“We are now in The Perfect Storm, an event where one after another catastrophe or change is happening without any forewarning”
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has stumped the world in many ways, and technology has played a huge role in keeping us going. This pandemic has given people a chance to think about how we can deliver the best amid the obstacles, with the help of technology.
For some of us using technology to get our work done is not that difficult, but for others, it is a real challenge, who is not very familiar with the technological trends. And this is where plays a role Mr. Sanjeev Jain, he is the founder of TNS Networking solutions, also known as the Tech Guru of India.
He is a helping hand for entrepreneurs, teaching the newcomers the value and some smart ways through which everyone can operate their business from their smartphones in a systematic way. In a conversation with Pahi Mehra, Jain shares how much he admires technology and trusts that it is a compelling weapon that helps nations and businesses to grow rapidly.
How has your journey been of becoming the Tech Guru of India?
I’ve been interested in innovative technological solutions from an early age. After graduation, I joined my family business of fragrance products where I searched for and implemented tech solutions for the smooth running of the business. With 25 years of experience, I have a set-up of 7 companies that are running successfully. I have started my own venture Technology Never Sleeps which is a key provider of IT Infrastructure to top organizations like the Airports, Railways, Honda, L&T, IOCL, etc.
Currently, I am focusing on my third venture CEOITBOX, where I train budding entrepreneurs to use technology for automating workflows, securing data, building automated dashboards to run their business with minimum resources and hassles. I have trained more than 7000 entrepreneurs which include the directors and owners of companies like Honda, Okaya, Anmol Biscuits, etc to use cutting edge technology to run their businesses through their phones with complete automation.
According to you how exactly are technological innovations helping in the growth of business in the country?
Technology has become a major driver of change. All the new technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Big Data, 5G, AI, Robotics, Machine Learning, etc. are causing major disruption in all business domains. These technologies are allowing us to work in very different ways and at a different scale. Many newer Indian companies such as Delhivery, Flipkart, Oyo, Ola, Byju’s have achieved valuations in a couple of years that their brick and mortar counterparts couldn’t do even after decades in the business. Welcome to the – “The Age of Ideas”. We are living in times where the value of ideas and innovation is more than any other resource. If you have an amazing idea and the ability to execute the same, people with resources will chase you.
What kind of technological advancements do you think are beneficial today?
Technology is available in almost every aspect of the business to make it more efficient. Some of the important advancements I would like to mention are as follows:
Work from Anywhere: For instance, using digital communication and cloud computing you can now work from anywhere without the need for a big and expensive office. Companies need less space if employees work from home. Also, we are not storing physically as much paper or equipment.
Online Sales: Businesses can reach a much wider audience by selling their products and services online. Sales of items off the internet are faster and easier than ever. No one wants to go to the market even if it’s cheaper there.
Local vs Global: We are no longer limited to purchasing locally. Your suppliers may not be even from inside the country. Using video conferencing, cloud technology, online portals you can buy goods and services from the best suppliers anywhere in the world.
Mobility: More and more customers are doing their buying, transactions, and communications on mobile phones. So, in simple terms, flexibility e.g. the ability to be mobile – is a huge threat/opportunity to companies that don’t adapt.
According to you how has technology invented new ways of starting a business?
The real purpose of any business is to solve a problem. The question is – “Is the problem that your business solves worth solving anymore?” or “Can you solve it better in today’s scenario using the tools and technology available to you?”. Take Amazon, for instance, Jeff Bezos solved the age-old problem using Technology to give customers what they wanted – “Larger Discounts”, “More Choice” & “Faster Deliveries”.
You can take any problem that you encounter in real life and see if you can use some kind of technology to solve it better than what solutions are currently available in the market. Most of the startups have done exactly this. For example – Uber/Ola applied Tech to make travel easy, hassle-free, cheap, and accessible, Byju’s applied this to home tuition making it easy for kids to learn at home using their smart devices and so on and so forth.
How efficient do you think technology is for the growth of MSMEs in India?
The question an owner must ask is that – “Is your business solving a real issue or is someone else doing it better that you?”. A lot of entrepreneurs worry about growth, but can you really achieve growth or even survive if you are delivering stuff that people don’t want?
Maybe it’s time to destroy and reinvent your business. Find a purpose that you identify with. Gone are the days where the only purpose of business was to make money. Take your skills, your experience – it’s valuable, it’s unique, the question is how to put it to good use. Your problem is not – “How to make more money for yourself?”, but, “How to help others achieve what they want? Using the latest technology and tools available to you can you reinvent your business to solve a problem in a way that no one has thought of before? The more difficult the problem, the more unique the solution, the more the number of people you can help – the more the money you will make.
This pandemic situation has clearly indicated that technology is our biggest savior, what are your thoughts about this?
Lockdown was a temporary obstacle and a delightful opportunity for the long term. This pandemic has given people time to evaluate the services/offerings and how to deliver real value to their customers even during these times. This will only give a push to my ideology – “Disrupt your business yourself before you get it as a gift from someone”. We are in the world of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous), this Pandemic has only given us a glimpse into the future.
We are now in “The Perfect Storm”, an event where one after another catastrophe or change is happening without any forewarning. Most businesses are not equipped to handle this as they are focussed on the day to day issues and don’t have the capability to adapt to this constant change. Technology helps in transforming these businesses by helping them become more agile, flexible so that they can understand and adapt to the continuously changing business environment.
What is your vision for CEOITBOX?
My mission at CEOITBOX is to help at least 100 Indian companies get into the Fortune 500 list by 2030. I want to help entrepreneurs create Global Indian brands and make India proud by using cutting edge technologies to run their business.
I have seen too many entrepreneurs grapple with the same problems over and over again, like – How to get orders? How to hire & manage people? How to manage cash flows/ Do timely executions? Get payments recovered on time? etc. Unfortunately, none of these things are taught in a practical way in our school, colleges, or higher education. I want to free entrepreneurs from boring & repetitive work so that they can focus on their Passion & Growth. My vision is to be able to provide these solutions for the CEO’s out of the box so that they can concentrate on real business.
Technology is now experienced as utility; don’t you think we are too dependent on technology?
I feel these same could have been said even after the invention of the wheel, the car, the calculator, etc. Technology is part of natural human evolution to try and find better and easier ways of getting work done. This allows us to get rid of boring/mundane work and focus on things that we really love to do. We really can’t imagine our life without the marvels of modern technology like your phone, car, computer, etc. The trick would be to try and maintain a balance, too much of anything is bad. So, keep yourself healthy by exercising, eating healthy food, spending time with your loved ones, etc. Technology can help in all of this by saving time from work.