INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Sanjay Sehgal of MSys Shares with Us the Firm’s One Principle: Employees First, Customers Second, and Liquidity Third
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sanjay Sehgal: I hope you and your team are doing fine as well as all those who are reading this. I wish them a happy & productive stay at home with their folks!
We are doing well, and this pandemic has given the best of the times not only to spend with the folks but also a break from the normal routine as well. Though I miss the traveling bit to other places, meeting my team, friends, family, dining at my favorite eatery, etc. I still say it’s a refreshing change being at home and having a proper fam-jam during weekends.
While as a team, we are always on the go, connected with each other virtually through different platforms, it is great to see how technology has paved ways for connecting people across the globe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded MSys.
Sanjay Sehgal: I was born in Delhi, India, in the mid-sixties, in an extended family. We lived a modest life in a two-bedroom apartment that was also shared by my grandparents. I have always been a rank-holder, and in fact, was branded as a scholar, so I had very few friends. That gave me ample time to work on myself and my skills.
I started my career as a software engineer during the dot com boom, a time when the IT industry had struck gold; hence I was bestowed with opportunities to work on multiple projects, which gave me hands-on experience on several emerging technologies. My experience made way to the Mecca of the software industry – Silicon Valley, in a remote setting followed by full-time work in Atlanta.
Eventually, with my work, I created a name for me as a good technocrat in the Atlanta Technology circles. Within a few years, I realized my knack and hidden potential for Marketing and Sales. I followed my calling and worked on acquiring professional know-how. This helped me propel the company’s growth I worked for and pushed it to be sold for hundreds of millions of dollars, which was a successful exit.
My entrepreneurial journey started with iVivity (my first venture) in 2000, which was also the time of recession. We faced a lot of hiccups due to tyrant market conditions but managed to raise our first round of funding within a year of the company’s inception. The action of sustainability paid off when iVivity was honored as “Top emerging private company” in 2001 by Technology Associated of Georgia and MIT Forum.
Post that, I transitioned to another venture – a software company, built it, and then sold it to large storage and networking enterprise. I started a few more technology companies that also included MSys. I play the Chairman’s role here, and with hard work and grace, I have managed to create a niche for the company and still hope to keep moving and progressing further.
How does MSys innovate?
Sanjay Sehgal: By working on three crucial points – awareness, the right mindset, and inner sensibilities.
It is all about working with the right mindset. We at MSys Group are ready to ‘Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn.’ We know that technology innovations result from different layers of technologies being upgraded to a newer version. So a readiness to unlearn the old and relearn and innovate something new is what helps us think differently.
As the company’s forerunner, I believe in the ability to be change-ready, as that is what defines your vitality during an emergency. It also helps you in coming out of the liminality by processing inhibiting emotions. Only then can you see new horizons to stay ahead in the game of innovation.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Sanjay Sehgal: There are adversities of this Pandemic on the world and business, but I still believe that the emergence will bring more positive changes. COVID-19 will become the catalyst for constructive reforms. A good example is more work from homes, which directly impacts reducing the carbon footprint.
To cope with the situation, I would say, has been possible for MSys Group because we stuck to one principle, ‘Employees first, Customers second,’ and Liquidity third.’
The foremost is the safety of the people working for MSys Group. The coherence of their productivity relies on their well-being. We are all working from home. Communication has been sent to everyone to have them sat safe and tested by the doctor in case of any concern.
In terms of business growth and services functioning, our innovative perspective came to our rescue. We have, in fact, acquired new clients. The Pandemic situation helped us spread in the digital transformation domain offering – AI&ML, IoT, DevOps, Cloud Computing, to name a few.
Also, I feel in hindsight this situation has given every one of us an opportunity to look towards the greater good, like finally having some time to work on ourselves. It is just the right time to acquire new skills to help us all live up to our potential.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Sanjay Sehgal: Yes. Without challenges, there is no fun in success. I had my fair share of challenges too. The very first difficult choice was leaving a well-paying job to initiate my first startup venture. It did help me explore my own potentials, plus it allowed me to learn the skill of managing others.
My consciousness has always led me in search of true independence. Probably a reason why I enduringly followed my calling. From leaving my home and my land, and coming and settling in the USA, to taking a leap from technology to marketing, to moving to a more action-packed entrepreneurial journey, there were many difficult choices, but the crux of it all was one – enjoy the journey more than the destination, then you will never be disappointed.
Work like play, and play like work. That way, you will be able to balance your time between material aspirations and personal growth.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and MSys in the future?
Sanjay Sehgal: By being aware.
My spiritual inclination helps me be self-aware, which I believe is the best antidote for stress and anxiety. It helps create a positive outlook, changes your way of thinking, and helps you make proactive decisions. Stress and anxiety are caused mostly when you have too much to do with less time in hand. But when you think proactively, much is done before time. This, coupled with the meditation practice that I follow daily, helps me focus more.
MSys now and in the future will continue to be the trusted partner for various startups and enterprises in product engineering, digital transformation, and corporate training space. I expect MSys Group in new geographies, verticals, and newer technologies like AI/ML and Blockchain.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Sanjay Sehgal: There are many, and it is good to have as it shows the robustness in demand for our services.
MSys has made “Customer Intimacy” as its main USP besides technical superiority and operational excellence. We value our ability to be agile in this environment in servicing our clients, which will help us stay in the game.
Your final thoughts?
Sanjay Sehgal: I believe in facing the light instead of brooding about the dark. We should always have a positive and optimistic outlook ahead. That will help us to stay afloat during tough times like the current situation.
Always remember that in anything in life – embrace one’s failure and move ahead successively – the earlier you fail, the faster the lessons learned. Be happy, keep smiling, and always believe in yourself, and remember that there is the sun that will always shine at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long the journey is.
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