CxO of the Week: Lisa Mohapatra, Founder & CEO, Hofeto

By : |April 29, 2019 0
She has close to 8 years of corporate experience in various functions- Technology, Product, Marketing & operations cut across companies such as SAP, Lifetstyle International, Cognizant.

CxO of the Week: Lisa Mohapatra, Founder & CEO, Hofeto, has begun her corporate journey in enterprise systems for technology giants like SAP & Cognizant and later on into a completely different function in an entirely different industry – Marketing & Brand in Lifestyle International.

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infra in your organisation?

I usually apply the 80/20 rule when it comes to taking Technology implementation decisions. For instance, can I get 80% increase in output with just 20% of the current effort post the technology implementation? Is the tech solution going to bring about increased efficiency in the current organization, or it is going to get more number of users at a much faster rate. For example, implementing a really good CRM can bring efficiency in the overall sales & marketing team. Or implementation of intuitive AI based chat systems can reduce human effort. The bottom-line is how technology can disrupt or bring about concrete growth hacks that give your company a head start or an edge over your competition.

Challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

Resistance to change is the primary challenge we have observed in driving digital transformation. For companies like ours, we are striving towards digitization and digital transformation across various stakeholders (not just our organization) – across partners, suppliers, consumers etc. The inertia to go on with the current process is enormous and it requires not just training, rather a mindset change and sometimes culture change to drive that kind of transformation. For example, it is also about changing the user behaviour in many scenarios, which is not a straightforward change. Hence the digital strategy has to be aligned with long term strategy of the organization and conceptualized in a way that all your stakeholders can see the long term benefits of the same.

Do you feel that freshers in the industry come with only basic knowledge but don’t have the right skills to fulfil job requirements? If yes, your suggestion to students and colleges?

                                 

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There is a definite gap between our education system and corporate that needs to be bridged. One way to bridge this gap is we can establish ways to collaborate right from the time of primary education. For example, schools and colleges can inviting thought leaders, industry stalwarts to talk about the corporate world. Corporates can conduct workshops or trainings around jobs, innovations, career development programs etc. in schools and colleges. The idea is to collaborate better and the collaboration can begin early on and not just at the time of the final year of Graduation courses.

What’s your mantra to become successful in life?

I feel there is no defined mantra or some sort of code to become successful in life. And success has a different meaning for different people. Few drivers for me as a person that can bring change or carve your path towards success is to be able to “follow your own instincts” and is to believe in yourself more than anyone else. Certain qualities, however, I believe, that keeps one going towards achieving one’s goal is discipline and persistence. For example, the discipline to still do things when no one is watching, getting up every morning and doing your bit even when you know the road gets tougher. If you have a dream, being persistent about following it and doing your bit with the same discipline every moment is what can give you the edge over others.

What would you like to give back to the society?

I started my first company after 8 years of working in the corporate sector. I feel these days there are numerous opportunities for students very early during college. And I am very happy to see students jumping into entrepreneurship so early. I like to mentor, coach the young minds and try and give back what I learned in my start-up journey. I would love to see more innovations happening in our country, youngsters taking more risks than we did or our previous generations have done. I would like to go to schools and see if I can inspire and influence even a few minds towards taking greater risks, building robust businesses that not only deliver value but also impact the overall society in many different ways.

Your favourite book and what are you reading now?

I have always been a voracious reader, however, off late with my two start-ups (Huzzpa & Hofeto), my reading list has come down. Nevertheless, I always make sure to catch on my reading backlog. Two of the books I read recently read and adored are – Educated by Tara Westover and Becoming by Michelle Obama. Educated is book of courage and gumption of a self-taught girl and how education transformed her life completely and gave her the freedom she always deserved.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy playing badminton a lot, there is nothing refreshing than a good game of badminton for me. I also love to see good cinema, movies that inspire and tell refreshing stories. Besides cinema & sports, I also love to read books, mostly real-life stories, stories that take one through unchartered territories, stories that challenge the convention or stories of ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I really admire authors and movie makers who have the gift/power of creative storytelling.

Achievements (Awards & Recognitions)

BW Business World 2015 Young Entrepreneur Finalist

Top 10 Start-ups Anthah Prerna TIE Bangalore Chapter 2015

Top 20 Start-ups selected by Amrita TBI Pitch fest 2016

LetsIgnite Letsventure 2016 Finalist

Sheleads Tech Facebook 2018

Top 6 Start-ups, Tlabs – Weekend Ventures 2015

Speaker at Indian Chamber of Commerce Women’s Conclave 2017

WEQ Anita Borg Grace Hopper 2017 Finalist

Experience

My career has spanned across industries & functions in various roles. The earlier part of my corporate journey was primarily in enterprise systems for technology giants like SAP & Cognizant and later on into a completely different function in an entirely different industry – Marketing & Brand in Lifestyle International.

First Job – Infosys in 2004

Education –  I have an engineering degree from N.I.T, Rourkela and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Take a look at the previous CxO of the Week

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