This article was originally published here: Anil Kumar – Co-Founder & CTO of OUCH Inc.
Anil Kumar believes that good leadership and team engagement leads to satisfied customers.
What’s your story?
Initially, the company I worked for aided me in landing a stint in Singtel. Following this, I gained valuable experience in various aspects of IT development, including setting up and running offshore IT development centres, along with heading a start-up company.
The pandemic has led to seismic changes, yet, we were determined to make the best out of it. We decided to embark on a new chapter and did an extensive analysis focused on digital health.
Our intent is to create an ecosystem that allows connection in a seamless and intuitive environment, which led to the development of Ouch.
What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most is that “everything is possible”. You can never acquire enough knowledge for this niche, which means you may get a chance to work on various projects that present you with a chance at learning.
Digital technology is at the forefront of our ever-evolving world – and the possibilities for innovation are infinite. Of course, there is no certainty of the development of future technologies and their impacts, which may not even be positive. But one thing is sure – the future of technology is surely thrilling and I personally cannot wait to witness what’s to come.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
Digital technologies have profoundly changed everyone, starting from childhood. The internet and the means to access it in forms such as tablets and smartphones, aided by social media platforms, have become indispensable in our daily lives.
Despite the pitfalls of technology, we believe technology should improve life and be utilised for the community. Hence, our solution stems from the strong belief that living digitally employs more than just technologies and tools. We incorporated our design to the promise of a more consumer-focused solution that will connect our users in the most convenient way.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
Agility. Following continuous shifts in the landscape, agility is a vital skill, as yesterday’s solutions do not solve tomorrow’s problems. At the heart of being agile is adapting and responding accordingly to the needs of the marketplace, clients and industry. During our design phase, we took feedback to ensure it is robust and intuitive to use.
Collaboration. In our increasingly hyper-connected world, we cannot expect to work in silos. Given the increasingly complex nature of the projects, collaboration helps in diversifying perspectives in ways that benefit everyone. For Ouch, we collaborated closely with the users to further refine our solutions.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Give yourself time to adjust, be patient and never give up trying”, my ex-boss said, passing down his own hard-won wisdom.
Life may be tough as you lack the required skill and experience. However, with willpower, you will make it through to brighter days. Learning to adapt to difficult times allows us to enjoy the fruits of labour. While it may not be how we imagined it to be, we learn and accept the setback. It is then we fully review what went amiss and improve from failure. The setback becomes a valuable lesson, which makes us more resilient.
Who inspires you?
My greatest inspiration would be my ex-boss at Singtel. He came into the office every day with radiant smiles and enthusiasm on his face. He rarely complained about work and always exuded optimism.
Whenever I struggled with a major roadblock, he would always give me exemplary advice and guidance. He involved the team to brainstorm together, identifying the root cause and focusing on resolving conflicts, including aspects which may be seemingly unimportant. This process was reiterated tirelessly till we resolved the entire issue.
I continuously apply this approach throughout my career, and I hope to inspire my fellow colleagues.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
While the pandemic impacted everyone, it also taught us several life lessons. We only realise how much we value things once we lose them. I also remember suddenly needing to manage numerous challenges that came my way.
However, the most painful setback was the sudden loss of my only sister to COVID-19. The news was a huge blow to my family. It was a sobering reminder of how fragile life is and the importance of cherishing loved ones. COVID-19 also taught me to stay resilient and view challenges as opportunities that force me out of my comfort zone.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
While you are young, to allow yourself to explore and try different new things so as to gain as much experiences as you can. It may not be anything great. It can be something as simple as going for a bungee jump.
Everything we do and learn adds on to our experience and the diversity of exposures will allow us to think more objectively and widely which will open up our mind to even more possibilities
How do you unwind?
Donning on my favourite headphones and immersing myself in a mixed genre of English, Punjabi, Spanish or Hindi music helps me to relax, elevate my mood and to clear my mind. It helps stimulate my mind and it has, in fact, enriched me with many inspirations that led to creative solutions for work and personal challenges.
I also enjoy a good read as it grants me an author’s viewpoint. My personal preferences for genre include self-help, biographies and business & technology related material. Books that help me keep abreast with industry trends and outlook are also my go-to for browsing material.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
There was indeed a rather enlightening moment when I first started my start-up. It is the mindset change from the corporate top-down approach to striving to become a leader who can build team cohesion and lead them towards a common goal. In fact, I realised this when my team was completely lost during one of our initial progress update meetings.
I immediately made a resolution to change my leadership style. I was fortunate to find the book ‘Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t’ by Simon Sinek, which helped make my transformation much easier and smoother.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Previously, I chanced upon the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey and was drawn to its simple yet transformative principles and strategies.
I’d like to share one of the habits that I personally live by known as “Think Win-Win”. The “Win-Win” mentality drives collaboration among all to achieve success together. It is undoubtedly a powerful mindset as it leverages the strengths of all parties, resulting in unlimited opportunities and perhaps unimaginable final outcomes.
These seven habits continue to play a pivotal role in shaping my career and my personal life as I strive to deliver my best.
Shameless plug for your business:
In OUCH, we are a solution provider with a core focused on:
Sincere Customer satisfaction – We believe in putting our customers’ needs first above others. We begin with listen, analyze, recommend and once there is a mutual consensus, we move on, together.
Building trust – We build trust through the actions we take by offering:
Sincere customer service, Being consistent in everything we do, Being transparent with our delivery
Making it easy – By leveraging on technology, through simplified design and automation, we strive to make things easy for our customers and help them stay competitive and beyond.
How can people connect with you?
Let’s engage and start off with the first part of the journey of putting you live. Next, we like to show you how a seamless ecosystem can benefit clinics in multitude and magnitude of possibilities.
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This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.