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Valenco Case Study # 5 - Hari - Large or mid-size company?

Looking at the bridge connecting Malaysia and Singapore, Hari felt that for a middle-class boy from Kanpur, he had come a long way.


He was responsible for sales in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for a technology services company. Given his consistent performance, he could also see further growth in responsibility in the future.


The call came from another part of the world. The business leader in California resigned and Hari found himself looking at a different bridge a few months later – the Golden Gate bridge.


Silicon Valley had surfaced from the dot com bust and was humming again. Over the next 3 years, Hari put his years of sales experience to work, and built a growing stream of revenue.


Another bust occurred, in housing. This presented an opportunity and he put a down payment on a townhome within commuting distance of San Jose.


Moving on

Feeling confident about his ability to succeed, Hari decided to spread his wings.


The first move was to Logotech, a $200 million revenue outsourcing company. Selling for them, he won a leading technology company as a new client. The business grew and grew and in three years became a top 5 client for Logotech. This success was a stellar achievement in Hari’s career.


He aced sales incentives two years in a row and paid down a large part of his mortgage.


Encouraged by this big win, Hari set his sights higher and landed a job with a top 5 technology services company.


The company had momentum, and in his two years there Hari won his share of business and met quota’s. He was irked though that it took a lot of time and effort to navigate and network with internal teams to get buy in and collaboration. This was a contrast with his experience in the smaller organizations he had worked with till then.


Looking for a change of environment, he started to scout around and soon was on board another top tier technology services company as part of a large deals pursuit group.


Working for them, he participated in multiple chases ranging from $50 -100 million in value. Did well, won 3 large deals in two years, which was more than what he had with any of his previous employers. While feeling good about the success, that feeling of too many stakeholders involved in every deal pursuit slowing the processes again started to bother him.


Déjà vu

Since Hari had left them, Gogotech had doubled revenues and built a good roster of clients. It had limited success in the California market through and was looking to put in a renewed thrust to build the business there.


Hari’s last supervisor was now the leader for all sales in USA. One thing led to another, and Hari was recruited to lead the growth initiative in California.


Over the next 5 years, he methodically pursued new clients and built a team of new business salespersons. His team would identify / pursue and win clients and then grow them to a threshold. After this a peer would take over and scale them.


Together, they built a nascent region to $70 million in revenue in 5 years.


Today

A private equity company has taken a significant stake in Logotech. With this have come changes in leadership and new faces at the top. There is discussion of a new organization structure and Hari is apprehensive that his role will get curtailed.


In the years since he moved in, Hari’s neighborhood has flourished and is home to a growing population of leaders from many technology services companies.


Some of them are part of a Friday beer group of which Hari is an enthusiastic member.

In a recent gathering Hari shared his professional dilemma.


A member of this group is the CRO of a new age tech services company which has recently been funded and growing rapidly. It is aiming to hit $50 million in revenue soon and looking to strengthen its leadership ranks. He asked if Hari would want to come on board in a role similar to his current one. If the company did well, there could be a financial upside in stock gains.


The leading tech services company which Hari had worked with is now aiming for even larger deals in the $100 – 500 million range. Since he had done well there, Hari has reached out and spoken to them for an opening in the deal pursuit group.


Digital engineering services companies flourished in Silicon Valley during the post 2010 boom. Someone knew someone who was recruiting for a mid-senior role with one of them and offered to put in a good word for Hari. This is an opportunity to lead sales for emerging technologies.


Knowing that he was not at immediate risk in his current company, Hari wants to take a measured decision.

Three beers down, he looked at you and asked why you were silent. He values your input and wants you to weigh in.


1.       Stay on in his current one, let the structure evolve, and find a good role for himself?

2.       Take the role with the new and rapidly growing company?

3.       Should he pitch for a large deal pursuit role with a big technology company?

4.       Pursue the introduction with the digital engineering company and join them if offered?


Down a few yourself, you asked for time to sleep over this and revert. Having done so now, what would you recommend to Hari.


The recommendations he received




Counsel from his peer network was evenly split among him staying with his current firm, pitching for a large deals role with a big company and aiming for a digital engineering services firm.


What did Hari do?

The dust settled in his current company and Hari’s role was untouched.


His CRO friend continued to pursue Hari to come on board. In true Silicon Valley narrative, he would point to the once in a lifetime opportunity to make big bucks if the company hit its goals.


Hari had a series of discussions with the digital engineering company. He hit it off with his future supervisor and also with the other leaders he spoke with. With one, he found common ground from a past company both of them had worked in.


While Hari was contemplating his options, the hiring market started to slow down. The large companies were the first to pause new hiring and the large deal team roles which Hari was in discussion for were put on hold.


With this talk of a likely slowdown, Hari wanted to take a low-risk option. The startup services company did not make that cut.


Between his current role and the one with the digital engineering company he felt that the latter had a much richer digital and engineering services portfolio, which was foundation to success in Silicon Valley. He also felt a good connect with the leaders there.


These tipped the scale, and he has accepted a new role with them.


You might also want to read Valenco case study - Nandan

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