Keeping 'stock' of business
Managing the largest stock exchange in India is no mean feat.
Satish Naralkar, Managing Director & CEO, NSE.IT
Limited keeps stock of his organization with a keen
eye on business and technology. by Minu Sirsalewala
Managing Director & CEO, NSE.IT Limited is among the few executives who
have moved on the career path from being a CIO to a CEO. An engineer by profession,
he loves sports (now loves to watch it), and believes in his professional motto,
'always a step ahead'.
Naralkar joined NSE as a technology officer in 1994 almost from its inception,
and had been responsible for managing its large IT infrastructure and nationwide
electronic trading facility including the world's largest private interactive
The IT approach
Talking about his days as a CIO at NSE, Naralkar mentioned that NSE is way ahead
of other organizations in its approach towards IT. The CIO is at the top rung
of the ladder and totally involved in all the executive decisions.
He recalls that due to the support of an operational officer who addressed the
day-to-day working of the systems in his team, he could look beyond technology
and focus on the business of the organization. "Delegating to your managers
is an important aspect if you want to have the time to play the role of the
strategist," he says.
He opines that the CIO is the person who is bridging the gap between technology
and business. He adds value to business decisions by prescribing IT solutions
in support of the business, so he has to participate in business strategies.
He has been wearing two capsone of a technologist and the other of a strategist-for
a long time. The issue with most organizations is that they do not use IT optimally
or bring it to the forefront. But today with increased interaction between company
executives at various forums like the CSI and Technology Senate, these issues
have been addressed and discussed, thereby giving it its due importance.
The walk up
Naralkar's walk from being a CIO to a CEO was not smooth and easy. There were
several challenges he facedfrom getting an efficient team in place to
convincing the external world about the credibility of their products and services.
He mentions that it was not difficult to convince customers from an advisory
role as he had the advantage of having the label of being the CIO of a company
(NSE) with a proven IT track.
The major challenge was to take an IT company which was initially just an IT
department to a profitable level of providing services externally.
Today with NSE.IT reporting an annual growth rate of 20-30 percent, Naralkar
had to walk a tightrope to be where it is. He explains that there was a high
risk of the parent company feeling neglected and not being serviced optimally
as they were also catering to external customers who were the real revenue providers.
But a contended Naralkar expressed that these are all learnings and if CIO delegates
optimally, is self-driven, and takes initiatives and time to understand the
business the transition will be effective and efficient.
Minu Sirsalewala can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org