about myself

Manoj has over forty years of work experience and has led organizations for the last twenty years. He became CEO of The Waterbase Ltd. in 1990, a company he listed on the Mumbai Stock Exchange. He was until recently Chief Strategy Officer for Apparel, a retail company in Dubai (2013-2018). He was Executive Director of Dubai SME, a Government organization that catalyzes entrepreneurship (2005-2013). Manoj is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi, an MBA from IIM, Bangalore, and a Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, USA.

How did I get here?

EDUCATION

Didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. Dabbled in everything – sports, theatre, and art. Drifted into engineering.

Delhi Public School,
Delhi, India, class of 72

Wandered into design engineering consulting. Didn’t want to work in a factory. Didn’t want to go for an MBA.

Mechanical Engineering Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India, class of 77

Went back to school 5 years after engineering graduation. Post-graduation had options to do PhD in US. Instead went to world of practice.

MBA Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India, class of 84

Returned to grad school 20 years after MBA and having 2 five year stints as CEO of 2 companies.

Executive Doctorate of Management, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, class of 2004

WORK EXPERIENCE

Conceptualized, designed and managed project implementation of material handling and ash disposal systems of utilities. Sensed an ability to grasp large complex systems.

1977 - 81
Assistant Engineer, Tata Consulting Engineers, Bangalore

Got a top down view of the 3rd largest Indian business group. Focused on business development and acquisitions.

1984 - 89
Executive Asst. to the Chairman, Ballarpur Industries Ltd.,Delhi.

At 33 became CEO of a startup Aquaculture Company. Did an IPO on Mumbai Stock exchange.

1990 - 95
CEO, The Waterbase Ltd., Delhi.

Reached Dubai to head a $140m retail and distribution company. Learnt a new industry. Diversified and scaled a running business. Understood the importance of customer choice in making (or breaking) a business in a pennies industry.

1996 - 2001
Dy CEO, Jashanmal National Co., Dubai.

Back to graduate school to reinvent myself. Taught capstone strategy course. Learnt more than I taught.

2001 - 2005
Student and Adjunct Faculty, Weatherhead School of Business, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

Started an Executive Education company based on the reinvention I experienced when I returned to grad school.

2005 - continuing
SmartGlobal FZCo, Dubai

Operated the Government of Dubai’s entrepreneur development organization. Ran an incubator and funding program.

2005 - 2013
COO and Executive Director, DubaiSME, Dubai

Experienced entrepreneurship to help entrepreneurs; established a Chocolate Café in Bangalore.

2006 - 2008
Just Chocolate Café, Bangalore, India

Focus was strategy preparation & execution, platforms (IT and logistics) for scale-up and mindset change.

2013 – 2018
Chief Strategy Officer, Apparel Group, Dubai

Other Pursuits

  • Advisory Board of online platforms invoicebazar.com (factoring) and Trunks Company (a luxury brand based in Jaipur)
  • ‘A 1000 days adventure,’ a book on entrepreneurship.
  • ‘Sai Bhagvatham,’ a book conceptualized on William James classic ‘Varieties of Religious Experience.’
  • Co-teach an Executive Education programs at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, on luxury and lifestyle brands
  • Best Teacher award Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve Univ.
  • Best All-round Student Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
  • President of the Student Union Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
  • Digital platforms for strategy execution, real-time research, and analytics based recruitment
  • Creating an online startup ecosystem for incubation, acceleration, teaching entrepreneurship to K12 and college students and crowd funding.