Interview of Balaji Aravamuthan- Global Chief Information Officer at UPL Limited

Balaji Aravamuthan

I get inspiration from people’s life and not from quotes“- Balaji Aravamuthan

Value Proposition: Establishing & Driving organizational efficiency & ROI of all IT assets for effectuating the design & build-up of “Right Architecture” of people, process & technology thereby propelling the business ahead of the curve than its competitors.

Global CIO with over 25+ yrs of experience & cross-industry business acumen that have resulted in successfully maximizing efficiencies, deployment of complex business solutions, Digital Governance & Data Security for Large global businesses & enterprises across multiple geographies; brings onboard very strong experience of working in CIO & Senior IT leadership roles across large Indian Manufacturing conglomerates with diverse industry background covering Media, Bi-cycle, Petroleum, Petrochemicals, Telco, Pharma, Glass, Realty, NBFC & Agrochemicals.

Spearheaded various “Digital Transformation Initiatives” for various companies for Productivity, “State of the art” Technology initiation, New Business Modelling, Evaluated & Finalized various startups for acquiring “Service Utilization; Also provided thought leadership & process institutionalization in the area of Deep Learning/AI Process, Data Capture & Analysis among other areas.

“Hands-on Experience” & the ability to understand Business Dynamics, Challenges & Opportunities from deep financial insights & perspectives gained across roles and designing business models around it for topline & bottom-line transformation.

Profound experience & insights gained across leadership roles spanning global locations that can be used to help “Large & Mid-Sized” Manufacturing, Banking, Insurance & IT companies to set up shared services covering function of HR, Admin, Finance, Supply Chain & IT

What inspired you to join the above company or this sector?

I always tried to work in new sectors to enhance my knowledge and experience . In fact I have never worked in same sector twice. Agriculture is core sector and in my own humble way I have always tried to contribute with the skills I possess.

What is your life mantra?

Always be human and try to give my best in every situation I have been put to.

What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?

I always take challenges as stepping stones. There are many challenges faced throughout my life professionally and personally. But I have always been surrounded with right people to overcome those challenges. Individually we may be nothing but together we can always be something.

How do you protect yourself from the problem of brain drain?

When you associate with big purpose individual brain drain does not happen. Individual brain drain happens when we start thinking too much about ourselves. When we see many underprivileged doing better than us helps us to be composed and makes us to be ready to face the next challenge.

Share one habit that you think makes you more productive?

Understanding of big picture holistically and work towards it systematically.

Share one habit that you wish to change in yourself?

Physical fitness routine should be better.

Answer in one line.

One tip to success: Perseverance with ethical means.

One mistake you believe every individual must avoid: There may be many roads to the same destination. Do not get bogged down when one is closed.

One most important lesson that you have learned till now: Teamwork works every time.

Apps you can’t live without: Nothing like that.

Key in workplace: Transparency and work ethics.

If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?

I always live in the present. Hypothetically speaking if the time period is the same probably I would have done the same thing.

Share a quote that inspires you the most: I get inspiration from people’s life and not from quotes.

What makes you excited about Mondays?

Every day is special and same for me. 

According to you how self worth and happiness important in a job?

Self-worth is an output and we need to concentrate on inputs and processes. Of late I get happiness by bringing positive changes in other’s life. It sounds rhetorical but it is true.

Describe some difficult leadership situations and how you managed people through them?

The biggest difficulty in any leadership situation is to make people fully aligned towards a common purpose. Mind block is the biggest hurdle and Conflict resolution through transparent way is the key. Individual supremacy is always not sustainable. 

Do you invest (or have interest) in Startups? 

I mentor and encourage startups. 

What’s your opinion about StartupLanes (www.startuplanes.com)?

Looks comprehensive. Provides end to end service for a start-up.