Arjun Malhotra, Chairman of Magic Edtech

Arjun Malhotra, Chairman of Magic Edtech

  • Arjun Malhotra is the Chairman of Magic Edtech.
  • He is the pioneer of the Indian IT industry.
  • He was the Co-Founder of HCL.




00:41- About Arjun Malhotra

  • Arjun Malhotra is the Chairman of Magic Edtech.
  • He is the pioneer of the Indian IT industry.
  • He was the Co-Founder of HCL.
  • He was also the recipient of the Albert Einstein Technology Medal in 2001.
  • He was one of the Co-Founders of HCL.

01:30- What were your challenges and learnings?

  • When I first came here, the phone system in India didn’t work well, so a lot of our business was done face to face.
  • And technically, your skills were in reading body language when dealing with potential customers or clients.
  • In the US, things were done on the phone and that was the big learning on how to actually assess people on the phone.

09:54- What is holding us back from becoming more productive?

  • I’ve always maintained that unless you have a large domestic market, you can’t make products.
  • We will probably be the best in the world quickly in healthcare.
  • In IT, India didn’t have a large domestic market, and so there was no motivation to make products for a market you understood.

12:30- What do leaders need to be mindful of in relation to people and competencies when they start scaling up?

  • Starting a new business is like having a baby, and the first two-three years of scaling up a company are like managing a teenager.
  • When you’re starting a company, everything is about what the company needs.
  • You may be working hard, but if you’re not working hard towards the same objective or the same goal, obviously there’s a large-good probability you won’t get records.

14:58- If you were to build a leadership team, what would you look for in people?

  • What has changed is, how you would communicate and manage people that are sitting at different locations.

18:25- What drives valuation?

  • I basically believe that your business model has to be right.
  • Not making losses is not important you make losses at a certain time to grow, but you have to have a strategy, and you have a way to profitability.
  • What drives value is your business model the market you’re in your uniqueness your intellectual property and the most significant is your team.

26:49- Three life lessons

  • Don’t change yourself, it doesn’t matter whether you’re successful or it doesn’t work out.
  • If you’re planning to start something, please try to recruit people who are smarter than you.
  • Not everything succeeds. You’ve got to look at what mistakes you made and then go ahead and make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes.


Mr. Malhotra served as Chairman of Headstrong’s Board of Directors before its acquisition by Genpact in May 2011.  Prior to Headstrong he was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of TechSpan, which merged with Headstrong in October 2003.

A pioneer of the Indian IT industry, Mr. Malhotra founded TechSpan in 1998 with funding from Goldman Sachs and Walden International.  The merger of TechSpan with Headstrong had built an end-to-end services organization.  Mr. Malhotra led the seamless integration across businesses and cultures, resulting in Headstrong’s recognition as one of the fastest-growing IT-based Financial Services companies.

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