Pradeep Kar, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director at Microland Limited

Pradeep Kar, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director at Microland Limited

Pradeep Kar, Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director at Microland Limited

Pradeep Kar is Microland’s Founder and Chairman, setting the foundation for excellence as Microland guides enterprises in adopting nextGen technologies to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability, stability, and predictability.

Podcast

Overview

Who doesn’t want to be settled in life? We all are working towards a smooth and stable lifestyle. To get this stability, we often need to make big decisions in life. These decisions can be life-changing sometimes. Small or big, every decision in life takes a good amount of thought and time. Today, we are enchanted to introduce Mr, Pradeep Kar, who impressed us with his decision-making skills. In the early days of his career, Pradeep was working in the US. He left his job in the US and returned to India in the late 1980s to start his own company. His start-up is now 32 years old.

Pradeep is the Founder, Chairman, and Managing Director of Microland Limited. Microland specializes and guides enterprises in adopting next-generation technologies to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability, stability, and predictability. Microland Limited has its headquarters in Bangalore, India. Microland is a global service provider with over 4500 digital-savvy technologies across and delivery sectors in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Pradeep was chosen by the world economy as a ‘Global Leader for Tomorrow’ in the year 1999. He has served as a non-executive director from 2006 to 2016 onboard UB and VLC, a leading business of Niger, listed on the London Stock Exchange. He has also served on the board of Telstra Telecommunications India from 2011 to 2021. He served as the Chairman of the governing council of Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology. Pradeep is also one of the founding members of Young President’s Organizations. He is the former chairman of Indus Entrepreneurs Time as well. Since 2016, Pradeep has been a member of the provost council of Trinity College, Dublin. Pradeep has been recognized by many business publications etc.

Pradeep’s professional journey and learning

After completing his studies, Pradeep started working at Wipro. Influenced by an ad, he then applied to a company called Computer Point and became its third employee. He got to work in the US and after giving it some time, he returned to India to set up his own company in the late 80s. His company Microland Limited is now 32 years old.

‘The Big Decision’ of leaving corporate and founding a start-up

Talking about the thought before his decision of setting up his own company, Pardeep says that he was earning 2,350 rupees per month. He did not want to live his life on a five percent pay rise. He did not want to limit his potential. That is when he thought about moving out and setting up his own company.

The thought behind the shift of the category of business of Microland Limited.

Pradeep shares a fascinating journey of how he set up his business which was overall hardware. He collaborated with many companies that sold complementary products and we’re enjoying the growth. The situation did not stay the same for much longer. With the introduction of the first browser called ‘Netscape’ people started to get more price alternatives of the same products and other companies started to give discounts to capture the market. The warranty on the hardware also rose to 3 years, so they had to provide services to the customers for three years without getting paid. That is when they realized that it is very difficult to sustain at lower margins and shifted to internet services like india.com, planetasia.com, etc. In Pradeep’s words, had they not made this decision, they wouldn’t have survived.

Selling India.com

Pradeep recalls how he met Mr. Rupert Murdoch and how the business meeting went. He said that there was no business plan, not much discussion. He plainly said that he believes they both want this deal to take place and shook hands. That is how this deal happened. Pardeep now calls that to be immature and ignorant. He defines ignorance to be his raw ambition without understanding the consequences. 

Pradeep tells us about the fall of the internet industry in 2001 and how much it affected his company. He says that he made a good decision at that time and used some of his resources to buy houses and other things. He spent more than a year getting his basic assets and securities in place. Then he started working on other things.

Pradeep’s message to the young generation entrepreneurs

Pradeep says that young entrepreneurs should try to build an institution that could survive at least 100 years. They might be forced to sell their start-up in some situations but they should still try to create a valuable organization that could stand a generation.

Role models

Pradeep tells us that he doesn’t have a single role model. Everyone he can learn from could be his role model. Stating some examples he says he has learned how to stay grounded and hardworking from his father, innovation, typography, and marketing from Steve Jobs, etc. He says that he reads biographies of different people and takes out elements to get inspired by.

Profile

Pradeep Kar is Microland’s Founder and Chairman, setting the foundation for excellence as Microland guides enterprises in adopting nextGen technologies to achieve the highest possible levels of reliability, stability, and predictability.

A true serial entrepreneur, Pradeep has founded and sold three technology companies: Indya.com (sold to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation); Planetasia.com (India’s first Internet Professional Services Company); and Net Brahma Technologies.

In 1999 Pradeep was chosen by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Leader for Tomorrow”— an acknowledgment of his pioneering work bringing technology to India.

Between 2006 and 2016, Pradeep served as a Non-Executive Director on the board of UBM plc, — a leading business-to-business events organizer listed on the London Stock Exchange. Pradeep is also on the Board of Telstra Telecommunications, India. He served as the Chairman of the Governing Council of Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Bangalore, for five years, is a Founding Member of the Bangalore Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, and the former President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), Bangalore Chapter.

Since 2016, Pradeep has been a member of the Provost’s Council for Trinity College Dublin. Founded in 1592, it is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin, one of seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland.

Pradeep holds a postgraduate degree in Management and a graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. His drive and talent were noted early in his career: He received the “Young Business Achiever Award” from The Indian Express, was featured in Newsweek amongst the “Stars of Asia”, and in Business India amongst the “Stars of India”.

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