Jessie Paul, who quit Infosys to join Quintant as its global marketing head, explains why the BSP concept she is popularising will create more jobs in India|
Bangalore: Jessie Paul, who was till recently the global brand manager of Infosys Technologies (www.infosys.com), has joined Quintant Corp (www.quintant.com), India's first business services provisioning (BSP) company, as its global marketing head.
Her resignation from Infosys (), preceded and followed by others, raised many an eyebrow. Infosys is after all a blue chip company of the country.
So, what inspired her to join a start-up venture, leaving a thriving empire like Infosys? Paul shares her views in this exclusive interview. Excerpts:
What is your primary role in the new company?
I will be responsible for building awareness for the BSP concept, popularising the same internationally, and managing all aspects of the Quintant brand. In keeping with the global delivery model adopted by the business, I will work with local marketing teams based out of the US and Europe.
Since when were you interested in BPO [business process outsourcing] and BSP?
I feel that IT is nothing but BPO. As an outsourcing, it's not a new subject to me. I was a brand expert in Infosys, and I can say that we used to outsource public relations service from an agency, which means we had outsourced one particular service. I realised the real potential of BPO only in February 2003, when I attended Nasscom's BPO Summit, held in Mumbai.
You believe that BSP is the next big wave in IT. So what are the challenges Quintant has to face in the global market?
I feel that convincing people [clients] and building intellectual capital and putting in place the marketing infrastructure are the key challenges. Quintant will be the lighthouse in the BSP space, and it will be exciting to build it grounds-up. It is the first BSP company in India.
What is your action plan or agenda for the next six months?
I need to set things in the right place. They include optimising people processes, building teams and creating awareness. We are already in the process.
What are the areas [verticals] Quintant is focusing on?
We are focusing on the banking and finance markets in Canada, the US, the UK and Germany. Asia Pacific is not our thrust area, at least in the initial stage.
Quintant was launched in March 2003. Do you have any clients right now?
No, we don't have any. We aren't even expecting any in the first one year. But we are working on two outsourcing projects - for a big bank in Europe and for a financial company in the US.
As part of your job, will you be in touch with Phaneesh Murthy, who is Quintant's strategic consult and an ex-colleague in Infosys?
Yes, I need to coordinate with local marketing teams based out of the US and Europe.
How did Quintant offer come to you?
It happened six months ago when I was in London. I happened to meet a friend, who is the head of Europe operations for Quintant. He mentioned to me that they are on the lookout for a global marketing head. He said, 'Why don't you think over it?' I replied, 'OK, I will.'
What was your immediate reaction to the offer?
First, I shared this with my husband. Then our family members, including my father-in-law, discussed the matter. They raised some finance-related queries, and I replied. My husband is convinced with the BSP concept and said I should take up the offer.
Has Murthy's association with Quintant influenced you in taking the offer?
Yes, somewhat. In fact, I know most of the people in Quintant, including [president and member of the board] Tiger Ramesh. I know their competency levels; they are experts in their own fields.
When did you finally decide to join?
I made up my mind in June 2003. And I joined on 10 June, after I was relieved from Infosys within a week of submitting my resignation. Infosys is a dream company for many.
What prompted you to quit Infosys or inspired you to take up a job in a start-up company?
Working with Infosys, India's best global services brand, was a tremendous experience. Since I have financial stability, I looked at empowerment and sought to work with an intellectual pool. I have also a desire to be part of the creation of a new industry. I found all these values in Quintant, and, moreover, I like the job profile that was offered to me. The team here has a lot of people who are absolutely top-notch in their chosen fields - whether it be analytics, consulting, operations or straight-through-processing, and it is always a privilege to work with experts.
How did you present this matter to the Infosys management?
I met [chief mentor N R] Narayanamurthy and [CEO, president and managing director] Nandan [Nilekani] while leaving Infosys. In fact, they did not ask me anything, but encouraged me for career growth. Narayanamurthy asked me why I want to quit? I respect him a lot. I told him that I am getting a good position and will lead the BSP concept and, moreover, I will create jobs in India. He is absolutely encouraging, and mentioned that the concept will work out and Quintant will definitely be a successful company. He is a good person and always encourages someone creating jobs in India.
Did you get any assurance from Infosys?
Yes, Narayanamurthy Murthy was kind enough to say that if I want to rejoin Infosys I will always be welcomed.
It's almost a month now since you joined Quintant. Did you ever regret your decision?
No, I had never thought that I had taken a wrong decision in joining Quintant. Here, I have a privilege of working with people who have expertise in their own domain areas for more than a decade. For instance, people in Quintant are experts in their own subjects.
Why are people from the marketing division of Infosys leaving (see )?
What is your career ambition?
I want to start an IT company 10 years from now. I have no idea what type of a company it is going to be.