Ashok Dash: A Technology Leader Lifting Businesses to Digital Epoch | CEOInsights Vendor
Ashok Dash: A Technology Leader Lifting Businesses to Digital Epoch

Ashok Dash: A Technology Leader Lifting Businesses to Digital Epoch

Ashok Dash,  Managing Director

Ashok Dash

Managing Director

Netflix, one of the synonyms of video entertainment today, was founded in 1997 with a business model akin to Blockbuster, a US-based movie & video game rental services company. Back then, Netflix's pay-perrental model included DVD sales and rent-by-mail services. But unlike Blockbuster LLC, Netflix anticipated the revolutionary transformation in customer demand with rising digitalization and started providing online entertainment. You know the rest. Netflix wiped out Blockbuster, and the movie rental industry entirely. If the company collected data through sources like Customer ID, movie ID, and ratings, and date & time of watching, it later underwent a CRM deployment and took no time to emerge as the synonym of video entertainment.

This legendary anecdote is a reminder of everything groundbreaking about digital transformation and the need to use the right technology in the right way at the right time. Beyond any skepticism, technology and digital transformation make almost everything smarter. Ashok Dash, Managing Director, Tectura Infotech, a technology leader with rich professional experience, is on a mission to make businesses smarter and help them reinvent themselves in the digital world. An engineer MBA with a B.Tech from IIT Varanasi and a PGDM from XIM (B), Ashok recently joined Tectura to amalgamate his proven business acumen with the company's expertise in Microsoft Dynamics technology to help companies navigate through their operational, financial, regulatory and technical challenges. I recently got in touch with him and engaged in an exclusive conversation with Ashok. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Over the past many years, you have been a part of the leadership teams of several elite organizations. Tell us about your professional journey and experiences.
I started my career with L&T as a finance professional in their Unit Equipment division. Assignments on management accounting and MIS helped hone my skills in IT systems and implementation of various business applications in the finance & costing domain.

My first job shift was to Ramco Systems, an Indian ERP company with a global presence in the US, Europe, the Middle East India, and the Far East. I started there as a Business Analyst and progressed into various leadership roles in project management, channel management, and sales, culminating in being the Vice President of a Strategic Business Unit covering select industry verticals.

My most recent switch was to Tectura in January 2022 as their Managing Director for South Asia. Tectura is a multinational company headquartered in the US and is a
gold-certified partner of Microsoft, selling and implementing their different ERP/CRM solutions.

How Would You Define The Learnings And Experiences You Acquired From IIT Varanasi?
When I joined IIT Varanasi, it was my first real brush with diversity. I was exposed to classmates from various states who spoke different languages and came from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Studying and living with them in the same hostel made me appreciate and understand different customs and cultures. This life lesson stands me in good stead in my working career, where I interact with a diverse set of colleagues.

I believe that it is imperative to have a Participative style of management and be approachable to the team

The grueling academic program and the exacting deadlines were a lesson in planning and time management. Engineering being a highly application based stream, helped to develop analytical skills and logical thinking. An opportunity to be the class representative and the department cricket captain gave me insights on leadership and people management that come in handy in corporate life.

Define Tectura as an organization and where it is positioned in the industry. What is the unique proposition that your organization offers to clients?
Tectura is a global multinational organization and a gold-certified partner of Microsoft. Tectura provides and implements Microsoft's ERP and CRM solutions under the Dynamics 365 product family. Our implementations cut across industries like Automotive, Chemical, Food & Beverage, Retail & Professional Services, amongst others.

One of the key aspects of our success is that we understand the customer's business needs rather than 'selling' our products. Our meticulous approach helps us tailor effective solutions out of the standard Microsoft solution that genuinely addresses the clients' pain areas.

Reflect on some of the major challenges you have experienced in your journey so far? How did you overcome them, and what did you learn from them?
During the course of my corporate journey, one of the perennial challenges has been managing the change. I have worked in diverse industries like Heavy Engineering, Information Technology, and Imaging Hardware. I have also covered a gamut of functions like Finance, Implementation, Channel Management, Project Management, Sales, and Business Leadership. While change is always exciting, it also gets to be quite challenging. Being adaptable, open-minded, and willing to learn like a beginner has helped to cope and overcome the hurdles of change.

The onset of the series of Covid waves and the associated lock downs presented their own set of challenges.Business disruption, the slowdown in sales, and the logistics challenges were overwhelming in the early days. Coping with it necessitated realigning business
processes, rationalizing infrastructure & fixed assets, having virtual meetings, and working from home. This drastic change in the way of working was stressful and challenging. Being flexible and willing to adapt helped us counter this challenging period.The key learning has been embracing change and looking for new paths instead of being over whelmed or defeated.

Could you tell me about your leadership approach? What are the methodologies and guidelines you follow as a leader to lead your team?
I have led teams of different sizes throughout my career. I believe that it is imperative to have a participative style of management and be approachable to the team. So, those are the core aspects of my leadership approach. I make sure that I am approachable to my team and try to be there for them during their hassles. That has also helped in terms of empathy for the team and empowering the team to take responsibility rather than micro-managing.

How do you maintain the perfect balance between your personal and professional life?
To be honest, it is very tough to maintain a perfect balance between one's personal and professional life. However, one can take certain steps to make this balance better. I switch off from my professional work by 7:00 PM as far as possible. I also do not carry any work into the weekend. Shutting off from work during the weekend helps reboot and recharge for a taxing week ahead. Planning one's calendar thoroughly helps keep aside time for personal pursuits, friends, and family.

What is your success mantra?
It is no rocket science, really! While each one has their own magic potion or success mantra. I believe that proper planning in most of the tasks I undertake, adopting a systematic approach, and openness to change has helped me achieve whatever success I have had. Being approachable to my team members and supporting them in their assignments has been highly helpful on the people management front.They are the champions of their respective domain, gentle encouragement and empathy helps to get the best results out of people.

Going forward, what are the goals you wish to invest in, and how do you plan to take them further?
The immediate goal is to strengthen Tectura's presence in India and drive significant business growth in the region. We are realigning the different teams within the organization and investing in key positions at different levels in the organization to create the levers for growth. We are also working towards strengthening our already strong bond with Microsoft and working more closely with them.

Ashok Dash, Managing Director, Tectura Infotech
Ashok is a technology leader with rich professional experience. An engineer MBA with a B.Tech from IIT Varanasi and a PGDM from XIM (B), He recently joined Tectura to amalgamate his proven business acumen with the company's expertise in Microsoft Dynamics technology to help companies navigate through their operational, financial, regulatory and technical
challenges. He is an amicable person having varied interests with a wide social circle.

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