I've been running my current firm for more than five years now. And it's about time we looked out for someone else to come along and take it from here. Another entrepreneur once told me, "The real point of running a business is to give it away, not to hold on to it for your progeny to take over". Well, I am not giving away the business, just hoping to hand over daily operations to someone. And hoping that this will give me time to take on a more strategic role rather than an operational role. And maybe even allow me the time to tinker with infosec technology - something I don't get to do much nowadays.
It's been quite a journey though. I remember starting out in 2001 after dropping out of college, with absolutely no idea of how to start and run a business, leave alone offer consulting services in information security. Those first few years were spent running the entire shindig out of a 278 sq ft office at Churchgate with a fast depleting startup capital of 2 lakhs in the bank. Buying spare parts from Lamington Road and assembling the PC's simply to save on a couple of thousand bucks per PC. Keeping the AC's shut off, taking the bus instead of a rickshaw, taking on whatever work came our way simply to pay off next month's bills. Evading old friends and relatives who would simply never buy any sort of rationale (some of them still don't!) The daily trip from Andheri to Churchgate, struggling to find the sweet spot of time when the rush in the locals would be just about manageable (I think I finally discovered it to be the 9:35am for the Andheri local to Churchgate, and evening is anyone's guess!). And today, we stand on the edge of an exciting new leap with offices in Mumbai and Bahrain, and partnerships across the world. I say, it's been one helluva ride!
But it's time to get some more hands on board. So with the objective of finding the right person for the post, we posted on Monster.com a while ago, and oh boy, were flooded with almost 600 resumes for the job. Using a divide-and-conquer strategy, we split the resumes among four of our team members, and asked them to use liberal criteria to sift through the bunch:
- Experience - at least 5 years
- Should have an IT background, preferably in consulting or software services, or even better in infosec. So let's avoid those with backgrounds in retail or manufacturing. Since they won't have the right people and project management skills.
- Should have either strong HR or Marketing skills. It would be impossible to find someone with both strong HR and strong Marketing skills. But if he/she has one of these, then we only need to find only another senior marketing manager or a senior HR manager to complement him/her.
- Avoid any personal prejudices in the selection.
- Let salary not be a criteria at the first round of selection.