Rapid Fire with Sirish Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder, Telr, the international e-payment gateway for businesses
Belong to place: Albeit I was born in Rajasthan, India, I do consider myself as a Global Citizen
Studied at: I completed CA from India. I further pursued MBA in General Management from INSEAD.
What is your ideal day: My ideal day is a new day with unplanned events dominating the day and I wake up in a new city. It would definitely involves interacting with our customers, partners or banks etc. I would further like for my ideal day to involve exchanges meant at enhancing and retaining the talent we have attracted and now growing with Telr. After gaining insights to whatever is happening across the globe, I’d like the day to conclude with some quality family time, feeling blessed with all that I have, and at the same time looking for the next day to start.
What drives me the most: Getting an opportunity to do create and see it grow every day , hearing an employee say that she has learnt more in 1 year at Telr than her previous five years of career , hearing from our customers say how good is our customer support inspires me to do more the next day . Being with energetic people and making sure that I am able to simplify otherwise complex communication, keeps me going.
What are the most important three things in my life: To begin with, it is paramount for me to create an institution that witnesses the coming together of committed people with a common mission and that can make a difference in the world. It goes beyond buildings or the tangible names of institutions and encompasses the collaboration between strong and talented minds.
Second is the feeling of happiness not only for me but also for the people around me, including family, employees and associates.
Favorite Gadget: I prefer gadgets that simplify any complex tasks. To keep it simple, I like my Mac and iPhone.
Favorite food: I have to confess I am big-time foodie with a sweet-tooth! I am always up for a plate of Seekh Kebabs, Hakka Noodles or Sushi .Sweets include kunafeh, rasmalai and laddoos.
Favorite holiday destination: That would ideally have a strong connect to Nature! That is the same reason why I like Bali.
What are things I like to do alone: When alone, I prefer to indulge in music especially Ghazals.
Last book I read: Zero to One and I absolutely recommend it to anyone reading this section.
If I could eliminate one thing from daily schedule, what would it be and why: Having to remind and follow up on actions items particularly what have been discussed already and agreed. That irks me and shows how people are often distracted. While interacting, people should respect time by listening carefully, paying attention and responding accordingly. As an entrepreneur, I dislike having to remind people, as that only results in decreased productivity.
Which letter of the alphabet describes me best, how: It would have to be A. Alphabet for me shows the beginning of the journey that often makes one more humble, since every day is a learning experience. When you start everything new, you don’t take it for granted and hence, being an A means perpetually challenging yourself to learn, evolve and move forward.
Most memorable Event: When I became a father! That experience helped me graduate in life, and feel more responsible, happily retiring from being funky or irresponsible!
One thing I like to change in myself: I’d definitely like to become better in communicating and continuously inspiring others to embark upon the journey of entrepreneurship.
I never get tired of ___? Trying new things, taking risks, and moving on. Oftentimes, I have seen beautifully talented and resourceful people slow down or stop themselves especially when faced with failure. I learn from every situation and see each such experience as a reference point and not as a benchmark.
5 years down the line I would be: Making more leaders. Society will always see shortage of selfless leaders.
If not in IT industry, I would be: An educator and associated with the spreading awareness and ensuring that experienced people continue to be relevant notwithstanding changes .
Advice to budding Entrepreneurs: Never give up!
What’s my motto in life: My motto in life is simple! Life is challenging but full of fun . If we view life from a positive, then each of us can make a difference in the world around us.