Nova Scotia Alumnus: Taking the Cabot Trail to India
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
ConnectNS network member Venkatesh Thyagarajan has never swayed far from the spirit of Nova Scotia, even while at the forefront of the ever expanding IT service industry from his offices in Kochi, India. Venkatesh is the CEO of what has been quintessentially named Cabot Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Building foundations in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s tight-knit business and education communities offer prime opportunities for innovative minds to network, learn, and develop their ideas – an environment that set the stage for Venkatesh and Cabot Technology Solutions. After living in Winnipeg and later the United States, positions with DMR Canada for he and his wife allowed the IT professional to relocate to Halifax in 2001. He further developed his business acumen pursuing his MBA in Management Consulting at Saint Mary’s University and working with the Halifax Port Authority.
Venkatesh’s Haligonian colleague Shibu Basheer formed Cabot in 2006 to capitalize on a shortage of professionals offering specialized IT consulting services. He then brought the company to India to run its operations, but ensured it continued to carry the namesake of Nova Scotia’s most famous trail as homage to where it was founded.
In 2009, Venkatesh returned to India to lead Cabot and plan the future growth of the organization. Now generating over $1 million per year in revenue, he credits much of how the business is run to his education and experiences in Canada. He fondly recalls the networking opportunities and advice he received through Halifax’s base of business leaders and like-minded professionals.
“The business here is run like it would be in Canada. Being in Halifax allowed me to watch a few business leaders very closely to learn from them, and my education in Nova Scotia gave me a foundation in establishing and running a business.”
Many of the company’s HR policies, employee engagement activities, and its attitude toward collaboration with other firms are modeled after Venkatesh’s experiences in Canada. He’s proud of extending what he learned about work-life balance in Nova Scotia to Cabot, providing employees with a degree of flexibility not often found in India’s IT sector.
The true spirit of work-life balance
An avid cyclist, Venkatesh points to Nova Scotia as the source of his growing personal interest as well. After being approached to help raise funds for the MS Bike Tour by a colleague, he was introduced to cycling and participated in the event for five consecutive years with Cabot later becoming a sponsor. Venkatesh continues to cycle up to 100 km each month using the same bike he purchased back in Halifax.
New opportunities, new markets
Cabot utilizes local IT skills and talent to develop products and services like mobile apps, custom software, and cloud computing solutions. And despite time zone differences with clients in North America that can keep him in the office until late in the evening, Venkatesh sees opportunities for Nova Scotian businesses to leverage the wealth of talent and knowledge available in India.
“Companies like ours offer a great opportunity for Nova Scotian organizations to grow their client base without having to invest more in infrastructure or manpower.”
He recommends that Nova Scotians interested in doing business with India should first define their goals and approach for establishing relationships. Starting small projects will help assess if building relationships with vendors like Cabot will meet their long-term needs and objectives. Patience, understanding, and a willingness to connect on a personal level are key at first.
“However, once you establish a good relationship with a new vendor here, you’ll start seeing the benefits develop automatically.”
With over 500 projects completed and a seasoned leadership team at the helm, the international business with deep roots in Nova Scotia is well positioned to continue making waves in the growing IT service marketplace.
Investing in Nova Scotia
Venkatesh is keen on giving back. To show its support of innovation in the tech industry, Cabot has since invested in Halifax startup Interview Rocket, which develops innovative video-based interview software for recruiters. Anyone interested in contacting Venkatesh can do so directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Venkatesh Thyagarajan is a member of the ConnectNS network of proud Nova Scotians, alumni and expats from over 40 countries. Get involved.