of my career.
Being an entrepreneur gives me significant freedom to innovate and serve customers in efficient way. And I am enjoying working with few great minds to build better products and innovate.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship over a job?
While there is no definite answer for this question; but I feel the freedom to innovate, being there in the centre of action all the time is something I like. Being an entrepreneur can be risky, but if executed correctly, can have big payoffs. One of the biggest perks that entrepreneurs enjoy is that there is no cap to their potential. And most importantly, I like my freedom to do things, being independent is something I am really enjoying the most.
What gets you out of bed in the morning i.e. what’s your source of motivation?
What gets me up in the morning is the opportunity to learn something new. That’s the ability for me to feel as though I am newly alive in this world by refreshing my perspective on something I haven’t seen before or educated myself on something I previously was unaware of. You truly feel alive when that happens.
What gets me up in the morning is the notion that every day is a brand-new day to grow. I’m one who loves to beat my own personal records, especially with health and wellness. Being able to wake up, challenge me, and see the rewards of succeeding is extremely gratifying. More so than any monetary exchange
During this COVID-19 crisis, what are the measures you have undertaken to continue your business without disruption?
We are in a difficult phase of human history.
Although we might feel we are at the end of it, the global economy is still months, if not years, away from being restored to the state it was in early 2020. Most businesses the world over have been forced to adjust to significantly lower revenue levels, depleted capital structures, and reduced employee productivity and morale.
This is a new normal.
Most of us have a good idea of the definition of growth, but resilience is a relatively new addition to our thought process. So here is a definition: “Resilience is the ability to protect and grow value in the face of rapidly changing external conditions.”
However, there are some examples, who not only withstood this wave but also grew. This is the result of a great resilient approach, which is essentially a mixture of Company Culture, Leadership, Values, Ability to adapt to change, and have a great amount of execution discipline. During this difficult time, the leadership gets tested. And companies with great leadership were able to survive and thrive.
What challenges/obstacles did you face in your journey so far?
Entrepreneurs face many challenges in today’s ultra-competitive business world. Fortunately, entrepreneurs also have more resources than ever before to tackle those problems.
Hiring the best Talent: Always struggling to get the best talent. As I firmly believe, the business is as good as it’s team players. I am at constant look out for team players who can challenge the innovation, challenge my ideas, and have absolute customer focus.
Being Relevant to the customers: Being always innovative. Our ability to find a solution to our customer’s problem and solve that. And help customer’s business grow is something we are obsessed about.
Having Growth Oriented: Sometimes this needs to be calibrated and question is, how to be growth focused all the time? That relentless focus towards business growth?
What kind of a leader are you and what tips would you have for other leaders?
I am an Emphatical Leader; and I put lot of passion towards the initiatives I engage with and I look everything from that angle. This helped me to build some of the large business relationships, helped me to build great teams with whom I can go to any war and most importantly, it built a culture of belongingness in the team. Due to certain business numbers or some customer escalations, I might have acted tough, but team understood that. So, my only suggestion to leaders is to combine passion and empathy and this will bring wonders to your business results.
How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?
I strongly believe in Law of Karma and from within I am spiritual. Seeing a large purpose for every event is something which calms me down. And when you believe in the larger Karmic system, our job is to just perform our acts passionately. And I believe this mindset helps me immensely to calm down.
Plus, I am an avid reader. Reading is something reduces my stress considerably. Plus, my daily routines of breathing exercises, regular workout and ample sleep are very simple reasons but very powerful reasons to destress.
Another reason for having less stress is family, who supports me during stressful situation and makes me to stay balanced all the times.
What is one strategy that you believe has helped you grow as a person?
One of the mentors whom I met in US told me, the growth will only happen if I work hard and bring some value to the organization & customers. This gave a direction for me in the early phase of career. Built some great customer relationships, built the quality deliverables, focused on processes and lead the team with passion and empathy, which bought early success.
In the second part of my corporate career; shifted the focus on growth, profitability and building great teams; which constitutes building blocks of accelerated growth. At this stage, a mentor from Norway guided me towards Emphatical Leadership, which sort of became a force of my leadership style. Got an excellent opportunity to grow along with the company. I always tribute large part of my success to my mentors and team.
In your opinion what are the keys to success?
I always believe attitude plays an important role in the success of any individual. It determines how a person grows, matures, interacts, learns in any job or business.
Being focused is another success criteria it helps in career and business.