Blogs
Aug 26, 2019

Pradeep Kar writes to PK on Microland's 30th anniversary

PRADEEP KAR
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN

Dear PK,

I remember you as a gritty youngster. When you returned from the US in mid-1989, in your early 30s, you knew early on India will shape/ is your future. Your core value was to set up an ethical and honest business, regardless of the pressure of a chaotic business environment, muddied by bureaucratic manipulation.

Microland was your first step in realizing that goal and in shaping your destiny. Congratulations, Microland is now celebrating its 30th year—and what a roller coaster ride it has been!

Take a moment to savor the warm feeling that comes from the achievement. Celebrate with your family, friends and colleagues; give them hugs; and thank them for being with you through the highs and lows of the last 30 years. It takes trust, belief and the ability to set aside a short-term view of money, to keep a team together for 30 years—but you kept pushing, and Microland has done it. Cheers mate! In 1989 when you set up Microland, you could not have seen this moment coming.

The 30-year story of Microland is that of a person who has never been constrained by anything and has always believed that evolution was his birthright. That is why today, on its 30th anniversary, Microland is celebrating its next step in evolution. From what began as a networking company focused on hardware, it is now making digital happen. But at its core, it still remains a global company with remarkable predictability, reliability and stability.

You have taken Microland through five stages of evolution, re-engineering it to remain relevant to your customer. And Microland V6 is a testament to the fact that you and your team relish change and will do whatever it takes to ruthlessly maintain a customer focus (I am reminded of what General Eric Shinseki, former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, once said, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”).

If there is one thread I can see running across your life and that of Microland, it is the ability to make bets ahead of the curve and shine a light on the future. That is why Microland has moved rapidly from a hardware-focused networking company to one that leveraged the Internet economy, excelled at Remote Infrastructure Management, pioneered Hybrid IT Infrastructure Management, developed a deep grounding in digital and is now championing cloud, intelligent workplaces, IoT and platforms to make digital happen. But don’t forget that your journey is incomplete—you haven’t reached your destination; your engine is fueled and there is a lot more to cover in the coming decades.

Hindsight is always a wonderful luxury and I could tell you hundreds of things you could have done differently. But I won’t. Instead, let me remind you of a moment in 2005, when a very large Fortune 5 customer came to us for managing their global network. Working with the global giant, was—and continues to be—a big deal for Microland. The Italian CTO of IT of the global corporation while awarding contract to Microland said, “Let me give you a piece of advice, No one dies of starvation doing business with our company. They all die of indigestion! And if you screw up, then I will terminate the contract with Microland.” That struck very deeply, and you told yourself that you should ensure you control your growth in a manner that you deliver on all your commitments and promises. It has stayed in good stead with you all the years.

In other words, don’t sign up for what you can’t execute. If you fail your customer you don’t just lose a contract, you lose trust. It is heartening to see how Microland has not only built trust with its own employees—some of whom have been with the company for 25 and 30 years—but also with its customers.

How did you do it?! Microland is now an organization of 4,500+ employees from 22 nationalities with a median age of 29.9 years. You should be thrilled to have such a young team by your side. There is little that can give this team indigestion, because they can take on any challenge that digital brings.

If I was to extract a single lesson from the Microland journey so far, it would be this: People are the single-biggest strength of Microland; they are the real heroes of the last 30 years; and they are going to remain the stars for the next 30.

With that, let’s celebrate and raise a toast to the future! Let’s Make Digital Happen!

Best wishes,

Pradeep Kar

Founder & Chairman