Employee Speak: Pradeep Kar, Chairman and Managing Director, Microland : July'08

Pradeep Kar is the Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Microland, a company recognized as a key player in the Remote Infrastructure Management Services space by the top three outsourcing industry tracking entities in 2008. A visionary and industry pioneer, Pradeep leveraged the power of networking and e-business technologies long before they were recognized as critical business enablers when he founded Microland in 1989. Under Pradeep’s leadership, Microland has emerged as a leading Indian pure play IT Infrastructure Management Services Provider. Pradeep’s philosophy of driving business transformation by leveraging Remote Infrastructure Management, with a strong customer driven service perspective has enabled Microland to grow to 12 locations, 8 Operation Management Centres and 2300+ people.
A serial entrepreneur, Pradeep founded and successfully sold technology companies Planetasia.com, India’s first Internet Professional Services Company, Net Brahma Technologies and Indya.com, India’s leading portal, which he sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Pradeep sits on several boards and is the President of ‘The IndUS Entrepreneurs’ (TiE), Bangalore Chapter and the Founding Member of the Bangalore Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. Pradeep’s leadership acumen has been recognized with the Indian Express’ ‘India Young Business Achiever Award’ and he has been selected by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Global Leader for Tomorrow’. He holds a postgraduate degree in Management and a Bachelor of Engineering degree.


  1. How did the entrepreneurial journey evolve for you? What got you started?
    The entrepreneurial bug hit me very early in college. I got fairly clear then that I wanted to be on my own. Post my engineering and MBA degrees; I joined Wipro, which in my mind was a start-up journey. It was in the early years of Wipro where everything that needed to be done had to be entrepreneurial. Then I went and joined a start-up company as the 3rd employee and we built India's first computer retail chain – namely Computer Point. The owners of Computer Point then sent me to the US to set up a software company which is now known as Sonata Software. I was fortunate that my entire set of experiences was entrepreneurial in nature and I learnt a lot in the process.
  2. How is the entrepreneurial spirit sustained now that you are running a large organization?
    I still think that the entrepreneurial instincts in me continue. While we are a larger company today with 2300+ people, we are very much entrepreneurial in nature. There needs to be systems and processes to run larger organizations. But our approach to each has an entrepreneurial flavour built in. Individuals and teams have full flexibility to drive change, innovation and deliver on results and in many cases paint their own canvas within the corporate objectives and guidelines.
  3. How can the entrepreneurial spirit and culture be owned and practiced by individuals performing corporate roles?
    Entrepreneurship is usually associated with new company formation. But the entrepreneurial spirit that drives individuals to start a new organization, bring in new products/ services in the market can do wonders for the growth of an existing organization. Individuals can imbibe the following aspects in their corporate roles to practice the spirit of entrepreneurship within an organization:
        • Drive Innovation: Individuals should thrive for constant innovation at their work place. New business can be created by undertaking product/ services, process, technological and administrative innovations. Individuals should also consider renewal of key ideas on which the organizations are built.
        • Embrace Challenge: Every organization and every work place has pain areas. The challenges that arise in resolving these pain areas would be daunting and tedious to many. Individuals should identify these pain areas, volunteer to take ownership of these challenges, chalk out a plan to address them and demonstrate competence by successful execution.
        • Be passionate about every aspect of your work: Not all the tasks associated with the work would be extraordinary or out of the world. There could be mundane and repetitive tasks. An individual should always strive to perform each of the tasks flawlessly no matter however trivial they may appear.
        • Place high priority on your work when needed: There would be occasions when there are crisis scenarios at your work place which may require an individual to make some personal sacrifices. One should always be willing to act in the best interest of the company in those times regardless of the inconvenience to oneself.
        • Work towards accomplishments: Individuals should measure themselves based on their accomplishments and contributions made to the organization. One should be outcome oriented and should clearly outline the difference that one is making to the growth of an organization.
        • Embrace change: In the workplace, one may find scenarios where there are changes in processes, systems and organization structure. Individuals should be ready to adapt to any change that comes and lead the way for others.
        • Be a leader: Individuals should not wait for their supervisors or their colleagues to give them directions. They should strive to be the first one who tries something new and encourages others to follow suit. One should motivate others to work harder and make every effort to bring the best out of everyone around.
        • Be autonomous: An individual may have a brilliant idea. The success of the idea lies in
          its implementation and execution. An individual should act in bringing forth an idea or a vision and carrying it through to completion.
        • Organization support to individuals with entrepreneurial spirit: All the above mentioned aspects can be practiced and become effective only when the leaders of the organization provide a favourable environment for the same. Organizational leaders should encourage innovation in the organization and provide freedom to individuals to operate strategically in unstructured situations and to challenge the status quo.