Col Samrendra Kumar, Co-Founder and MD, MitKat Advisory
Samrendra, is an ex-Army man and the co-founder and the Managing Director of MitKat Advisory. He is a distinguished veteran and he has also won the Sword of Honour and the President’s Gold Medal at the Indian Military Academy.
This is the story of a simple boy who had high ambitions. Samrendra Kumar, whom our host addresses as Sam, is an ex Army man and the co-founder and the Managing Director of MitKat Advisory. He is a distinguished veteran and he has also won the Sword of Honour and the President’s Gold Medal at the Indian Military Academy.
Sam was born and brought up in a village in Bihar. He did not have much facilities living there and did not get an exemplary education as well. He tells us that he was first taught English in the sixth standard. So when he stepped into the Nation Defence Academy, he saw fine men all around him as his batchmates and insecurities and inferiority complexes hit him hard. However, he tells us that God helped him and that didn’t stay much longer as all the men there were given uniform grooming on the very first day so he didn’t feel inferior anymore. His hard work paid off and after four years, he was commanding the passing out parade and was awarded the Sword of Honour and the President’s Gold Medal.
About MitKat Advisory
MitKat Advisory is a leading Asian risk consultancy. It works collaboratively with their customers to de-risk their businesses and protect their people, assets, information, brands etc.
Sam tells us that when he left the army 26/11 happened in India. At that time security and risk consultancy was completely dominated by foreign players. Sam decided to change this situation. He desired to build a brand with a deep understanding of India and the Asian continent. At that time, they saw that security was very proactive and just associated with guards. They wanted to build a security system that is business relevant and employee friendly. This is how MitKat came into existence.
MitKat Advisory is not into financial or liquidity risks. They work on operational risks, geopolitical risks, integrity risks, cybersecurity, physical security, fraud risk management etc.
Talking about how MitKat got its name, he tells us that while he was thinking of a name, his two friends, Mittal and Katragadda, jokingly joined their names as MitKat and asked Sam to run the business with this name. Sam didn’t like it as it was sounding like KitKat. Later, it was named Mitigating Knowledge Threats, which was again shortened to MitKat.
Challenges and Lessons learnt in the process of scaling up
- Sam tells us that in the initial days he didn’t know how to start a company
- No talent wanted to join them
- In the fourth month of the company, they lost a huge amount. Sam had to sell his house to cover the losses.
- Entrepreneurship involves fundamental mismatch between resources and ambition.
- Technology has to be at the core if you want to scale up.
- Focus is very important. Rather than doing multiple things simultaneously, do one thing with all your focus.
- People are the backbone of a company.
- Letting go is very important.
- Cash Flows are very important.
- There is no right or wrong age to be an entrepreneur.
- Never waste a crisis because it takes a crisis for a leader to shine.
How does MitKat Advisory de-risk client business and protect the vital assets for them?
Sam tells us that there are different kinds of risks in a business. Every organisation has got assets like people, material, brand information etc. There are natural and man-made threats which exploit vulnerabilities to create risk to those assets. These risks can be strategic, financial, legal, operational and reputational. All a company has to do is to bring these risks down to an acceptable level by application of countermeasures of controls. These countermeasures of controls can be people, technology, infrastructure and processes.
To mitigate risks in businesses, MitKat follows the above-mentioned process.
More about Samrendra:
Being a soldier, Sam firmly believes in integrity. He also believes that teamwork is very important. According to Sam, human potential is limitless.
For Sam, success means being able to fulfill all his responsibilities.
Alumnus of IIM Calcutta, King’s College, London and Joint Services Command & Staff College, UK, Col S M Kumar (Sam) is an experienced Security and Risk professional, with a demonstrated history of building and driving business to profitability & sustained growth.
Founder CEO of MitKat Advisory, a leading Asian risk consultancy, and currently its Managing Director, Sam leads the development of products to achieve its mission – ‘de-risk client business and protect vital assets’. Sam has been pivotal to MitKat’s regional and global ambitions – the company counts over 50 of the top 100 global corporations as its customers, and has executed projects successfully in 25 countries across 5 continents.
A distinguished Veteran (winner of Sword of Honour & President’s Gold Medal at Indian Military Academy), Col S M Kumar has held distinguished leadership, staff, instructional, technical and multi-national assignments, commanded a combat unit, and has been awarded for distinguished service. Sam raised a Consulting sub-unit at a leading Indian Conglomerate, and oversaw its rapid growth.
Sam is an acknowledged thought leader, speaker and author. He appears on primetime TV, Radio, security and leadership conclaves, and supports veterans and entrepreneurs.