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Sanjay Sarda Framing leadership perfection with trailblazer of entrepreneurship, Neotec Hub

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Sanjay Sarda

Framing leadership perfection with trailblazer of entrepreneurship, Neotec Hub

Success is the outcome of knowledge, experience, ability, and an excellent network extension and Neotec Hub is visualizing the fact in the entrepreneurialism.

The worldwide integration of financial assets, market competition, and technological innovations have made it difficult for new players to transform their business idea into reality. In the changing sway of the economy, while the new entrepreneurs are getting it difficult to create their own portfolio, there is a leader in the frontline, Neotec Hub that is supporting the young business brain to succeed in the trade world. Aspiring to an excellent level of professionalism and dedication, the company is aligning with start-ups, guiding them, leveraging great ideas, providing seed funding, and many more.

Neotec Hub was inaugurated by AmbujaNeotia, a leading real estate player, to create an unruffled ground for the start-ups, and constituted an incubator & accelerator hub in Kolkata. The tipping urge was felt after the upping of the Start-Up Ecosystem in Bangalore, NCR, Mumbai, leaving Kolkata, and East India dry. It was also analysed that the major causes why Startups were falling were their inability to access the market, the paucity of funds, lack of Mentorship and a support system to cater to their needs. Kolkata’s startup ecosystem was calling for a Corporate Incubator to support the young entrepreneurs of this region. This picture outlined the initiation of Neotec Hub. The Neotec Hub Team embarked on – Converting Dreams.

Till date, the firm has accelerated the journey of numerous startups. Out of 25 Startups involved in the Incubator 11 are already in Revenue Stages and Neotec Hub plans to do a Pre-Series A Round for 4 of them in 2019-20. These Start-Ups are performing across different domains including  Edutech, Fintech, Healthcare, Data Analytics, Hospitality, Robotics, Smart Mobility, and Sustainability. MoU’s are also signed with two Israeli Companies for making high-tech products in India, in a Joint Venture entity, for tapping the Indian market. Similar collaboration is being pursued with EU companies.

A mature Ecosystem has been created which brings together Startups with innovative ideas, Mentors, Corporate Leaders, Investors, Academic Institutions like IIT’s, IIM’s, Engineering Colleges, Entrepreneurship Development Cells of Colleges, Government bodies like Invest India, Start-Up India and organizations like FICCI, CII, NASSCOM all together with the common objective of nurturing and growing young entrepreneurship. All the businesses of the Ambuja Neotia Group offer  Stat Ups a unique opportunity of being their test beds and doing the Alpha/Beta Projects within the Group and they eventually become their first customer.

Innovation and AmbujaNeotia: a perfect blend

AmbujaNeotia Group was established by Late Shri Suresh Neotia and Late Shri Vinod Neotia in 1950 headquartered in the city of joy Kolkata. Presently, with an adorning clientele, the corporation is providing a new outlook. It works to capitalize the digital innovation and adopt a bolder and more agile approach to navigate this fast-progressive market.

Space, a blank canvas on which AmbujaNeotia paints dreams, adds colours of aspirations and crafts structures to create efficiency.

 Here’s the list of great accomplishments of the corporation:

  • Udayan
  • City Centre
  • Ecospace
  • Raichak on the Ganges
  • Bhagirathi Neotia Woman and Child Care Centre
  • The Neotia University

It is said that a boat can flow in the right stream only when it has an excellent sailor. Sanjay Sarda, the CEO of Neotec Hub, takes the helm of the corporation extremely well and performs his duties in a way that leaves an impression in the chronicle of the global industry. Because of his adventurer and passionate characteristics, Sanjay climbed his career ladder quickly, and at present, he is considered a pioneer in the industry.

Mr Sanjay has donned many caps in his career of more than 3 decades – from the shop floor to Supply Chain, to Spend Management, to Strategic Sourcing to HR to Corporate Strategy, to Business Development to Commercial in reputed organizations like Hindalco, Jindal, Dalmias, and Ambuja. In 2006, He was awarded the CPO Award from IIMM. He has won several award and accolades in various companies that he has worked. Sanjay is a Mechanical Engineer from BIT and Post Graduate from IIM Kolkata.

In an exclusive interview with The CEO Magazine, Sanjay shares his professional journey, what he’s learned in his growing phase and how Neotec Hub supports entrepreneurs.

Here’s the edited encrypts.

How does the Neotec Hub construct a pathway for entrepreneurs? What are your major offerings?

