Rajesh Sinha – Great Indian Entrepreneur 2020-2021
Chosen as a Great Indian Entrepreneur by WCRCLEADERS ASIA, Rajesh Sinha of Fulcrum Digital is a true maverick entrepreneur with a vision to transform the digital space through innovative information technology.
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
Twenty of my 26 years of work experience have been with Fulcrum. During this time, I have seen the company go through various stages of transformation, all of which have required an evolved level of decision making. In the first 5 years of making Fulcrum, my decisions were based on emotions, vision, intuition, people and feelings, that reflected a perfect balance of left-brain and right-brain conundrum. I was emotionally attached to the idea of the company’s ecosystem – business, processes, stakeholders and employees. With time, I realized the true value of data and facts. So, Fulcrum’s next 15 years of decision making became influenced more by data, facts and analysis. Objective decision making leads to sound and sustainable decision making, eventually making customers confident of their partners. Hence, it was necessary to move decision-making towards right facts, figures, analysis and validations and now, we are fully live with integrated system of SAP – HANA cloud, Salesforce, Atlassian-Jira, and HR system generating metrics for high performing company. Above all, today, our CEO’s KRAs/KPIs are mapped that of to every level associate’s performance mapped through a metrics/data-based system.
An accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
FulcrumOne, Fulcrum’s own business platform, and other platforms developed for specific industries are the most valuable accomplishments of my career. Companies thriving in the medium range with $100 million to $1 billion in revenue are still struggling with old legacy systems. There are few solution providers in the market who provide technologies tailor-made to the customer’s needs, but do so at a prohibitive cost. Considering this struggle of mid-size companies, we developed the FulcrumOne platform, a SaaS platform which manages the core business helping companies compete with leaders of their industry by integrating the latest digital transformation systems to accelerate their business transformation journeys through our one platform approach to roll out multiple industry functions.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
We believe in integrating our business strategy with societal needs; thus, developed a framework to bring our food industry platforms to the market which can help numerous organizations improve their process of providing meals to children across the globe. Our platforms empower parents to track their children’s dietary requirements through customized meal planning, and track improvements. We have adopted a similar approach for integration with hospitals to control and monitor the dietary needs of patients. This way, we maintain the equilibrium of our business revenues and societal upliftment. Additionally, we have also brought these platforms to many non-profit organizations who utilize these solutions without any cost. While we are dedicated to providing customer value through our digital offerings, we are also committed to creating value in lives of the less privileged sections of the society in all the communities that we operate in. Our efforts are primarily focused on holistic education towards which we have collaborated with partners committed to this cause, like Pune City Connect (PCC) and DOMAN International. Fulcrum Digital’s association with Doman International is committed to help specially abled children achieve complete wellness and empower parents for their overall development. In addition we have also adopted a village in Maharashtra, India. Fulcrum Foundation ensures the well-being of the families residing in the village.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
I am a marathoner and I just completed my 5th marathon. I look at life more like a marathon, and less as a sprint race where you increase your pace gradually, constantly improve yourself, and don’t give up without a fight. In a marathon, there’s a term called ‘hitting the wall’ which means you get completely exhausted after a certain point of running continuously for miles. Similarly, over the last 21 years of Fulcrum, we have witnessed two global recessions (hitting a wall) but, we always came out as winners whereas many companies vanished during this period. I am a person with strong grit and determination who believes hard work is necessary to get the job done. I always focus on developing good habits and putting all my hard work in the right direction with right choices. That’s what keeps me ahead.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
Instead of simply donating to a charity organization, we have identified and adopted a village from the interior areas of Maharashtra. Many of our employees have roots in these villages, hence through our employees’ involvement, we could identify families in need of resources, support and education. Being a legacy ambassador to Doman International, I have tried my best to support society by making efforts to resolve pressing issues. I am also a part of the Board of Directors for Pune City Connect (PCC) where we drive efforts for grassroot transformation through creating opportunities for PCC.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
Success isn’t what you achieve, it’s defined by the number of lives that you have influenced or are influencing with your contribution to the world with your personal development, growth and achievements. As every teacher’s success is defined by how successful their students become, every entrepreneur/leader’s success is defined by how satisfied their customers, stakeholders or employees are. Speaking at events, writing books and interacting with the world is certainly a great way to influence a larger audience. For me at Fulcrum Digital, my customer and customers’ customers’; employee and employees’ families’ success matter the most. If they are successful in achieving their goals, then in turn, I can say I am successful. Generating more revenue for our customers and making their customers happy, results in happier customers for us. Hence, we must be married to our customers’ success, unleashing our employees’ true potential.
For me at Fulcrum Digital, my customer and customers’ customers’; employee and employees’ families’ success matter the most.
If they are successful in achieving their goals, then in turn, I can say I am successful. Generating more revenue for our customers and making their customers happy, results in happier customers for us. Hence, we must be married to our customers’ success, unleashing their true potential.
Tell us about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
The FulcrumOne platform has been conceived keeping our customers in mind evaluating next-generation solutions that are better, faster, smarter and less expensive. For mid-size companies, reimagining their trans-formation with currently available expensive technologies or self-sufficient transformation solutions is a rough task. So, we came up with a customizable mature platform that can be integrated as per each organization’s unique requirements, instead of a mammoth cost prohibitive new platform for their scale requirement. Our platform can be customized on an individual basis, reducing the launch time and making it cost-effective, giving our customer the opportunity to scale digital integrations as per their requirement.
