At Nous, a global quality software solutions company, ordinary people do extraordinary work, said its founder Ajith J Pillai, a genial man with a warm smile. His office in Koramangala is simple, clean and people can be seen lost in their work at their PCs. Metro life spoke to him about the path he has trodden so far...
I hail from Kerala... I’m the youngest child in our family. I have three sisters. My father Janardhan Pillai is a Math's professor and we also own a Math's textbook publishing firm. That exposed me to running a business. But my attempt at publishing guide books when I was an engineering student didn’t spell success but translated into failure. Unfortunately, but one learns from mistakes and I learnt that mere production is not enough. One needs marketing also in order to be successful in business.
I went to the USA... to pursue studies in 1991 and then gain work experience. I earned an MBA and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois. I worked mostly in the software sector. The exposure helped me plan my present company. Life in the US allows you to think in a global market and one gets to interact with different cultures.
My business exposure... in Kerala was unorganized, but in the US, I learnt that planning and organizing are required to hone analytical skills, that presentation and communication are important too. I worked in Options Clearing Corporation and was involved in hospital systems management too.
I returned to India... because I wanted to. In 1996 we moved to Bangalore and I set up Nous Infosystems and we moved to our present address in 2001. We expanded services in the UK and USA in 2001 and I started focusing on our India operations since 2004.
My company has two divisions - IT services (in US, UK, Australia, Germany and Asia-Pacific region) and creating IPs in regions closer to India. We have a hospital management system and some products for the US school market also.
I rate my company... in the second rung and we will try to break into the top 50 soon. We have been awarded the ‘Fastest growing SME in Karnataka’ this year and it is very heartening, especially when the State has over 5,000 companies. The award is a shot in the arm. I’m looking forward to start something bigger.
My aim... is to build an organization of leaders because we need a good team. My aim is also to mentor the team to align with the company’s goals and have them think like entrepreneurs. I want my employees to be motivated enough to take on challenges. I believe in guiding my team and the challenge is in building such a team. I recognize hard work and give them greater challenges.
My goal... is that this company should become a name to reckon with and rise to greater heights within the next five to ten years.
Nous is... a Greek word that means ‘mind for reason’. It connotes intellect and we hope to live up to that name. It also stands for ‘common sense’ in British slang.
I still burn the midnight oil... I did a lot of it during my student days in the US, when I was studying for two degrees and working to support myself. But that doesn’t stop with student days. It’s part of my daily routine. You must try to achieve more than you can see beyond you, then you get more than what you’ve expected.
And you must enjoy your work, otherwise you cannot count any achievement. Stress is part of any job, but I look at it as a challenge.
My motivation... has been my father. He grew from being a zero to where he is now. I must be able to achieve more than him. I am also inspired by autobiographies of successful people.
My family... is important to me. I believe that a family plays a key role in one’s success. We are a close knit family and I want my children also to learn to grow up with the values it has offered me. My wife is an engineer and she helps with the company. But she is more involved with bringing up our two children.
My moment of glory... will come when we are a known name and we, at Nous Infosystems, have now reached a stage where we need to make our presence felt.
About Nous Infosystems :
Nous Infosystems is a CMMI Level 5 SVC + SSD v1.3 appraised, ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001:2005 global Information technology firm providing software solutions across a broad spectrum of industries and domains. Nous offers a comprehensive range of software and IT solutions, including applications for Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), Healthcare and Retail customers. Major offerings include Application Development and Maintenance, Business Intelligence, Infrastructure Management Services, Enterprise Application Integration, Product Re-Engineering and Independent Testing.