His vision to succeed in life and to ensure the excellence
of information technology in the organisation he works in is what drives Meheriar
Patel, DGM and Head of IT at Globus India. Rishiraj Verma finds out
what makes him tick
of the stereotypical blazer-clad member of the top management, a man dressed
in a floral shirt and corduroy trousers offers you a handshake while he carries
his laptop in the other hand. This is Meheriar Patel for you.
In the beginning
Patel did his schooling at St Sebastians in Chembur, Mumbai, and passed
out in 1982. He believes that anyone, if you put the question to them, will
say that the thing they miss most about their youth are the fun days spent in
school. It was fun for me as well, he smiles.
He didnt have to go through the average Mumbaikars routine of travelling
to college early in the morning in a crowded train and then attending classes
because he did a correspondence course from Mumbai University. I completed
my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology. A two-year full-time
Diploma in Computers from the Informatics Computer Institute followed. The crowning
moment came when he acquired an MBA in IT, which paved the way for his present
position at Globus India.
An impressive resume
So how did IT happen? Says Patel, After a full-time computer course and
an MBA in IT it was obvious that I should go in for an IT-related job.
He says that his career in the IT field started with a few minor projects. He
worked for three years, took a break, and then returned to IT once again. My
first real opportunity was with J P Morgan / ICICI Securities in 1994.
This, he opines, was his favourite work experience simply because
it was the one that brought him back to what he did bestprovide IT to
Various other projects followed. One of them, which he vividly remembers, is
setting up the complete infrastructure for JetAir. Here he worked for about
five and half years. Patel considers the stint a challenge because I had
to literally start from zero. He says that he led the team which set up
the companys data centre, and put policies and procedures in place. He
also says that he was responsible for JetAirs VPN roll-out across 115
locations in India.
Patel says that he is planning to implement CRM, BI, RFID
and e-commerce solutions at Globus. They havent been set up yet,
so they may be considered implementations for the future. However, I consider
them projects in the present because I want them tomorrow
maybe even today.
Time for himself
So what does he like to do when he has a little time for
himself? Read, write, travel.
Give me any book by Abdul
Kalam and Ill make sure
I read it cover-to-cover.
I love putting my thoughts down on paper. He says
that he wants to write a few books related to his vision on humanity and the
like. From his ability to write emerges the need to read. He reveals that A
P J Abdul Kalam is his favourite author. Give me any book by him and Ill
make sure I read it cover-to-cover.
He laughs heartily as he speaks about his liking for soccer and cricket. School
was the time for it, he notes sadly as he has no time for sports anymore.
He now likes to play what he calls mind games. According to him,
these games challenge the mental ability of a human being and force him to think
of things that he hasnt thought of before. This, he asserts, is good training
for thinking out of the box.
There is also a homely side to this man. I like spending time with my
family, especially my wife and daughter.
|Place of birth
||Retired officer from Tata Electricals
||Seven years old
||Married with one daughter
Inspired by the President
His favourite author also happens to be his mentor in life. Kalam brims
over with positivism, and I would like to follow his vision, he declares
as he explains why he puts the President of the country on his mentor list.
Patel points out that Kalam manages to do the one thing that most of us do nothe
makes you ask yourself what you have done for the country and not what the country
has given you.
He connects this thought with everyday life and says, I need to ask myself
what I can do for my organisation instead of what the company can give me.
He also likes the Presidents philosophy of stopping blame-games if the
nation as a whole has to succeed.
Different people follow different schools of thought, and Patel is more of a
self-believer. I am still a God-fearing person, he says. He believes
in the ideology that if ever there is something that can change a mans
destiny it is himself. If you plan well, you can achieve anything in the
world. The word impossible does not exist in his vocabulary.
When it comes to his beliefs related to his work, he thinks that IT shouldnt
be considered merely as a tool to help businesses. Rather, it needs to become
an integral part of the business itself. I think it is slowly happening.
He however adds that there are certain pieces still needed to complete this
When it comes to superstition he says that in matters of life hed call
himself cautious rather than superstitious. The era of the cat-cutting-your-road
is over. We wont develop if we keep believing in those notions.
Patel feels that his MBA in IT and the implementation of infrastructure at JetAir
are his biggest professional achievements till date. Personally, he says he
will consider his ambitions achieved when he realises his dream of becoming
a Group CIO .
Retirement plans: Nothing yet. As a matter of fact, I plan to never
retire. Id rather go on being a consultant or writing books on
IT than be called a retired CTO.
- Film: Lord of the Rings. I like all the
films in this series. Then there is Superman. The film which I can remember
from my childhood is The Bible. It was highly influential.
- Book and author: Ignited Minds: Unleashing
the power within India, and India 2020: A vision of the new millennium,
both by my favourite author, President A P J Abdul Kalam.
- Wish the most in life: I wish to be a
good human being more than anything else. I also want the nation to
progress and secure a good future through IT.
- Miss the most in life: Nothing. I like
what I do and enjoy it as well, so Im very happy. There are no
regrets with the decisions that Ive made in life because Ive
come to realise that, at the end of the day, IT is the life of any organisation.
In a way, I make organisations come alive!
- Love about self: I am confident but not
overtly so. I am also a good team-player.
- Hate about self: I tend to go very quickly
in some things. Id like to pace myself.
- The ideal vacation: Going to Rajasthan,
visiting the beaches of Goa, and spending time in the Kerala monsoon.
Abroad, Id like to visit Europe, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore with
- Most cherished memory: My school days.
I want those days back. There were no worries and life was simple.
- Special talents: I have good people-management
skills, and I think I am a good HR person. If I wasnt in IT Im
sure I would have been an HR head somewhere.
- Other likes: TV programmes, especially
those about travel. The theme tends to relax me.
- Message to fellow IT heads: The key to
success is innovationand innovation alone. Business needs to drive
IT, and not the other way around. We need to implement good processes