“Dreams don’t build companies”, when a man strongly believes this, he is sure to stroll down the most unlikely paths to create a company he envisioned. Mr. John Santhosh, the CEO and Founder of GIEOM and Founder of Billion Lives, decided to follow the most unordinary routes to success. He began his career in Africa and spent time in almost every country of the Continent. This experience allowed him to understand the business processes in an emerging market as well as the social issues that a continent like Africa is facing. Needless to say, it was from this exposure that he ideated the two companies, GIEOM, which is a Banking Technology product and another Social-Tech initiative called Billion Lives.
Bringing about change wholeheartedly…
While GIEOM aims at enhancing productivity with the adoption of Change by communicating and controlling it, Billion Lives aims to Change and impact the lives of individuals with Technology, making him and his team true enablers of Change. Although his product is equipped to serve different industries, he solely focuses on the Banking and Financial Sector. To emphasise, Mr. Santhosh says, “I am a strong believer of being one inch wide and one mile deep, focus on something and go deep into that.”
Always calculating the larger scheme of things
A Strategist and Innovator at his core, he manages to keep up-to-date with AI podcasts and the ‘Shark Tank’ show, during his time at the gym, to stay abreast of the new innovations that are emerging in the tech space. “I am very regular in the gym these days because the motivation is not only exercising; I have converted this into one of my most productive hours.”
When most individuals manage their time by writing down the tasks they need to address for the day, Mr. Santhosh says “If I write something I don’t follow it.” He prefers making a mental note of his tasks. “As any other entrepreneur I also made an excel sheet when we started the company. This is going to be the cost, this is going to be the projection, nothing I made in the excel sheet worked.” Although the figures in the excel sheet did not materialise, it guided him to understand the bigger picture in the making of his product. “As we are creating something which is not in the industry today, we need to think in a way that the industry is not knowing it,” this thought process led them to redirect their ideas towards the development of their product. Instead of asking a customer about a product they are not aware of, they decided to build the product and take it to the customer.
Building a team that is out of the ordinary
“I am proud of my people who are motivated to grow and take challenges in the pace that we are moving.” Even in building his team, Mr. Santhosh brings in a creative approach. His team building sessions comprises activities which vary from cooking a dish that is never seen, never heard and never tasted to impulsively renting all the Harley Davidson Bikes in the city for a team outing. His recruitment process also steers away from the conventional interview processes to a more practical approach. He hires a candidate for a tech position through an unusual hack exam.
Mr. Santhosh’s Entrepreneurial journey includes travelling to the African continent for a business deal during the deadly Ebola outbreak, to sharing the entire company figures during the Company Town Hall - a quarterly employee meet. He therefore has both literally and metaphorically navigated through the road less taken to bring out the best in his organisation.