rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Last updated on: April 6, 2011 14:21 IST

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

     Next

Next
Ashok Soota, founder chairman of MindTree, who recently left the company he co-founded in 1999, is preparing the grounds for his new venture.

The new company called Happiest Minds, which is targeting niche businesses like R&D services, software product engineering, infrastructure management is bullish of achieving $100 million revenue within six years.

Soota, chairman & MD of Happiest Minds Technologies, spoke to Pradeesh Chandran about his plans. Edited excerpts:

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Ashok Soota.

     Next

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Its been just five days since you left MindTree and you have announced your new venture. You must have been planning this venture for long?

For the past six months, I was planning to move out of MindTree. As mentioned, the reasons are personal.

Now, I believe all that happened was for good. I never thought I would become an entrepreneur, but then MindTree happened. Then, I became a late-stage entrepreneur and finally now, I have become a serial entrepreneur.

I will like to leave behind all that happened and focus on the future, since that is my destiny.

The name of the company is Happiest Minds, and our new mission is happiest people can make happiest customers. As early as possible, we will open office in the US, Europe, in the UK, Singapore and also in India in the next five months.

We will build the infrastructure and teams in these locations. We will start with sales and marketing and also some onsite customer services.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Ashok Soota with MindTree employees.

Prev     Next

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
How do you plan to get a team in place? Have people from MindTree approached you?

I have just announced the company. We want to build a strong team that can focus on business and can achieve our target of $100 million in the next six years.

We will get into multiple geography as early as possible. I have not spoken to anybody about building the organisation. By the time of the launch, I am sure we will be strong enough to compete in the market.

When I announced my plan of starting a new venture, many people mailed me and expressed their interest to join me.

I am planning to kick off the hiring process tomorrow. My second employee (his secretary for 18 years) will join on Wednesday.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Ashok Soota.

Prev     Next

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

There was speculation several employees in MindTree have approached you. Are you planning to hire any of them? Do you have any non-compete clause signed with MindTree?

Those are speculations. When I decided to resign, I received more than a 100 mails from people showing interest to join me.

There were employees from MindTree and ex-MindTree employees. For building a skilled team, I need people with expertise in certain domains. I will look for talent from all over the industry and it does not matter from where they come.

In fact, my intention is not only to hire from MindTree but from other companies as well. I have not spoken to anybody in MindTree about my plans of starting a new venture. We are looking for skilled employees now.

Later next year, we are planning for campus hiring. When I resigned from MindTree on March 31, all my commitment with the company also got over. I don't have any non-compete or non-poaching clause with MindTree.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: MindTree employees.

Prev     Next

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Happiest Minds will focused on six major areas of business. These are also the key focus areas for MindTree also. Are you planning to give a direct competition to MindTree?

In the IT services business, all broad-based mid-size companies compete with each other for deals.

Our plan is not only to compete with MindTree but others as well. Another thing is, we are focusing on energy and utility and healthcare, which MindTree has decided to move out of.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: MindTree office.

Prev     Next

Happiest Minds: Ashok Soota on his new venture

Prev     More
Prev

More
Are you planning to raise funds for the company? Any plans to liquidate your shares in MindTree?

I am in talks with two venture capitalists for raising funds and it may take four to six weeks to get the funds.

For the initial part of the funding, I am using my personal finances. In future, after raising the VC money, I can raise money by liquidating some part of my shares in MindTree.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: MindTree logo.

Prev     More
Source: