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Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read (Part 2)

Posted on Thursday, Jun 17th 2010

SM: That is an interesting parallel to how Zoho is operated. They have a very large operation in Chennai, India. They recruit high school grads and train them in their own operations. It is great because unless these kids get into one of the top colleges in India, they are not going to learn much. Zoho’s thesis is that if they train high school grads in their own six- to nine-month program, then the students are much better prepared to be successful employees than they would be going to a lesser college.

GR: That is very similar to my path. I am impatient at times. I have a sense of urgency about what I do. For me, going to university was not the ticket. I wanted to start doing rather than learning. What I found throughout my career is that I have been fortunate to have a number of mentors who have been in that position for a length of time and have really taken me on and helped me.

SM: What was the next major development after you moved over to the mainframe software developer in 1989?

GR: That was the first time I moved to the business side of the house versus the tactical or engineering side. I gained a tremendous understanding of the mechanics of selling software, managing channel partners, and dealing with different countries and cultures around the world. I was responsible for a number of different countries where the company had channel partner organizations rather than its own offices. Those were in countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey. I also had Latin American countries, including Venezuela.

At the time I was 23 years old, and I was flying around the world managing these channel partners and helping them hit revenue targets for our corporation. I was having the time of my life. I was getting paid well, learning, enjoying what I was doing, and I had a tremendous manager. I learned how to be a software vendor at that point.

I stayed there for a few years, and then I realized that one day I was going to want to run a software company. I started to map things out in my head and realized that I needed to get experience in as many different functional aspects of running a software company as I could. That is why I decided I needed to be a direct salesperson for some time. I did sales for a number of years before joining a startup where I opened the UK operations for an American company. I ran sales and marketing for that organization for three years.

A lot of the philosophies that I still have today involve passion about what you do. It is about working hard and leading the organization by example. We expect a lot of our employees, especially in a startup, to do a number of jobs. People tend to follow you much more in that case.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read
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