Mithun Sridharan is a Consulting Partner of pliXos, a global specalisist of IT Outsourcing, that offers innovative products as well as consulting and service providing and seeks to give smaller companies the opportunity to benefit from distributed development. Mithun, a recent MBA graduate from ESMT, has studied at Stanford University and has worked for various technology companies in a career almost a decade long.
Based in Germany, Mithun gives us his exclusive inside view of pliXos and expains why the company is seeking more MBAs and why an entrepreneurial outlook is key to success in a career at pliXos.
What's your role and how long have you been at pliXos?
I joined pliXos in April 2012 during my MBA at ESMT, where I am now a Consulting Partner responsible for Outsourcing Advisory around Internet, Multimedia and emerging technologies.
Approximately how many MBAs does pliXos hire each year?
We would potentially be ramping up on the MBA recruitment over the next few years. I'm actually the first MBA to be taken on board at pliXos - German SMEs are still discovering MBAs as valuable recruits.
Why is a job at pliXos a great choice for MBAs?
As a small company, one gets to work directly with CEOs from both inside and outside the company. The decision hierarchy is flat and great ideas are highly visible.
You're an MBA graduate from ESMT - how has that prepared you for working at pliXos?
A year at ESMT completely changes your thinking and gives you the confidence to start a venture. ESMT, by itself, is an entrepreneurial success story: it was founded in 2002, so the entrepreneurial flair runs through and through. I worked with a few start-ups and developed marketing strategies and I also served as the Vice President of the Entrepreneurship Club at ESMT, where we invited entrepreneurs every week and organized Master Evenings with them. These entrepreneurs shared their experiences with us in a very transparent manner, which put us in their shoes, so we could appreciate the underlying thinking process better.
I could say that ESMT did prepare us well for such career developments. We also spent 2 weeks in Silicon Valley, where we met with over 20 companies, startups and entrepreneurs, which allowed us to look at things from an American perspective. Then we had the innovation workshops, business plan contests, etc... so we did quite a bit of work around entrepreneurship. All these experiences change your perspectives, so working at pliXos is, in my opinion, only a natural and logical extension of my experiences at ESMT.
Do you have any tips for MBAs who want to impress at pliXos?
Performance is very important. This includes meeting revenue targets and delivery. As we are a small but tightly-knit company, we greatly rely on the work delivered by our colleagues. High quality work completed on-time increases reliance and trust, which are, in my opinion, the most important tips for impressing colleagues at pliXos.
Tell us something most MBAs wouldn't know about the company!
Though the company has a strong German footprint, we actually operate in several countries, globally. Our software development team sits in Russia, Bulgaria and India.
We also have operations in many countries in mainland Europe, the Uunited Kingdom and America.
Tell us about your role in Big Data strategy and how MBAs can benefit.
Big Data is an important area that we are working on in several engagements. This area calls for skills in quants, analytics, business concepts and to a certain degree, programming. MBAs who are qualified in these areas are sure to find many companies interested in recruiting them. Big Data is a great opportunity to allow MBAs to leverage their broad set of skills acquired from previous work experience, studies and their business education.
You have studied Technology Entrepreneurship at Stanford - is a background in technology essential for working at pliXos?
Though Entrepreneurship skills are not explicitly required at pliXos as a qualifying criterion, it is important to have the entrepreneurial mindset. As we are a young (4 year old) company, each day is very different from the previous day and I've found myself working on sales one day, marketing the next, finance after that, and so on. A willingness to learn while on the job and to explore areas that one is not very comfortable with is required.
Our company works on a Partnership model, which means your compensation relies largely on the business you generate. So, an entrepreneurial outlook is implicit at pliXos and this approach has been successful so far. We also found the need for a knowledge management platform and spun off a venture, ousourcing4smes.com, to position outsourcing among start-ups and small & medium scale enterprises across industries. This venture is an example of how quickly the water flows in small companies and an entrepreneurial mindset is obligatory for success.
What has been the highlight of your career at the company so far?
Last year, our product suite was accepted as the best set of tools by the British Government. I was also pursuing my MBA in parallel, so a physical meetup with other partners was impossible. Despite these constraints, we worked virtually day and night to win the deal for a period of 3 months. When the news came that our suite was chosen over others, it was exhilarating.
I hadn't met with the other partners before winning the deal and when we finally met up in Berlin, it felt as though we had known each other for years. This feeling of familiarity coupled with a sense of achievement is what I'd say the highlight of my career. But, yes, every day brings its own set of challenges and overcoming them bestows satisfaction. The power of small wins is substantial.
You're a keen Golfer - what's your best ever score across 18 holes?
Honestly, I've been golfing only for a couple of years now, so there are miles to go before I could even call myself a Golfer. But my best on an 18-hole course was a 72. I believe I had a lot of luck that day!