Most people often find it challenging to excel in a single domain throughout their career. Pivoting industries, domains and driving success across all of them in short period of time is no small feat. Only few exemplary leaders leave a striking impression across their career spanning multiple industries. Bala Venkat is one of them; he has not only taken on challenges across many diverse industries in his professional career but also quickly adapted and learnt the various business models to deliver innovation and operational success elevating businesses.
Bold, determined and risk-taking attitude to follow his dream has helped him successfully transition from one industry to another. These attributes have enabled him to walk into any business and turn the knobs quickly to grow that business and deliver the desired results. Bala believes that transitions are good for personal and professional growth as it exposes a person with unfamiliar industries and conditions which ultimately ignite the thinking process and often results in developing new ideas: a prerequisite for growth.
Bala Venkat pursued his bachelors in engineering from the prestigious IIT Bombay, India and completed his masters in engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas. During his extraordinary professional career, Bala has worked with many leading multinationals in various capacities. His results driven approach and the ability to realize the pulse of a business has helped him rise up to strategic leadership roles spanning product, marketing, branding, sales, channels, business development, and M & A.
A customer obsessed champion, he is very skilled at bringing new product ideas, and revenue models to accelerate growth. Bala is credited with creating several brands and categories and has successfully launched various leading products for the enterprise software, high-tech, cyber security, networking, data center, telecom, IoT, healthcare, pharmaceutical, beauty and personal care segment. He has helped companies acquire new customers and accelerate revenues. He has built businesses from scratch and drove several merger and acquisition strategies to deliver EBITDA and value to the shareholders.
Bala’s Noteworthy Achievements that reflect his true Strengths
- Led category and brand management at Procter & Gamble – launching several new categories and brands in the CPG, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare sector.
- By bringing creativity into workplace and forging partnership among 20 regional carriers, he assisted Sprint by exponentially increasing their subscriber count by 3 Million in just one year.
- Led Exodus Communications software and managed services strategy creating the software as a service business model. He led ground up the product, marketing and business development teams to deliver upon a $ 150M P & L.
- Approached by Open Harbor to help scale their enterprise B2B business, he headed up the Marketing & Services process, and quickly doubled that business.
- He successfully grew Trend Micro’s business across SMB and Consumer segments by $ 200 Million in just two years through innovative products, marketing, strategic partnerships, and robust reseller/channel networks.
- SAP approached him to run their SME BU Global Marketing operation, and with no surprise Bala turned SAP’s fortune by helping scale their SME business from 100M euros to 980M euros in just two years. He also put together the cloud and mobile strategy which culminated in the acquisition of Sybase.
- His entrepreneurial thirst made him leave SAP to help build Mayosys. Within three years, he launched IoT and enterprise software solutions at large data center and rolled-out advanced technology. He is credited developing business and providing advanced technology solutions to many leading companies including Dell EMC, Marvell, Cisco, Cadence, Google, etc.
- As the CMO of Cenzic, Bala built new cyber security product categories, elevated the brand and led the M & A with Trustwave, which was acquired by SingTel for $ 810M.
Spirituality of Buddha and Business Acumen of Steve Jobs Shaped Bala’s Personality
A role model shapes the thought process and ultimately the life journey for any person. Numerous personalities have inspired him but Buddha and Steve Jobs tops his list. Buddha, being a spiritual icon, has influenced him immensely in leading people and teams with empathy and compassion, developing his vision with a clear mindset, and leveraging patience in resolving issues and conflicts. At business level, he reveres Steve Jobs as he was the man of his belief who brought many inventions with passion and courage by following his intuition. He also believes that setting a goal and visualizing its success to the minute detail is very important to reach the finish line.
Bala’s Driving Factors
Developing new ideas, products, technology; identifying talents and empowering them to bring out their best, building high performance teams and taking businesses to the next level drives him every day and motivates to take the step ahead.
Formula for Fostering Innovation
Nurturing a work culture that encourages people to think out of the box, incentivize people who come up with good ideas, providing autonomy in executing projects are some of the vital facets that Bala believes are necessary to nurture a mediocre mind into an innovative one, at workplaces.
On the personal front, he strongly believes that great innovations do not happen by chance. The culture, mindset, and process ingrained into his thinking, to find innovative ways to do every task, whether it is related to daily life or business is the key ingredient in his ability to bring innovation and creativity.
Bala’s Priceless Advice to the Budding Entrepreneurs
Follow your passion; do not get bogged down by the false beliefs and distractions from the skeptics. Meticulously develop a plan, secure funding for it and start executing from day one, and never give up; perseverance is a vital asset required to succeed. There will be mistakes, admit it and rectify it. And always mentally prepare to sacrifice some in the beginning to taste bigger success in the end.