Ever wonder what a typical day in the life of a CEO looks like? If you aspire to become the CEO of a well-known corporation, then this interview log could give you some insights. While many people like the idea of being in the highest position of power, CEOs hold a lot of responsibility. For aspirants trying to find the right career for themselves or planning to move on to leadership roles, we interviewed Mr. Sudhir Kothari, the Founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Embee Software Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Kothari is a successful entrepreneur, dynamic leader, and believes in the “always-on” business transformation. For over 34 years, under his leadership, Embee has been driving successful digital transformations for thousands of organizations.
Read on to find out what a typical day in the life of a CEO and Managing Director looks like, what experience and qualifications are required, as well as a piece of advice from Mr. Kothari to those who aspire to work in that role.
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A Day in the Life of a CEO and Managing Director
Please share a brief introduction about your role as the CEO & Managing Director at Embee Software Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Sudhir: As a CEO and Managing Director at Embee, my prime responsibility is to define business strategy and monitor its execution. In determining the strategy, I need to ensure that the organization is perpetually relevant to all its stakeholders- customers, principals, and employees. It is my job to make sure that people are aligned with the vision and goals of the organization.
I am constantly involved in the monitoring of change management as the technology business has become highly dynamic. I also play the role of the CIO in the organization to ensure that the company keeps evolving in business automation processes.
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What does a day in your work life look like? Is there a typical day or is each day different?
Mr. Sudhir: I like to start my day with a cup of tea followed by an exercise or a morning walk. I generally browse through newspapers while having my breakfast to keep myself updated with all the latest trends and news.
Now, due to the pandemic, I don’t have to rush to the office to start my work. But the beauty of technology is that it keeps me connected with my team on a daily basis to check in with specific projects.
Then I try to prioritize my day first and work on areas that require my immediate attention. There is always this time crunch for all the tasks to be completed as my approval and opinions are required in so many different departments but the work gets done with motivated teams and resources. I also try not to skip my meals. I make sure to eat lunch with my whole family.
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What is your entrepreneurial background? How did you come up with the idea for Embee?
Mr. Sudhir: I distinctly remember my childhood inspiration to start and lead an organization. My eye on the future led me to technology. I had no technical background, but from day 1, I approached the business as a learner. It’s been more than 3 decades since I founded Embee. As the organization grew, I developed the vision of Embee as the technology partner for its customers.
Our mission is to enable businesses to transform with technology. Deeply aligned with world-class OEM’s who are technology leaders and are at the forefront of emerging technology disruption, Embee stands on core values of Customer Centricity, Change, Agility, and Intrapreneurship.
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Who are Embee’s customers and in which industries is the demand particularly high? Please shed some light on how Embee has been driving successful digital transformations for various organizations like GEP, Icertis, Tata steel, and Pidilite.
Mr. Sudhir: Our customers are industry agnostic. Technology is becoming the backbone of every industry and we have expertise in our solution areas to cater to enterprises across industries. Of course, this year with the pandemic, we did significant work in the education sector, enabling more than 500+ schools across the country to enable learn-from-home. Also, many industries sought customized solutions to enable secure remote work.
Digital Transformation in any enterprise is an ongoing process. For many large enterprises, we have implemented a fully modern secure workspace- a suite of software solutions for employee productivity and business operations. What makes it modern is the ease with which one can collaborate, work-from-anywhere, capture data and derive insights, and all of this with complete security. For other customers, we implement and support ever-evolving cloud solutions, taking their business applications to the cloud, which helps them innovate and transform their own businesses.
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According to you, what technology trends will shape the next decade?
Mr. Sudhir: People are gradually discovering the ‘new normal’, be it in social interaction, business operations, or even leisure. COVID-19 has hit us all suddenly. Many businesses found themselves unprepared and scrambled to adopt various technologies to keep the ball rolling.
Comprehensive technologies for remote productivity, collaboration, and business continuity have existed for several years. The future is digital, and I firmly believe that businesses and institutions must use this disruption as an opportunity to adapt and transform with technology. We at Embee have been enabling organizations to do precisely that for over three decades.
Cloud computing has become a big game-changer in all the sectors offering the benefits of flexibility, scalability, remote work management, data security, unlimited storage, easy access, pay as you go model, and data analytics. Many organizations are even shifting to hybrid cloud models to address the need to analyze data closer to the source.
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With 30+ years of industry experience, according to you, what skills or characteristics make someone a seasoned leader? (Please share insights for beginners and mid-level experts.)
Mr. Sudhir: If you are empathetic, self-aware, and don’t shy away from taking risks, then you can definitely become a good leader.
How did you keep yourself skilled and relevant in terms of knowledge?
Mr. Sudhir: As the CEO of a software company, it is crucial for me to keep myself updated with the latest skills, news, and trends in the technology domain. I would recommend reading “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. If there exists a must-read business book, this is it. Besides this, I am a keen student of the Bhagavad Gita. All the management lessons I have learned have been from the Gita. Managing people begins with managing yourself, your emotions, your thoughts.
What is your leadership style?
Mr. Sudhir: I believe in giving complete creative freedom to my managers and employees so that they don’t hesitate to come up with new ideas and trying out of box things. I am here just to guide them and provide a vision for future goals. I call it ‘Intrapreneurial’. Every BU leader is the owner of his or her business.
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Which certification courses, skill development paths, books, or channels do you recommend to aspiring professionals for upskilling? Also, please suggest any course for those who are planning for leadership roles?
Mr. Sudhir: You can go for a leadership and management course from upGrad as they connect you with industry experts and offer a certification program from Michigan State University.
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Last words – What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone looking to start an IT career?
Mr. Sudhir: Now is the best to make a career in IT not only in India but all over the world. If you are focused, creative, flexible in adopting new technologies, and have the ability to work under stressful conditions, then you are the right fit for this kind of job.
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