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Owner Interview – Vinu Nair

This month we interview the winner of the Antal Spirit Award 2014 – Mr. Vinu Nair – a graduate in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering. In a career spanning over 20 years in the Sales & Marketing and IT sector, Vinu started his career as a Sales Engineer – travelling, living and working across 16 countries. He was Vice President at NTT Data, managing their business in India and Middle East region. He played key roles in the SAP delivery team for many years before moving to Sales and Business Development.

Vinu-Nair

Vinu Nair is a perfect example of a leader, an achiever and a great mentor, in the past 3.5 years with Antal, Vinu has mentored a team of specialist recruiters in the field of Sales, Presales, and Delivery areas for ITES, BPO, Engineering Services and Products. He works with some of the big names in the industry. His office which is located at Cathedral Road in Chennai has a high level of repeat business, more than two thirds of our clients work with Vinu and his team on a regular basis due to his proficiency and work ethics.  Vinu is a man known for his fitness, wit and brilliant sense of humor; Vinu is undoubtedly the most favorite and sought after owner within the Antal network.

Vinu Nair winning the Antal Spirit of the Year Award at the Antal Global Conf in 2014

In this interview, Vinu discusses his success story, his experience on being part of the Antal Network,, the satisfaction of empowering his team and gives us a glimpse into his personal life

Why did you choose recruitment franchise business? What are the good things about working in the recruitment industry?

I chose a franchise model as I did not have the money to invest in creating a brand and getting professionals on board as soon as the business had started functioning. Coming from the IT industry, I realized that setting up a brand, creating an image and living up to it are by no means a one man show, it has to be a team effort; and all of this would come in a package in the Franchise option.

Recruitment in India in the present day is an opportunity to do several things that are in the form of: a challenge to try my skills at Entrepreneurship, build a growing and sustaining business, work with the new generation, fulfill social responsibility and besides all of this, create a very professional identity for a Search Specialist especially considering that presently in India “recruiting” is only a stepping stone to find a job for most recruiters.

The good things about working in this space are that you get to work with several established and upcoming Line Managers and good professional candidates. Interacting with candidates helps you know more and more people and learn different facets about the industry, individuals, aspirations, likes, dislikes and many other things.

How did you hear about Antal International? And what made you pick Antal of all the choices you had?

Joseph (an old friend) who I approached when it was time for me to look for a job change after 8 years with my last employer, suggested that I sign-up for a franchisee of Antal and after a few telephone calls from Doug, Liz and a training session conducted by Tony Jones I got convinced that I can not only make a living in this space but make my business a multi-million Dollar enterprise with strategy, dedication and effort.

How were your initial days in the business? What are the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them

I have run a P&L before but the only difference was that it was funded by my employer, the challenge of dealing with your emotions apart from the generating revenues and managing your team is very different if you are funding it and have to make ends meet. I began training my mind telling myself that if I can make my team successful the effect would be contagious and hence rather than focus on my earning, I focused on helping my team earn revenues, this I think paid off not only in terms of revenues but in building their confidence and belief that they can do mid to senior placements, Till date my endeavor is to get my team to succeed in their targets (both revenue and personal).

I did face many challenges and I overcame some with help from Joe, Tony, Shinu and other friends from the network

How is your business functioning now? When did you make your first placement? 

My plans are to cross revenues of 1.8 Cr this year (FY 14-15) which would mean more than 50% growth and this gives me great joy – chasing numbers Qtr to Qtr. Not only am I confident of doing these numbers but also have a good target planned for FY 15-16 which my team would have bought into.

My 1st placement was a shared assignment which ironically ran into a dispute and took a year to resolve but then I have never been superstitious in my working life and knew I will only get better from there. Hard work and sincerity has paid-off and we are on the verge of getting our 100th placement in less than 4 years at Antal.

What are your plans for the next years?

I am not much of a number guy but then it drives me as I hope to get each of my team members to get very strong in what they do and pursue recruitment with the vigor of sales guy and the dedication of a search specialist, this apart, I would like to contribute to making a extremely well networked IT Discipline Group within the India network and make us a force to reckon within the space.

What is the key advice you would give to other prospective franchisees that are considering this kind of self-employment?

I would like to tell them that the opportunity size is huge and the Antal world has evolved a lot and you are not alone in your business, if they were to invest their time and effort into this.

  • What’s you fitness mantra?I am passionate about running and have been into it for 8 years now; I have done several half-marathons and one full marathon. Cycling is also competing with my likes. Hopefully I would do wear my “Super Randonneur” title in 2015 and run 2 full marathons.
  • Tell us something about your family- Family is wife Dr.Maya who is Pediatrician and Sons Nandan and Namith aged 11 and 5.
  • How do you balance your professional & personal life? Still trying to do this by spending time as much as possible with my wife and sons. I have also started liking Art and Indian Classical Music; hopefully I will take time off and get more balance into my life.
  • Which is your favorite holiday destination? I love the sea side and apart from Goa, I like Andaman and hope to go there again in 2015.
  • Your Hobbies:I love reading History and catching up with old friends. My claim is that I have been in touch with almost 90% of my classmates from school to UG and thereafter from my 1st Job and until now. I love to hear from people and like to share my updates too.
  • You proud Antal Moment: Promoting Karpagam and Sharan who are part of my team for over 2 years now and who helped our office cross revenues of 1 cr in 2013-14.
  • What keeps you motivated to do the same job every day? I believe there are a few things only I could do on a given day for my business Year one – it was to do as many placements, Year two – it was a bit of placements and getting my team do as many, year 3 – it was to do big ticket billings, Year 4 – it is to train 4 new colleagues into Recruitment and almost double the previous year’s revenue and the challenge continues. Never a dull day in recruitment so far, I never got to you feel that I have adequate or more skills to deal with the challenges on hand. I have been able to train, motivate and deliver on my own and in the coming years will work with my team to help them do the same and then contribute in doing the same with several others. I want to set-up a network of super enthusiastic SBUs within my office and chase big dreams and contribute to the society.

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