Muthiah V.
Consultant, Spencer Stuart
Muthiah Venkateswaran is a consultant based in Spencer Stuart’s Bangalore office. He is a member of the Technology, Media & Telecommunications and Digital practices. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Muthiah was an associate principal with McKinsey & Company, where he served clients across the life sciences, high tech, private equity, retail and automotive industries, consulting on topics such as leadership development, operations transformation and strategy. Previously, Muthiah was with Texas Instruments and based in Dallas and Houston. His work spanned R&D, new product development, technology transfer, cost reduction and supplier development, resulting in multiple U.S. patents.

3 secrets to effective hiring and team building

  1. Set the bar high on what it will take to be part of your team. When in doubt… don’t hire! Own and be involved. Do not outsource hiring decisions to others.  Avoid biases and be fact-based in your decisions (e.g., don’t be swayed by pedigree of education or company).
  2. Culture.Culture.Culture: Spend time to articulate the organization’s culture. Ask yourself the question “Will I enjoy working with this person?”  Find different ways to test for culture fit during interviews. Over time, ensure the culture is consistent with your intent.
  3. Continue to raise the game: Stretch people in the organization. Create a culture of open, transparent feedback. You hired the best, the best thing you can do is to tell them when they are not meeting expectations so they have a chance to raise their game.  Don’t shy away from making tough calls on people when required.

 

The 3 most important qualities an entrepreneur should have

  1. Be courageous and aspirational:   In  your thinking and what you are setting as objectives. Be vocal about the purpose and what you believe in. Articulate the same with passion so that the others can understand and feel the same!
  2. Encourage learning, innovation and experimentation. Think how you can encourage experimentation and learning from the same. “Fail fast and learn” will go a long way in shaping new things
  3. Be authentic! Be the role model! It is important to learn from others but not try to “be” someone else.  Know your strengths and play to the same.  You will set the tone for the organization with “consistent” role modeling (e.g., how you react when things do not go as expected when you are in an experimentation mode will boost or hinder the same)

 

Why did you choose to be a part of Kstart ecosystem?

I am personally excited about startups and the impact they are starting to have on our day to day lives.  I believe, in India, we have just scratched the surface and a lot more new ideas and innovations are yet to come.  The Kalaari team has been key to helping many entrepreneurs be successful. I have been working closely with Vani and helped some of Kalaari’s portfolio companies.  When I heard of the vision of Kstart and how it is being conceived, it sounded like very novel and a setup for high impact.  I am very excited to be part of the Kstart ecosystem and really looking forward to creating significant impact.

 

The one thing you wish you had known when you were 25

“Follow your passion, things will work out”.  Retrospectively, I am very happy to have done what I wanted to do. I wish I had spent less time planning and thinking through scenarios.

 

Books you’d recommend

More than books, I spend most of my time reading blogs, news feeds and listening to TED talks

Here are 4 of my favorite TED talks:

 

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