Exemplifying Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Colin Powel once said that 'great leaders are almost always great simplifiers.' On that account, it's easy to see why the CEO of CurveIT Consulting and Phinansys, Dr. Sharath Samudrala has got the ball rolling in the right direction. When asked about the defining traits that a CEO should possess, Samudrala breaks it down with easy precision. “It's all about identification of a need and infusing innovation through constant pursuit of knowledge,” he remarks. With a degree in engineering and an MBA in marketing and finance, Samudrala is also a Harvard graduate in strategic management and certified in entrepreneurship and innovation from Stanford University. Given his insatiable quest for learning, last year he also earned a doctorate in strategic management and HR. "My research and education added to my passion and helped me in understanding the techniques and tools that are required to sustain and expand business in a professional way,” states Samudrala.
Clearly, armed with the perfect blend of authority, responsibility, and knowledge, at this point there is little that can deter this rising serial entrepreneur. After holding various leadership positions as a business analyst, project manager, researcher, and trainer for different technology c o m p a n i e s for about eight years, Samudrala not only amassed valuable experience but he also recognized a gaping hole in the industry. “There was a rift between the resources available and the requirements of a company and what the market needed was a new approach to both program management and consulting,” recalls Samudrala.
This is when the CEO decided to take things in his own hands and laid the cornerstone of CurveIT Consulting. An accredited Project Management Professional (PMP) and a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) himself, he started his entrepreneurial journey by tying up with the professional bodies like PMI, IIBA. As their endorsed education provider, at this point, Samudrala was not only mentoring aspirant business analysts but tying up with the corporate world on the other hand to provide leading-edge consulting and advisory services to businesses in the areas of program management, project management, and business analysis.
It's all about identification of a need and infusing innovation through constant pursuit of knowledge
They say a true leader never surrenders to complacency and the same rings true for Samudrala. “We realized that training and actual implementation of skills was a completely different ball game and decided to expand the business to process re-engineering ourselves” he says. Samudrala designed a novel framework, procedures, and templates to help management professionals cater to the ever-changing demands of technology industry. But it wasn't going to stop at that.
Needless to say, his endeavors saw immense success and his company grew rapidly and reached a state where the entrepreneur decided to streamline his offering and founded a company called Phinansys that focuses on business analysis consulting in the banking and financial services vertical while CurveIT remains more attuned to management consulting.
Today, Phinansys is filling a much-needed gap in consulting services through Phinansys Apex, an effective framework management methodology to create, implement custom built business analysis frameworks and setting up teams suitable to financial services. While many organizations today reach out to external agencies to meet their staffing needs, at the end of the day certain limitations are inevitable as third-party recruiters don't have the first-hand experience in the role they are hiring for. In an attempt to address this need, Samudrala’s team designed a one-of-a-kind program called Phinansys Edge that provides relevant knowledge to human resources professionals and staffing managers in identifying and mentoring the right candidate and simplifying the entire recruitment lifecycle within the prescribed time frame.
According to an in-house study conducted by Phinansys, 31 percent of projects never see the light of day after the requirements gathering and the planning phase. But with a penchant for problem-solving, Samudrala and his team tackled this challenge too and came up with Phinansys Optimum to help project managers outsource business analysis, requirements gathering, and related pre-project activities. With Optimum, managers can easily identify the scope of the project, gather requirements as per industry standards, resolve any issues, as well as manage changes to requirements.
To better substantiate their value proposition, Samudrala and his team ventured into corporate training through Phinansys Upskill program to be a one-stop solution for technology divisions of financial services firms. With CurveIT Consulting and Phinansys, Samudrala has designed a portfolio of tools and methodologies to provide end to end consulting services from training, consulting, implementation, re-engineering and staffing.
While one would think that Samudrala has too much on his plate, juggling leadership roles in two companies, this is only the beginning for this serial entrepreneur. A research by Gallup reveals that all visionary CEOs have one common thread. They are better at noticing new business opportunities and more likely to be risk-takers. Similarly, Samudrala is looking at two new ventures in the near future one in Marketing Consulting, comprising branding, PR exercises, and advertising and another one as a digital media or digital content provider. “Running a business successfully is all about adapting to change, with acumen for problem-solving, negotiation, and being proactive. I believe in team spirit, not panicking in the face of conflicts, and as a result, even the challenging times were a rewarding learning experience,” he explains.
It's commonly believed that before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, it’s is all about growing others. At this juncture in his career, Samudrala is also heading a non-profit organization project called The Saharsh Project, in support of 105 young girl students thus giving a human edge to his serial entrepreneurial journey.
At the end of it all, Dr. Samudrala sums up his journey on a succinct yet strong note, “Life is a continuous learning experience and CEOs are not born but can be made. I started as an identifier of new possibilities and going ahead I want to see myself more as an innovator who changed the rules of business analysis and management consulting”.