Nishidha Kumaresan: Higher, Further, Faster

Leaders tend to be charismatic, emotionally intelligent, energetic, and passionate about their beliefs. They learn from success and failures, challenges and responsibilities, and from life itself. They are not only committed to helping their organization achieve its goals, but also to helping its group members fulfill their potential. They inspire loyalty and goodwill in others because they themselves act with integrity and trust. Confident in their ability to deal with situations as they arise, they can tolerate uncertainty. By keeping herself grounded and approaching problems with creativity and logic, Nishidha Kumaresan is leading her team with 'Efficiency and Innovation'. Nishidha is the Founder and CEO of Pioneer Technologies. She is also Forbes Technical Council Member, Entrepreneur 360 winner, was named as 10 Best CEO's of 2018 by Industry Era magazine, and was featured as Inspiring Success Stories in Voyage Dallas Magazine.

The fact that a woman could own and run a business in this line of work was hard for most to fathom. This being the reason, I definitely had more obstacles thrown my way in comparison to someone from the opposite gender starting the same business

Taking the Reins

Born in a family of legacy, Nishidha always had it in her DNA. She grew up seeing her paternal grandfather mastering the art of giving without any self-serving motives. He built schools, hospitals, and was persistently involved in developing rural areas. While on the other hand her maternal grandfather had no formal education but had the drive. He was a serial entrepreneur, who through his persistent hard work, founded and ran several organizations. It is in this environment where Nishidha learned about the value of discipline, compassion, humility, and the importance of staying grounded. As for her mom and aunt, each of them was strong in their unique way and always inspired her. Among such inspiring individuals, she grew up learning, searching and discovering-- which gave her objectivity, clarity, confidence -- to be an achiever.

Though born with a proverbial 'silver spoon' the thought to make her own mark always drove her. The dreamer in her spat the spoon out when she decided to pursue her Master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in the United States. She worked various jobs, such as a cashier, sometimes cleaning restrooms and labored on with a spirit which she describes as a 'somebody, someday'. After completing her graduation, she started working for a consulting firm. In 2010 when her mom fell ill, a time of adversity, the dreamer within her was pushed to become a doer.

She took a leap of faith and founded Pioneer Technologies. "When I started Pioneer Technologies, everyone was skeptical except a few who supported me. It was discouraging but I took it as a challenge to prove myself", says Nishidha. For several months she hustled on her day job, working relentlessly 17 hours a day, alongside the business to raise funds. "I think what most people don’t get is that the entrepreneurship journey is lonely but we have to keep moving forward seeing the value in the process", says Nishidha. The twists and turns in her journey made her more self-aware, stronger as a person, taught her to adapt and overcome any situation."When I exited the corporate world I had a good understanding of what customer expectations are and how those expectations can be better met", says Nishidha.

In the role of CEO, the day-to-day workload, huge responsibilities, challenges, and rewards of the position are essentially the same for everyone. But as a female founder working in a male-dominated space, gender bias, difficulty in fundraising, lack of proper recognition for hard work is disheartening but also brings added challenges for female CEO's. "The fact that a woman could own and run a business in this line of work was hard for most to fathom. This being the reason, I definitely had more obstacles thrown my way in comparison to someone from the opposite gender starting the same business", approves Nishidha

However, she acknowledges it was a decision that paid off. "Today, I have friends and family raising girls with me as a role model which has made it all worth it!", says Nishidha enthusiastically.

People, Process, and Technology

Pioneer Technologies provides consulting and IT services for delivering independent, practical, value-priced advice and services. The aim is to make a positive impact on the client's business through the use of business acumen and technical knowledge. "We offer IT solutions as well as meet staffing needs for our customers. If it’s a team or a single person they require to complete the task, we are on it", says Nishidha. The company believes that real change only comes about through a combination of the right ideas and effective implementation. Hence Pioneer combines strong creative, analytical and practical skills with innovative tools and techniques. This is done by quickly determining what organizations need to do in order to change, ensure that this is properly communicated, and then work with their clients to make it happen. "We work with customers to solve issues they are currently facing either by fixing their systems or developing a new system", says Nishidha.

Companies can be led in many ways. Most companies pick a lead and follow that lead. They are either marketing driven, or engineering driven, or sales are driven, etc. In her function, Nishidha's attention is on investing in new technologies and most importantly people. "It is a highly competitive market and there is a constant need to innovate and do things differently both in terms of technology as well as retaining the workforce". With that belief, the company focuses on constantly learning and growing together and embracing new changes. At the same time, they focus on striking a work-life balance by supporting its employees both professionally and personally. "We pride in providing quality services to both our clients as well as our employees", smiles Nishidha.

Nishidha Kumaresan, Founder & CEO

What it Takes

Being on the helm, as the captain, keeping the company on move involves more than simply sipping coffee or gazing wistfully out the window of a high-rise corner office. It takes a lot of work, in fact, a lot of work. Nishidha starts her day by checking her emails and responding to them. She then keeps up with the tasks associated with daily operations along with addressing any issues in conjugation with them. But it’s a good thing, she says, because she gets to interact with employees on a daily basis, look into specific projects, new strategies, new business leads and learn new perspectives. However, each day brings its own set of challenges. "Every day is different and I have to be on my toes", says Nishidha. Each time she is bringing up an idea she has to push herself far, learn constantly, think creatively which results in best thinking. "When I have an idea, I give it sufficient thought, do my research, conduct a SWOT analysis, reach out to my trusted advisors( friends and family) as well as my core team for feedback and finally follow my gut", carries on Nishidha, "I think ideas are the easiest part but to gets things done is the toughest. That’s why it’s important to endure, learn and adapt while being positive and creative". Again it is important as a leader to have a clear vision for the future, distill the values and hopes and needs of followers into a vision, and then encourage and empower followers to pursue that vision. It’s about leading by listening, being a role model and being authentic. "I lead with authenticity and that has helped me build a loyal team. We got each other’s backs no matter what!", while during ambiguity, "I always tell people is don’t focus so much on the problem instead look for solutions", says Nishidha. It is this endless grit, resilience, and perseverance that to lead to this leader’s success and to whom people look up for inspiration. "I think legacy lives through people and the positive impact on them which will ripple far beyond our tenure when we connect, develop, empower and inspire", shares Nishidha.

In practice, the “written” rules exist on the employee handbook and the “unwritten” rules are more to do with company culture. For her both are important. "One unwritten rule I have discovered for is that it’s okay to lobby for yourself and your work, and not be afraid to speak about your work, accomplishments and future goals", suggests Nishidha.

She unplugs from work by meditating, playing with her pets and just completed reading a book titled -The Remains of the Day- by Kazuo Ishiguro's. "It reminds me of why it is important to LIVE your life", smiles Nishidha.

What's Next?

With the technology industry being one of the fastest growing sectors the company will continue to focus on constantly learning, embracing the new changes and to come up with more competitive solutions. All the while building a great company by meeting customer expectations with exceptional deliverables, mentoring and coaching their amazing team but also giving back to the community. In the near future, the organization is geared up to grow Pioneer Technologies into a respected industry leader and a flourishing company, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity, big data, and chaos engineering. Speaking about her personal passions Nishidha says- "I am currently working on what I would call my “pet” project. It requires a ton of reading with double doses of innovativeness and creativity. I’m looking forward to completing this soon and see it evolve.

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