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Issue of January 2007

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The CIO next door

Sushil Raut, the man handling Operations and Technology at Godrej Infotech talks about important projects and mentors that changed his life. He further opens up on the fun that he misses out on due to lack of time in a conversation with Kushal Shah.

In the simple but cosy office of Godrej Infotech, working from dawn to dusk for about 12 hours a day is a simple and hardworking man—the image of the man next door. He is Sushil Raut, Head - Operations & Technology at Godrej Infotech, a man who believes that power is not everything in life. Jovial by nature and health conscious he would like to work forever, irrespective of his age.

In the beginning

After finishing his schooling from Robert Money Technical High School in Mumbai he did a diploma course from VPM Polytechnic, Thane. After this, he did his hardware course from Government Polytechnic in Mumbai, where he did a course called Advanced Diploma in Computer Software and Systems Analysis (ADCSSA). He finished his education in 1990, after which he started working. His first job was with Atlas Technology Private Limited, Mumbai, where he worked as a customer support engineer, where he learnt a lot about network management and operating systems. After getting adequate work experience with Atlas, he moved on to join Godrej in 1995 and has been working there since then. He had joined Godrej as senior officer for network support. Moving from that position he crossed different levels of the organisational hierarchy to become the Head of IT infrastructure.

Working with Godrej he has learnt a lot about IT and management. Counting his successes, he has won individual performance awards from 1995 to 1998 for three consecutive years, which speaks for itself about his abilities. Apart from his corporate success, during his academic days he won several awards for athletics.

Life at Godrej

Heading the technology and operations at Godrej Infotech, Sushil has seen many ups and downs. He has worked on various projects throughout his tenure at Godrej. Pointing out to major projects, he shortlisted two, which are close to his heart. One of them involved Godrej migration from copper to fibre back in 1999. His current project is that of implementing Wi-Fi across Godrej. After working for Godrej for 11 years, he would like to see himself as an entrepreneur five years down the line. That’s his dream. Though he might still prefer to be working at Godrej after a few years.

Outside Godrej

His life took several turns. There are some key people who helped him realise his goals. In school and college, he used to be a prankster. One of the incidents, that changed his life was his sister's marriage, that was when he gained a sense of responsibility.

When you have to work for 12 hours a day and do various other activities apart from regular office work your fitness plays a crucial role in keeping you on your toes. Keeping that in mind Sushil Raut is a health conscious. He loves running and exercising to keep his body fit. He makes a point that he is taking care of his health despite his busy schedule. His typical day starts with exercise followed by yoga after which he has to play a role of the father, which he does by dropping his children to school. He is just another ordinary man outside his cabin. He is fond of playing badminton and chess, who also loves to swim.

He calls himself a social person when he is not in office. He cherishes being with friends and family, in fact he cannot live without them. Whenever he gets some time away from work, he will make a point to meet his loved ones and have a good time. He enjoys listening to good music but due to his busy schedule he is not getting sufficient time for this passion. He is an outgoing person who loves to go out for trekking and excursions. He is fond of trekking but misses it due to lack of time. He does travel but mostly for work. Due to lack of time he cannot get time to meet his friends and family. When he is free, he likes to go for a good play to relax with his friends. He likes to go for a picnic with his kids and play with them for hours.

Fact File
Birth Date : 25th June at Alibaug
Age : 38
Family : He has three siblings, two sisters and a brother.
His father was a government employee and mother a housewife.
He married a Christian girl in 1994.
He has two children, a girl and a boy.
Both are still in school.

The Turning Points

When you have the right attitude you will never face any problems and that is the theme of my life. He relate this to water. Water is strong, it can go anywhere at any time; it is irresistible in the sense that people can't live without it.

Some events or people can change your life completely. Some of those changes make you a complete person. This man has had several such incidents in his life because of which his life took a turn. There are some key people who helped him realise his goals. In his school and college, he used to be a complete prankster. One of the incidents, which changed his life, was when his sister got married, that was the time when he got a sense of responsibility.

He began working immediately after his education. It was only after joining Godrej that his vision for life changed. In Godrej he met Pradeep Kapoor, then the General Manager who went on to become CEO of Godrej Infotech and currently is the CEO of Tandon Information Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Kapoor not only changed the objective of Raut’s life but also his career by teaching him how to achieve goals and survive in the worst situations. Raut considers Kapoor to be his mentor.

Certain people can change the way you look at life. One such person for Raut is Swami Anand from Harihareshwar who gave him a new meaning to his life with few spiritual lessons that made him calmer and compose person.

Thought for Life

He stresses on the right attitude. “When you have the right attitude you will never have any problems and that is exactly the theme of my life,” says Raut. He is a person who is spiritually inclined and sees life from different perspectives. He wants to be like water. He says, “Water is strong, it can go anywhere any time, it is irresistible in the sense that people can’t live without it.”

A few personal favourites and more....
  • Message to fellow IT heads:
    The business mapping with a cost effective solution and retention of skilled manpower is the biggest challenge and to solve that problem we need to build better human relationships. We have to secure our network perimeter.
  • How would you rate yourself on the scale of 1-10 as an IT head:
    I would rate myself seven on ten.
    I still have a long way to go before
    I call myself perfect.
  • Music: I like listening to Indian classical music. Sometimes I listen to a few good rhythms.
  • Favourite Movie: I like good comedy movies. Padosan is my favourite and amongst current ones I like Hera Pheri and both the Munnabhai movies.
  • Favourite Book and Author: I like books by Dale Carnegie, they are inspiring. One of the best books which I have read is How To Win Friends And Influence People.
  • Favourite Colour: I like pink and green the most.
  • Miss the most in life: I wish that my mother's health was a little better.
  • Wish the most in life: I don't believe in having more power.
    I would rather have more friends.
    I would even like to have a bungalow in Mumbai for my parents.
  • Love about yourself: I love myself as a whole. If I have to point out one good quality of mine then I would say that it would be my ability to mix with all types of people.
  • Hate about yourself: Sometimes I talk a lot.
  • Favourite vacation spot: I love Singapore as far as foreign destinations are concerned. Talking about India, I like Kashmir. I wish to go for a holiday in Switzerland.
  • Retirement Plans: I would never retire in life. As long as I can stand on my feet, I will keep working. I will do so to keep myself active and would not make myself dependant on anyone.
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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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