The origins of an entrepreneur

D Muthukumar, MD, Origin Techserve Pvt Ltd, shares his journey from HCL Infosystems to establishing his own venture

Published: 03rd November 2020 05:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2020 05:03 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: I look at every project as my first and put the same amount of energy and dedication in executing it. Running a business is no easy feat, and to keep going from strength to strength, one has to have a perpetual thirst for learning and the will to prove their mettle,” says D Muthukumar, managing director of Origin Techserve Pvt Ltd, sharing the takeaways from his thirty-year journey in providing info system services and solutions to people across south India. From starting his career as a trainee in 1989 at HCL Infosystems Ltd to becoming the general manager in the same company, before stepping into entrepreneurship in 2013, Muthukumar’s life has been dotted with knowledge and growth. Recently, in a pandemic-riddled world where businesses across verticals are looking to integrate well-equipped 
virtual workspaces, paving way for more tech-driven business communications, Muthukumar, under the company’s umbrella launched online platforms Origin Services and Origin Digistore, to provide a seamless e-shopping experience and the best after-sales support/service to the company’s customers. In a tete-a-tete, he talks about the company’s growth. 

Excerpts follow.
It’s been seven years since Origin Techserve was established, as a first-generation entrepreneur, how has the journey been?
Before I stepped into the world of entrepreneurship, I spent 22 years learning, understanding and leading at HCL Infosystems. In 2011, when I was given a transfer to Noida to head more assignments, I declined the offer. I wanted to stay here, the place I call home. So, I resigned from my post as the general manager and spent about two years, planning the functions for a new venture. That’s how Origin Techserve was born in 2013. In the first year, the business made around `10 crore and that gave me a huge boost. From system integration, networking to working in audio-visual services, we have been doing it all. While I am a first-generation entrepreneur, my formative experiences in this field helped me understand the pulse and tread in the right direction. Last year, we made a revenue of over `26 crore and are hoping to further our growth.
The pandemic has rattled businesses and entrepreneurial ventures across the globe. How did you tide over the last nine months?
Like any other industry, we too were posed with setbacks. But with support from the government and financial aides, we were able to take care of our overhead costs. We will bounce back by the end of December.

You recently launched two e-platforms. Do you think cloud-based services are the way forward?
Yes, e-platforms have become the go-to for both individuals and businesses and the lockdown has only made this thought stronger in our minds. With clients not being able to visit our office and most of us stuck at home during the lockdown, the idea to launch online platforms to provide people with the solutions and services we offer came about.

How will these portals aid the digital world?
Currently, the portals which specialise in the integration of information technology, audio-visual, surveillance, and telecom services for various corporate and government sectors across south India, have around 1,000 products and services listed. Our goal is to add more products that are innovative and affordable. We want to provide a fine buying experience and the best after-sales support to our customers. Our purpose is to help today’s digital world through state-of-the-art technology and business solution with the help of a carefully curated range of products. The products can be integrated with other various brands and provide ease of use in delivering customisable and innovative solutions.

When do you get your ‘me time’ and how do you unwind?
I work six days a week and we close the office on the second and fourth Saturdays. So, weekends are usually when I unwind. Thanks to an efficient team, they take care of work while I am away. As a company, we ensure everyone gets their ‘me time’ and break so that they can come back to work rejuvenated. The time when I unwind is spent with my family. I ensure I do not check even e-mails and calls unless they are very important and necessary. I spend the day watching movies with the family and having conversations with them. Also, it’s important to have a fitness regime and be consistent with it. I spend at least two hours, from 7 am to 9 am, playing badminton at the court. It keeps me healthy.  
Do you have a role model?
I look up to Ajai Chowdhry and Shiv Nadar of HCL, among others, for inspiration. With HCL being the only company I worked with, the firm and the people associated with it have played a huge role in moulding me in my career in my formative years and guiding me in the right direction. 


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