We recently utilized the FulcrumOne platform with one of our clients allowing them to go live within 8 weeks’ time with a more robust and less expensive system instead of completely developing a newer system which would have taken them significantly longer. We are helping our customers scale is revenues and size with exponential growth, in turn helping us grow our business revenues.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
Authenticity – I have come to the conclusion, after leading Fulcrum for 20 years that, undoubtedly, the more authentic you are, the more you will achieve. It’s the inevitable key to anybody’s success! As a leader, you must be authentic about your vision, plans, people, customer and stakeholders as it keeps you connected with your soul, making you balance the left-brain / right brain conundrum. Leadership is all about making decisions with a combination of facts and emotions no matter what the results are – right or wrong.
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has / can contribute for the same?
Earlier, all humans needed to survive was food and shelter. But now, as we move ahead in this global digital world, our necessities have altered towards freedom of speech, finances, and people. Everyone needs to work in collaboration for freedom for all necessary things. Our industry and specifically Fulcrum Digital have really moved the needle in that direction.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
I would love to create an integrated global delivery platform catering to every industry. In today’s world, it has become hard to align people with your customer satisfaction as we are suffering from skill scarcity, geographical disparity and pace of change. True potential of the world can only be unleashed if we can manage to pull off a global open platform for skill development without any hurdles, and with velocity.
API Economy – No one can master everything! Some people are good at some things, and some at some others. So, openness to integrate each other’s platforms is key for the future. Initially, companies like Apple, Windows had a very closed ecosystem, but now they are changing too; by willing to integrate their work with everything else and that gives them the edge to thrive across the globe. API economy, freedom of open platforms and power of API dependency give a lot of power to the current technology industry.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
I am keen on letting go of my entrepreneurship and eventually migrating into mentorship. As a leader, you must let go of control, because control really needs to be translated quickly into robust processes, systems, KPIs and KRAs for the growth of your success, and ability to replicate successes. You need to promote the culture of empowerment to mentor others to be better leaders.
Who do you owe your success to?
It’s everyone who has said ‘no’ to me. I certainly owe them my success. Because they said no to me, I was able to get acquainted with defeat, rejection and failure. What’s a success story if it doesn’t include your defeats, rejections and failures? On the other hand, part of my success goes to my immediate family. I believe if you don’t have a happy and supportive family, you can’t flourish. I also believe that success is partly owed to a company you grow with. One’s intelligence is the median of intelligence of the people surrounding you. For me, it started with my roots – my family, siblings, friends that were all part of my upbringing and childhood. To summarize, 60% of my success is owed to the people who have said ‘no’ to me, provoked me to turn these rejections into acceptance and the remaining 40% is divided amongst all the others.
Best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is the view of New York City Skyline from my US Office!
On a serious note, it’s the people that I come across – different perspectives and success stories that everyone brings to the table.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
There are fundamental traits that ideal entrepreneurs/leaders should possess.
About Rajesh Sinha:
Chairman, Fulcrum Digital
1. Rajesh Sinha is the founder and CEO of Fulcrum Digital.
2. Under his aegis, Fulcrum diversified its industry-specific offerings and expanded its operations to include UK, APAC and South America.
3. The cloud product he envisioned for the Higher Education sector won several awards for supporting next generation collaborative learning.
4. His idea of building a culinary ERP software that takes care of end-to-end supply chain management is already a success.
5. Rajesh was also instrumental in helping team Fulcrum develop a portal framework for the BFSI sector.
6. As a consistent innovator, he also made a mark in the healthcare sector as he conceptualized an information platform that provides personalized data at the moment of care. The innovation is now helping caregivers deliver better experience to the patients.
7. In 2015, Ernst & Young announced that Rajesh Sinha, founder and CEO of Fulcrum Worldwide, is a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015.
8. Under his thought leadership, Fulcrum was recognized as one of the best employers by the DQ TOP 20 in 2008, 2011 and 2012, and as the fastest growing company by Inc. Magazine.
9. He received the Fast 50 Asian American Businesses Award for “demonstrating resilience and performance with excellence.”
10. Rajesh is on the board of advisors for consortiums in US and Europe. From advising CEOs, CTOs and CXOs on the trends such as Big Data and Mobile strategies to mentoring students of HE institutions on entrepreneurship, he reaches out to the entire ecosystem of present and future thought leaders through conferences and workshops.
11. He’s frequently invited as a keynote speaker and presenter at global events such as Liferay Symposiums, EUNIS, NASSCOM sessions, and SOA symposiums. Rajesh also delivers talks pertaining to emerging economies and business challenges.
12. Fulcrum Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, is a cause led by him. It enables underprivileged kids to get continuous access to education and employability. He helps brain- injured children and their parents worldwide by promoting lectures, books, and materials. Rajesh was given “Leonardo da Vinci” award by The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for his efforts to serve brain-injured children.
13. Rajesh lives with his wife and son in NJ, USA. He is an avid runner and encourages his employees to lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a work-life balance.