Our vision is to convert the dreams of young entrepreneurs by providing all the required supports. At Neotec Hub we give Incubation & Acceleration Programs to Start-ups working on innovative technologies mostly in the domains of Healthcare, Education, Hospitality and Real Estate. Neotec Hub is a buzzing ecosystem where Startups, Investors, Mentors, Policy Makers, Corporates converge and collaborate. Rather than having a start day and finish the day for a common program for all Start-Ups, we have customized programs for each – as their needs are different and the program finishes when we can get a Pre-Series Round of funding for the Start Up. This indicates the level of deep engagement and commitment that the Neotec Hub Team contributes to the journey of each Start Up.

Our major offerings include:

  • Unlimited Mentorship
  • Test Bed & First Customer access.
  • Legal and Compliance Support.
  • Funding from our sources or our consortium of Investors.
  • Strategy
  • Space & Infrastructure.

List the feathers in the cap of Ambuja Neotia Group.

The Ambuja Neotia Group has a proud legacy of more than two decades and has won several accolades and rewards. Some of them being:

  • In 1999, Padma Shri was conferred to Shri Harshavardhan Neotia for his contribution to social housing by Honourable President of India, Shri KR Narayan
  • In 2008, Padma Bhushan Award was conferred to Late Shri Suresh Kumar Neotia by President of India, Smt Pratibha Patil
  • In 2015, Bimla Poddar was presented Padma Shri by President Pranab Mukherjee
  • AmbujaNeotia was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Business Leadership  Award, and Most Reliable Builder Award to name a few
  • Shri Harshavardhan Neotia was honoured with awards like YPO Legacy award, lifetime achievers award, top 10 Builder’s Award and Awards for leadership and inspiration

What are the approaches you pursue for branding and how did you create trust among entrepreneurs?

Neotec Hub is more than a company, it is a community built on trust, cooperation, and excellence.

Over two decades, we are acknowledged for our ethical business practices for being transparent, fair & reasonable in all our dealings and able to establish a deep emotional connection with our employees and entrepreneurs.  We offer Services which stand apart in aesthetics, ambiance, creativity, and quality. We have a strong and unflinching commitment to give the Best. This establishes the brand and becomes the foundation for us to win the trust of raising business ventures.

How does a day in the CEO’s life look like and how has being CEO affected your personal life?

A CEO needs to have a clear vision, he has to ensure the team’s performance under all adverse circumstances, be decisive, fair & reasonable and above all inspire his team to achieve great results keeping the right balance of people management and task management. Time Management is key to the CEO. My day basically has the following in varying degrees of importance:

  1. Meetings with outside stakeholders on various topics
  2. Internal meetings with Team & Management
  3. Going thru emails, reports, presentations
  4. Strategy introspection, plans, and discussions
  5. Unforeseen contingencies

Many traits from my CEO’s life are included in my personal life like discipline, timeliness, scheduling, time-management, & delegation. These have made my personal life complete & more meaningful.

 How do you mostly spend your time when you are not executing your business operation?

During my spare time, I prefer to spend time with my family (including my two Labradors) – go on short holidays & treks, practice on my Santoor or play on my Handsonic. I regularly play lawn tennis/ squash. I love adventure sports and try to do it whenever possible. I have also authored two books – the first being “Living Life, Making Mistakes, Refusing To Grow Up” and the second being “Your Situations My Story”. I would like to write more in the near future.

Was there any challenge that you faced during the initial phase of your professional journey as a CEO and how did you overcome?

Yes, I was the first employee of Neotec Hub. So, everything had to be built from scratch. Also, the idea of the Corporate Incubator, the business model, the concept, the partnerships, and the creation of the ecosystem was all new with no precedent. I overcame the above by a thorough study of the best practices being followed by different Incubators worldwide, creating a network of partnerships and understanding what will best work for us.

Slowly, everything fell in place – piece by piece.

How would you describe entrepreneurship and what is some sort of techniques to be growing entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is having the passion to convert dreams by persistence, resilience, hard work and creating value.

Sort of Techniques:

  • Physical & mental health
  • Team Management & Leadership
  • Value System
  • Discipline
  • Time Management
  • Fast decision making

How would you like people to remember you and your company?

I would like myself and my company to be memorized as fair, reasonable, and full of empathy, passion & positivity, who added value to everyone who was connected.

Piece of Advice

You need to give equal importance to – Health, Career and Relationships. You cannot have one at the cost of another.

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