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7 Questions with Sayed Peerzade
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7 Questions with Sayed Peerzade
Name: Sayed Peerzade
Current title: Executive Vice President & Chief Cloud Officer
Current organization: Yotta Infrastructure
Information Technology veteran with over 20 years of successful experience in national and global level Technology operations, Cloud technologies, product development , bringing innovative technologies for business, business ideations through Digital transformations. Pioneer of many firsts in technology Innovations in India like Cloud and Game analytics.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Biggest fear as a CEO or Executive today is disruption of business by new edge technologies. Every CEO has to prepare their respective businesses to counter that, with the right technology and strategy. they need to be ahead in thinking and adapting technologies. They have to come with business ideas, and at the end lead those businesses.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Right from Customer Support Engineer to Executive VP and CCO, the journey is amazingly interesting. Learning in every step, I also got amazing mentors across which made me what I am today. Journey of transition is very long. What triggers me to continue on previous profiles, or switch to new one, is purely based on innovation challenges. As much as I keep getting chances of Innovations I am happy in every profile. Transition to Yotta is also part of that philosophy. I was always part of start-ups teams and had the chance to create something new from scratch. Be it Hathway, where I was part of a team which was assigned to create a Cable internet service provider in India which is a first time experiment. Created the same successfully along with Data centres in 5 major cities in India. That’s where my Datacenter/ISP/Telecom journey started. Boarding at Yotta is like a full circle, Back to DC and consumer business, but at a much larger scale. Meanwhile, I worked at ICICI Bank for a short period, then moved to UTV, the start of M&E journey which was longer one. In UTV I have created a large Animation studio, which is now Disney studio in Mumbai. Joined Reliance from inception of Entertainment business. The stint in reliance where I have taken large scale Digital transformation initiatives as an innovation. Designed private cloud architecture which was almost first kind in India, none of the foreign players like AWS were present at that time. Created Game analytics setup again first of kind in India. Consolidated traditional business and moved them to Digital and ideated and started Reliance Games which is one of the larger companies in Entertainment portfolio. Yotta as I said brought me back to the consumer side of business, Datacentre. Here I am working on creating something like a Cloud ecosystem, a complete end-to-end cloud practice using modern technologies and is for scale..
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I divide the tasks into multiple short term goals, make a plan to achieve each milestone and move ahead. Of course being in business ad-hoc tasks will come across, i prioritise them based on the business criticality and attend them accordingly. Rest of days/weeks etc are well planned for any executives anyways.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
In every step of my career I have learned business lessons. Smaller to larger roles I handled. over the period, the principle of success of any transformations and business found in 7 basic principles.
1. Design digital transformation or business transformations around business goals
2. Take an enterprise-wide approach
3. Make data and analytics a top company priority
4. Expand the role of IT
5. Transform the talent to adapt the new age tech
6. Consumer experience focus
7. Cost effectiveness & smarter deals
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
'My experiments with the truth' Mahatma Gandhi was always my favourite.
It's about the journey of Mahatma from a simple man who's priorities is study and survival, to leading the mass movement of Independent India as a sole leader against lightly British.
You will find all fundamentals of leadership, Courage, Risk, Planning, Teamwork, Empathy, Humanity and determination in that journey of Mahatma. It's been a great source of inspiration for me since childhood.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Leadership in aspirational corporations is much more than the common image of a passionate, charismatic, innovative CEO. The ability to lead—to inspire, direct, and teach others in an organization—is a capability that must permeate an organization. As companies grow, their ambitions are often undermined by a leadership deficit. However, the gap between performance and potential can be bridged by addressing this challenge directly through leadership characteristics the CEO possesses. some of the main points i like to highlight
Capturing “return on leadership” - talent is important among leaders, but only exceptional talent makes a real difference.
Built for growth - Ideations and ownership of what you are doing is important for any leader to be an effective leader.
A leadership development culture - To make leadership development a way of life, a culture of mentoring and role modeling—for example, having courageous and mature conversations about professional development and personal growth—are needed across all levels of leadership. Measures to encourage these attitudes and behaviors are critical to creating a leadership development system.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
My story is more of 'Leadership through inspiration – I Have a Dream have to achieve’ speech. However most followed quote by me in decision making is words of my father " There is opportunity in every difficulty"
This is what I followed throughout my career, and being an executive of a large enterprise, the last one I worked at Reliance Entertainment, I lived through these worlds of my father and the rest is history. A huge success story of an enterprise, through my leadership as a CIO, adapted a new age techs as an innovation philosophy, ideated a business idea, started a new business and now its multimillion dollar business.
I ideated and designed the private Cloud, which probably is first of its kind in India to tackle the growth and time to market challenge we are facing as a business back in 2013. We consolidated business, expanded the Cloud, Ideated global gaming business keeping adapted technologies as backbone, launched and succeeded.
Even in my current profile in Yotta, I switched from CIO to EVP & CCO role to create an end-end Cloud ecosystem equivalent to major foreign players in terms of scale and technology is a challenge in itself.