We started Mindtree on Aug 18, 1999. Today, we turn 15. I can’t believe how time has flown. On occasions like this, people invariably ask me, why did you people start an enterprise? What were the drivers?
There were three:
We wanted to build a company that would do aspirational work.
We wanted to build a company that would create shared wealth.
Finally, we wanted to build a company that would have a social conscience.
In the hands of 15000+ Mindtree Minds, those dreams have come alive.
We built AADHAR, the unique identity project of the Government of India that will give every Indian a proof-of-identity. Today, half of the Indian population cannot open a bank account because they cannot prove who they are. AADHAR will change that.
Leading airlines of the world use our software that helps 150 million passengers fly safely every year.
We build digital solutions for Fortune 500 companies in consumer products, in hotels and hospitality industries enabling them to provide prompt, personalized services to their customers.
We test and deploy the most sophisticated cloud solutions in the world for leading technology clients.
Our work in big data delivers some astounding results to giant insurance companies. When a super cyclone is about to do a landfall, ahead of it, we can predict where the risks are and the preparedness the insurance company must have to deal with them.
The Bluetooth protocol stack we license goes into millions of devices in the world, from what people wear to work and play to hospital equipment that must be in the right place at the right time.
Mindtree Minds are doing a great job of raising everything we do to an aspirational level.
In 2014, Mindtree crossed $500 Million in revenues, a billion in market cap. This helped us to deliver on the second promise: creating shared wealth for thousands of people around the world.
Our ESOP program gave away 16.67% of the equity through a plan that has seen 1000 times appreciation in the hands of some of our early people.
Our venture capital partners have harvested handsome returns from their investment that has grown up to 50 times in a matter of 15 years.
The investing community has shown great faith in us, not just as people who deliver sustainable returns, but also as people whose governance systems and standards are among the best in the world.
Mindtree has turned out to be a role model among companies when it comes to building a business with a social conscience. We embraced the idea when it wasn’t fashionable or legally mandated.
Mindtree Minds routinely use Mindtree as a platform to make a difference to the many causes they believe in, and Mindtree Foundation has outreach programs that impact education, disability and livelihood.
In 2013, we launched I Got Garbage, a software platform that treats every ragpicker as an entrepreneur and helps him connect efficiently with an eco-system to create wealth out of waste. It has doubled the income potential of more than 5000 ragpickers in Bangalore City.
Those who saw Tomorrow
Looking back, the tree has grown well: it is bearing fruit and giving its bounty to all who come to it. But the tree didn’t root deep and grow tall without bracing storms. We saw the effect of the 9/11 attacks when we were just a 500-people company. We saw two global economic downturns. We saw at least one major moment of truth when an acquisition we made went horribly wrong. But, through it all, we held together, and we came out stronger.
Through the ups and downs, there have been two forces supporting us: our first VCs and our first set of customers.
Without Walden and Global Technology Ventures, we would have packed up a long time ago. In stormy nights, they kept the faith. They told us to focus on building value for our customers and our people even when things were falling apart in the world. Global Technology Ventures remains invested in us 15 years after putting their money in Mindtree. By any global standard, it is a great record.
Had it not been for a set of angel customers who bought into the idea of Mindtree when the tree was just a sapling, we wouldn’t be here today. Avis, Franklin Templeton, Unilever, Volvo and AIG chose us as their partner when we had no verticals, no platforms, no IP. What did they see in us? They say, we were not just technologists—we have a human face. They say, they like our culture.
Today, we are entrusted with large-scale transformative IT projects for companies around the world in areas of software development, ERP, application maintenance, testing and infrastructure management. Our customers like our culture but today, they also want us to be expertise-driven so that we can take up even bigger challenges for them. We are shifting from being a culture-led company to one that is expertise-led and culture-backed.
We are transforming Mindtree.
In the last couple of years, we have started the shift; it is already showing results. We have engaged with BAIN to build a vision for a billion dollar-company that is sharply vertical. We have rebranded Mindtree with help from Siegel and Gale. With help from Korn Ferry, we have looked at the kind of leadership qualities we must build. We have shuffled our top deck, we put some of our best leaders in charge of transformation and we have attracted some of the best talent from the industry.
In anticipation of the future, we are investing in people, labs, IP platforms and offices.
Look at our Mindtree Gainesville and our Mindtree Redmond Centers. Look at our establishments in UK, Europe and Dubai and Singapore and Australia.
Look at the Digital Pumpkin, our latest lab, where leading companies come to co-create unusual value for their customers by imagining tomorrow.
We are creating a massive campus coming up at Bhubaneswar that will experiment with new ways of looking at learning and work in the software world.
In preparation for the future, we have embraced a new set of values that bind every Mindtree Mind: Collaborative Spirit. Unrelenting Dedication. Expert Thinking.
Where do we go from here?
We are setting our eyes on Mindtree 2020.
But, you might ask, isn’t that a long time away?
If fifteen years have taken wings in the blink of an eye; what is another six years?
We are on our path to becoming a billion-dollar enterprise. Of course we will get there. But that is not what it is all about. The question is, how are we going to get there? What will we be remembered for?
Mindtree of 2020 will a memorable company. Four things will define us in the future:
As we step into that Future, many things about us will change. What however will not change is our openness, our respect for the individual, our brand of humble leadership and finally, our idea of integrity. With that, Welcome to Possible!