Age, they say, is just a number. For no one perhaps is this more true than Ashok Soota, the founder and executive chairman of Happiest Minds.
He is currently 77-year-old and was 68 when he started Happiest Minds -- today he successfully took his company public.
The stock of the digital-focused IT services company, which saw its initial public offering (IPO) subscribed 155 times, today listed at over twice the offer price of Rs 166 per share.
After spending the early years of his career with Shriram Group of Industries, Soota joined Wipro in 1984 and helped build the foundation that made Wipro a software giant.
Under him, Wipro’s revenue scaled from USD 2 million to USD 500 million in a span of 15 years. At the age of 57, when most people are getting ready to hang up their boots, Soota along with 9 other Wipro colleagues founded Mindtree.
They navigated the dotcom bust and created a USD 330 million enterprise with employees of 9,500. In 2007, the founding chairman and MD of Mindtree, Ashok Soota, successfully took Mindtree public. Even back then, the Mindtree IPO saw a bumper subscription of over 100 times.
Then rumours abound between him as well as the members of the board over the strategy and direction of the company. This resulted in Soota exiting Mindtree. Soota was once again back at the drawing board and this time he founded Happiest Minds.
His mantra is that companies should focus on making their employees happy, who will then make customers happy.
Today, Happiest Minds draws 97 percent of its revenues from the digital services versus only 35 to 50 percent for the industry. That has helped the company grow faster than the industry.
Over the last three years, Happiest Minds’ revenue growth was roughly 20 percent versus about 8-10 percent for the industry. Its annual revenues now have hit that USD 100 million mark.
The fact that the company decided to come out with its issue in the midst of the pandemic shows how confident Soota was of the industry and the company.
First Published: IST