Scaling Up Starts with Looking In
October 21, 2015
Case categories include: Executive Development Finance Leadership
This case study features Rajesh C. Subramaniam, CEO & Founder of embedUR systems. In 2014, Rajesh was feeling limited in his ability to scale his business and decided to use an Alliance meeting to address the problem. The particular meeting he chose was his Focus Executive presentation, an opportunity that the Alliance provides all members on an ongoing basis. The Focus Executive usually describes an issue that he or she is facing and, in turn, the group shares candid feedback and insights as well as real-life experiences. For his presentation, Rajesh decided to take a slightly different approach: he used the opportunity to question openly how he himself contributed as a limiting factor to his business’s growth.
“I prepared a presentation that was designed to identify, and present to the group, what was blocking growth. And then asked: am I part of that problem or not?” Rajesh explained. To get to the core truth, he presented a 5-slide deck called “S-C-A-L-E” whose slides corresponded to:
Security: He reviewed and listed all of his insecurities.
Convergence: He listed specifically what was limiting him from converging on big decisions.
Acquisition: He explored how a potential buyer could liberate certain weights.
Leverage: He identified the available leverage he had to make an acquisition or investment happen.
End-Game: He compared all possible actions and considered the end-game.
Through this exercise, Rajesh identified a host of insecurities that were preoccupying him from making bold decisions to scale his business. Over the next year he took action. He did things like solidify financial planning for his children’s education and his family. He solidified his personal balance sheet and made some investments from drawing on the retained earning and dividends. Quite quickly, he noticed his decision-making capacity improving. Over the next year, Rajesh made some key hires and decisive tactical business decisions that started paying extreme dividends. In 2015, his revenue targets exceeded embedUR systems’ stated goal by 40%. When Rajesh was called back as the Focus Executive, he returned to his original “S-C-A-L-E” presentation and described the personal and business changes he had made, along with their results. “Members of the group were blown away,” he said.