A voracious reader and an equally avid traveler is how Meheriar Patel, head, IT, Globus Retail can be best described. Patel's reading interests are not run-of-the mill fiction, instead he prefers books related to motivation and leadership which, according to him, "Provide great knowledge in improving oneself and also help in retrospection in these challenging times".
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Patel did his initial schooling from Mumbai and then a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in political science and sociology. "After my graduation, I did my Masters in Business Administration during which my specialization was information technology," says Patel.
The Initial Years
|Meheriar Patel, DGM and head, IT, Globus Stores
"Having a passion for information technology, I have 15 years of experience in IT with hands on experience in programming, design and business analysis which has contributed in building a level of understanding about the minor details of project management. Additionally, working on the IT project life cycle and various projects in software services, infrastructure, communication services and information services has also contributed greatly in this understanding," he adds.
Patel's other favorites include leadership reading. "This enthralls me to a new direction and its contents make me feel stronge with conviction," he says.
In avid traveler, Patel has traveled to almost all parts of the country except the Eastern region. His favorite destinations include Goa, Rajasthan and Kerala. Fondly reminiscing his trip to Rajasthan, he says, "My trip to Jaipur and Jodhpur two years back, still fills me with the aroma of camels, palaces, people and of course, food." Internationally, he has traveled to the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. "My recent trips to Singapore and Dubai were memorable since both the cities have a unique aura of presence." As a seasoned traveler, Patel never misses taking a guided city tour of the palaces and is fond of visiting museums, man made old architecture, gardens and shopping malls.
The other person in Patel's life is his eight-year old son who, like him, is a computer and video games geek and is passionate about technology.
But like any other professional, Patel realizes that for moving up the corporate ladder, sacrificing family life is common and required. Even as he tries to maintain the delicate balance between work and home, he admits that to achieve things in life, sacrifices in one's personal life have to be made.
DGM and head, IT, Globus Stores.
Loves: Reading leadership and motivational books, and traveling to exotic destinations. Spending time with son and family.
First Job: As an instructor and trainer in a computer training institute.
Motto in Life: Make sure you live every second of your life with passion and conviction.
The Work Front
Realizing that security plays an important role in the enterprise environment, Patel has also deployed Sonicwall 4060, a UTM box having all the integrated features of firewall, anti-virus, content filtering, anti-spam, and is IPS enabled.
RFID is another area that Globus is venturing into and is already thinking of deploying RFID, first in CRM, and then in SCM and store operations. Patel's other priorities on the work front include identifying and deploying a new generation POS set up.
Patel informs that the company is giving a lot of importance to business intelligence and he believes that BI will help in enabling company wide reporting and decision making capability.
Globus's vision is to encourage e-commerce and m-commerce for increasing the company's presence online, for connecting to the customers anywhere, anytime. "Document Management System is another project we are looking at closely for implementation," adds Patel.
Like any other true leader, Patel treats his colleagues in a professional and friendly manner, as both these attributes are required for them to excel. He believes in giving complete freedom to do things differently in order to make business users comfortable with technology.
Patel reveals, "The secret lies in addressing each individual differently as each has unique characteristics, skills and features."
Patel finally lets in on the secret of his excellent team management skills. "By motivating my team, keeping them abreast with latest technology and business, treating them with respect, making them feel comfortable, accountable and building an entrepreneurship culture."
Apart from the core five-team members in-house, other team members are project based, and on Facility Management Services. The various heads including software, infrastructure and communication, information services have their own teams outsourced purely on the requirement of the business project.
Globus has implemented large projects in areas like software, infrastructure and information data services. Talking about a Globus project implemented recently, he says, "We have deployed an RF VPN through Sify which helped us achieve efficiency in terms of uptime, latency and availability." This enabled the company to save on precious bandwidth costs which were around 40% of what the expenditure was earlier. Significantly the solution was deployed in a short span of only 20 days."I met my wife through a common friend. Soon, the cupid struck and we fell head over heels in love and got married," he says fondly. A hotel management graduate, Patel's wife works as a part-time teacher and also doubles up as an insurance advisor. "Being a working-woman, she knows the value of sincerity and integrity." For Patel, his wife is a pillar of strength and has played an important role in his life. Patels also mentions that his wife is a silent admirer of his work. "My wife supports all my endeavors and she is my strength in the path to success.""My favorite author is our president, APJ Abdul Kalam. His books are inspiring and talk of innovative practices which makes me feel that mankind is progressing in the right direction with the use of technology. His books like India 2020: A Vision For The New Millennium, Ignited Minds and Wings of Fire have given great insights of India and beyond," Patel says.An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, his first job was at a computer training institute. According to Patel, "Those were the days of Pascal, Cobol and Lotus 123, and I worked as an instructor and trainer for 2 years."