With temperatures elevating past 50 degrees it is that time of the year one needs to be doubly cautious.
‘People will make all the difference’
Ranking Number 9: Premchand K, CEO, Paramount Computer SystemsOperations: Paramount has established a reputation for providing practical security solutions that are both business driven and cost-effective. This has enabled the company to secure the IT Infrastructure of leading government undertakings, banks and financial institutions, airlines and transportation companies, telcos, universities and large corporates in the region.
TIS: What is your company’s USP?
As a company, we understand information security in a holistic manner. Our consulting team is based out of the UAE and has an in-depth understanding of security processes, ISO 27001 standards, and has an impressive track record of having enabled over 40 companies in the Gulf to obtain the ISO 27001 certification. Our technology practice has both depth and breadth far more significant than most of our competitors.
Over 25 security technology vendor relationships enable our technology offerings to be on the leading-edge. More importantly, our dedicated band of qualified security engineers and consultants is the key differentiator. At the end of the day, the individual makes all the difference, these individuals created Paramount. They are the future of the company.
TIS: Your company has been credited with a ranking among the top SMEs in Dubai. What does this recognition mean for you and how will it make a difference in your business?
PK: Ranking recognition like this not only tell us how far we have come, but also tells us how far we need to go. It has made all of us at Paramount proud and humbled at the same time. This recognition, coming from an independent body with a comprehensive and holistic evaluation process, has significantly enhanced client perception of our company. Going forward, we believe, it will enhance our ability to attract greater talent into the company and win larger deals in the marketplace. It will also inspire the team to stretch and aim for being Number One.
TIS: In such a volatile market, what have you done differently to excel?
PK: When you want to run a marathon, you need to have a value system. 2012 is a landmark year for Paramount as we complete 20 years in the UAE, a significant achievement for an SME. We are more than convinced that if we have come thus far, then it is because of a clearly defined vision and value system and stakeholder satisfaction and respect. The company is still work in progress and we have a long way to go.
TIS: Have you faced many challenges as you built this business?
PK: We have had to face a plethora of challenges: cash flow pressures, employee attrition, technology obsolescence, JV partner management, integrating technology into complex client environments, accelerating learning, adopting defined processes to scale the business, enhancing skill sets of middle level managers— the list goes on.
We have always had a systematic approach to solving problems keeping our win-win value system and complete transparency with all partners as the cornerstone of our operating philosophy. It created problems in the short-term, but evidently, our long-term success is eloquent testimony to this strategy and approach.
TIS: What are your future plans for the year ahead?
PK: We have several key initiatives underway in 2012 to scale up the business: several new security technologies are being launched;, We are re-entering the Saudi Arabian market with a 100 per cent owned entity; we are incubating a new business in cloud services; we are evaluating an acquisition to accelerate growth, and our current talent pool of 102 people will double in the next three-four years. People will make all the difference.
TIS: Do you look forward to the next rankings by Dubai SME? Do you hope to improve on the current ranking?
PK: Improving from the current position, for each of us in Paramount is non-negotiable. We have identified clear initiatives and performance goals that will help us achieve the desired recognition in the next edition of SME 100. We are grateful to Dubai SME 100 for raising the bar and defining a goal worthy of pursuit.
TIS: What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
PK: An Entrepreneur is like a water pipeline. Its objective is to convey water, not quench its own thirst. You cannot get into business or working life for that matter with the objective of making money. You must have a much larger objective. Identify a cause that will kindle passion in you. Work diligently to deliver on the vision and don’t get bogged down by roadblocks on the way. Success will follow, so will money, you need not chase either of this.
TIS: Do you have a management philosophy?
PK: My business philosophy or management philosophy is built on some very simple operating practices. Give more into a relationship than you take from it, focus on personal value-addition, be different, have the courage to be the prime-mover, go fearlessly where no one has been before, adapt the core business to change, communicate strategy and values, share knowledge and wealth, build people, build entrepreneurs and build organisations.
TIS: What changes would you like to implement in your industry to further the growth of companies such as Paramount?
PK: You can protect your information assets only by a prudent combination of people; process and technology. Today, the industry is very technology centric in its approach. We need more qualified, more diligent and more skilled security engineers and consultants to enhance our security posture. At a country level, the UAE needs more nationals dedicated to this field; we would like to facilitate the creation of a centre of excellence to create the future security talent of the UAE.