Manu Jolly – India’s Inspirational Leader 2020
Selected as WCRCLEADERS, India’s Inspirational Leaders in Education, Manu Jolly of Digiperform has created a niche in the education of Digital Marketing through innovative and growth oriented methods.
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
I have been working since the last 20 years and contributed at various levels and various industries. I started my career with Citibank in 1999 but soon moved on to fulfill my entrepreneurial ambition. I began with Complanet, which was into retailing & leasing computers. That marked my entry into the IT/ITES space. In 2002, I started a BPO named, KNM Services that went on to become the No.1 payments processing BPO in India. It was in the year 2007 that 3i Infotech Ltd. acquired this company, which was a major milestone in my entrepreneurial journey. Post this, I went on to become the India-Head – Banking and Financial Services at Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd. It was at this time, that I developed an interest in digital marketing and hence, conceptualized the idea of this new venture, Mobiz Digital.
In 2013, I started this company and it was then, in the year 2014 that I came up with Digiperform. My intent and desire to train people in the trending stream of digital marketing and bridge the gap that exists between learners and training providers, encouraged me to come up with Digiperform. My decision making has always been influenced by current and my perception of future market conditions. I’m driven by the market.
A project or an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Getting into the education business without any previous knowledge or experience with Digiperform and then taking it to its current No. 1 position in the country with my co-founder Vaibhav Vats in 5 years was no doubt the biggest achievement in my career, more so because it came as second inning after selling my last company to the ICICI group and being hugely successful in the first one.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
After selling off my last business, I felt indebted and responsible towards the world in general. I wanted to give back. I had many options in terms of starting again. I even invested in a few start-ups but finally joined Digiperform for the sole reason that when we educate people and teach them skills which gives them a career or an escalation in their career, a better life ..there is nothing better than that. When you teach someone how to earn their bread, it’s much better than just handing over that bread. So CSR is embedded in our systems. To add, we teach several students for free and give scholarships to many.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
Karma, Our life is a balance sheet, if we create more assets by doing good deeds than liabilities we will always be in Green. Be thankful, Consume less and give more!
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
I work closely with a foundation that provides food to the needy. I also work with a few organizations on Women Empowerment and work with my daughter on her fight against bullying with her initiative www.antibullyingsquad.com
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
I love the phrase that my grandfather once told me “Nothing Succeeds like Success” The term has changed definition in my mind over the last 2 decades. Initially it was more towards material achievements but now it’s more towards bringing a change. I guess that’s what you call ageing ☺Success for me is winning the small daily, weekly, monthly battles in business, eventually you will win the WAR. I am very competitive and I want to win every small battle. Even when I loose, I want to get back and win…So yes, I fared pretty well.
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less. Tell me about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
The whole idea of Digiperform is to provide quality higher education that is faster, smarter and less expensive. We created a cloud based Learning System that students can log into and get the best trainers to train them, Our courses are short term and enable people to get jobs, upgrade their jobs or do better business in 3-6 months unlike the typical degree programs that take years and still not make them employable.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
If one can create a team where the team players are better than the leader himself, that team can never fail. If the leader is the best person in the team, the team will fail. So, the most significant aspect of leadership is team building.
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has/can contribute for the same?
I believe an empowered society is one where every person, irrespective of where he comes from gets a chance to make it big. In an empowered society, new millionaires are made everyday.
Digital Marketing is hugely important in the success on any business these days. We train people and businesses in Digital Marketing giving them a fair chance to be able to compete well and make a mark for themselves.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
I want to retain the fact that our industry is dynamic and upgrades itself very quickly to stay relevant. I want to change the fact that it is fragmented with smaller players most of who are not able to provide quality education and just focus on short term profits at the expense of the learners.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
Your ego !! I don’t have any left anymore.
Whom do you owe your success to?
I owe my success to my parents who raised me teaching the value of ethics in life, ethics in business, my uncle who taught me the value of relationships, my wife who taught me the value of money, my brother who taught me the value on honesty & hard work , my daughter who taught me the value of being kind and my co-founder Vaibhav who taught me how to be selfless
Best thing about your job?
Every moment I spend in my job is towards changing lives of people we train for the better. It gives me immense satisfaction to be able to do that.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
Entrepreneurship is a way of life and it means taking responsibility not only for your actions but actions of others around you. Enjoy the journey of entrepreneurship and don’t just focus on the end results.