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Sathish Krishnan (Head- Service planning and Business information, Tata Sky) speaks about the process of decision making that KIAMS imbues in its student managers

Posted on: July 1, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo years into a budding career in the manufacturing industry with Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited (KOEL), Sathish Krishnan took a decision that was frowned upon even by the most enterprising of his friends. The Telecom Industry in 2002 was just about finding its feet, and it made little sense in shifting into a fledgling Bharti Airtel. But if there was one thing that Sathish had learnt pretty early in life, it was to back his instincts while looking out for newer horizons.

“It was the ability to back myself as well as the grooming at KIAMS,” recalls Sathish Krishnan, looking back on what drove him to take calculated risks in those days. “The spirit was highly competitive at KIAMS. Each one of us, from the batch of 1998-2000 (first batch), came to know his or her strengths. The fierce competition gave us the confidence to back ourselves, and provided an excellent opportunity to learn and imbibe as a team. I still remember the Management Accounting tests that Dr. Niranjan Swain would dole out at short notice, taking us completely by surprise. The interesting and challenging case study discussions with Dr. V.S. Pai exposed us to the limitations of our thought process and the ability to think deeper and deep dive. I would say that every time I’ve made a career decision to move from one organisation to another, I’ve always dug deep into my KIAMS tenure and revisited the process of decision making and the risk taking ability inculcated there. It has certainly held me in very good stead.”

The success story of Bharti Airtel has been the focus of studies at the global level. Appropriate to say that Sathish Krishnan caught the fast lane to career growth. And then, just when it seemed that he was in Airtel for good, Sathish yet again broke the mould, shifting to an organisation that was yet to take off!

“It was a simple question of faith – faith in one’s ability, knowledge, and background. When I moved out from Airtel in April 2006, even the staunchest of my supporters were shaken. Yet we launched the company by August 2006, and 7 years down the line, that unknown company – Tata Sky – is one of the biggest names in the Pay TV Industry.”

Today, Sathish Krishnan sits pretty high up the hierarchy of Tata Sky, as Head of Service Planning and Business Information. His team provides critical support to the Customer Operations Pan-India; from Financial Planning to Information required to run business on a day-to-day basis. Infact, Sathish closely works with the Chief Customer Operations Officer at Tata Sky.

“Information/ Intelligence about own business is still a key to decision-making; except that the tools and approach that makes this available (in the shortest possible time) makes all the difference to the business.  The tools have changed over a period of time, irrespective whether information is made available in a spreadsheet, or in the form of data warehousing.”

Sathish Krishnan believes that due to the massive number of players in the Telecom industry today, telecom bigwigs are cramped for maneuverability. He advises the youngsters at KIAMS that since the opportunities in the Telecom are limited now, those targeting Telecom companies would do well to build Trust, take Ownership for results, and help build Accountability across the organisation. So there’s still a lot of promise in the sector if used appropriately.

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