Sharad Katiyar: Navigating challenges with three decades of telecom excellence & leadership | CEOInsights Vendor
Sharad Katiyar: Navigating challenges with three decades of telecom excellence & leadership

Sharad Katiyar: Navigating challenges with three decades of telecom excellence & leadership

  Sharad Katiyar,   CEO

Sharad Katiyar


Embarking on the intricacies of leadership within the dynamic landscape of corporate realms, the role of a CEO stands as the linchpin in steering companies toward success. A CEO is not just an executive figure head; they are the architects of organizational culture, the drivers of innovation, and the strategic minds shaping the trajectory of the company. CEO of Checko, Sharad Katiyar reflects on a fulfilling journey marked by diverse experiences. His professional voyage commenced with a role at Escorts Telecommunications after being selected from multiple campus job offers. Starting as a testing engineer, Sharad embarked on a 30 year career in the telecommunications industry, working across Escorts, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Alcatel Lucent, Nokia, Tata Communications.

Witnessing India's tele density growth from under 1 percent to 85 percent he is proud of contributing to this evolution, he emphasizes telecom's crucial role in a nation's prosperity akin to power and transportation infrastructure. Transitioning from an individual contributor to leadership roles, Sharad's career spanned local to global responsibilities. He envisions India as a global leader in the forthcoming years, proud to have contributed to its foundation in the past 30 years.

Grateful for challenging roles that allowed him to excel and surpass his own expectations, he finds motivation in continuous growth and outperforming himself professionally each day. Let’s hear more from him.

Reflect on your academic journey at IIT Roorkee and elucidate on the non-academic lessons gained from the campus.
Securing admission to Roorkee, a highly coveted engineering institute, was a significant achievement, and I consider myself fortunate to have been part of its picturesque campus. To be candid, the effort exerted to become an IIT Roorkee student exceeded the effort invested in the academic coursework during my time there. Perhaps it was a sense of complacency after making it to the select few, or a realization that life encompasses more than just academics, leading to the pursuit of a well-rounded individual with a harmonious blend of fun, sports, and studies.
Beyond Roorkee's academic prestige, the campus itself stood out as one of the most beautiful in the country. Frankly, my tenure at Roorkee was marked more by life experiences and personal growth than purely academic pursuits. Developing friendships, advocating for friends, fostering collaboration, and cultivating self-belief are some of the invaluable traits I acquired during that period.

Grateful for challenging roles that allowed him to excel & surpass his own expectations, Sharad finds motivation in continuous growth & outperforming himself professionally each day

Describe Checko and its market position.
Checko is a burgeoning startup currently in the early stages of scaling up. Originating from the cutting-edge National Centre for Flexible Electronics at IIT Kanpur, CHECKO stands as one of the most noteworthy success stories within India's startup ecosystem. Extensive research conducted at the fLExe (Flexible Electronics) center has culminated in the creation of the world's first and only 3D unclonable tags. These innovative tags, when coupled with the Checko app featuring AI/ML and computer vision capabilities, provide a fool proof anti-counter feit technology solution, setting a new standard in the industry.

Checko, with its disruptive approach, has already achieved success by securing partnerships with major brands such as Amazon, Flipkart, Indian Oil, HPCL, Shell, Chambal Fertilizers, Corteva, Sanchi, and many more. Additionally, numerous other collaborations are in progress, at various stages of the opportunity lifecycle.

In your role as the CEO, what considerations guide you in formulating successful corporate growth strategies?
In essence, achieving growth necessitates strategic investments in various facets such as products, personnel, partnerships, and overall performance. However, the pool of available investment resources is finite, underscoring the importance of allocating funds judiciously to the right areas at the right junctures. It becomes crucial to conduct a SWOT analysis, leveraging insights from which decisions can be made regarding the choices between internal development (make), external procurement (buy), or collaboration with partners. This analysis informs decisions across diverse domains including portfolio management, production, and go-to-market strategies, ensuring a balanced and effective approach.
How did you assemble the team, and what steps do you take to cultivate an innovative culture?
The team is meticulously selected, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty to the company, with members who are inherently self-motivated and align their personal success with the company's achievements. Nearly everyone is a participant in the Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Every Friday, the entire team convenes during the 'zero hour,' a gathering that transcends a mere review and encourages a spontaneous exchange of ideas. It is mandatory to have video engagement during this session. This forum serves as a platform for unconstrained, out-of-the-box thinking, envisioning the future, critically assessing current solutions, and openly sharing customer feedback and wish lists, regardless of how unconventional those wishes may initially appear.

What lies ahead on your future path?
A powerful testament to our success is not only the widespread adoption by leading brands for brand protection but also our strategic partnership with the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India. This organization is responsible for printing various vital documents, including currency notes for the RBI, judicial stamp papers, excise stamps, passports, and more. The potential for Checko knows no bounds, and the team at Checko is resolute and destined to reach new heights. The sky is the limit, and we are determined to soar beyond it.

Considering your robust professional background in the industry, what guidance do you offer to emerging leaders?
Firstly, recognize that there are no shortcuts to success; enduring the challenges and putting in the hard work is essential for lasting success. Embrace the grind, as it is an integral part of the journey.

Secondly, adopt the role of a perpetual teacher. Cultivate a willingness to share your knowledge and actively contribute to the development of your team. A collaborative and knowledgeable team is foundational to achieving success.

Lastly, maintain the mindset of a perpetual student. Be open and eager to learn from diverse sources, embracing lessons from anyone and everyone. Continuous learning is a fundamental aspect of personal and professional growth.

Sharad Katiyar, CEO, CHECKO
•Hobbies: Driving, I can never get tired of it
•Favorite Cuisine: Indian Food
•Awards & Recognition: Fast Track Leadership almost throughout my professional career

Trending Stories