The Internet of Things is an emerging topic of technical, social and economic significance. Consumer products, durable goods, cars and trucks, industrial and utility components, sensors, and other everyday objects combined with internet connectivity and robust data analytic capabilities promise to transform the way we work, live, and play. At the same time, however, the Internet of Things raises significant challenges that could stand in the way of realizing its potential benefits.
Meet Romil Bahl, the President and Chief Executive Officer of KORE Wireless, who has almost three decades of experience in consulting, information technology, professional services, and IoT in high-growth and turnaround environments.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between Romil Bahl and CIOLOOK.
Describe your background, and what did you do before you started or came into this business?
Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in enabling and leading breakthrough growth. I pride myself on taking a thoughtful approach, bringing leadership teams together to craft winning growth strategies that tap into high growth markets and emerging profit pools and build and energize high-performing global teams. My goal is always to establish strong customer relationships, so I genuinely understand the needs and challenges they are facing in the industry.
Describe your company and its cutting-edge services/solutions which address all the needs of your customers.
As you know, KORE was founded in 2003. In the almost two decades we have been in business, we have been singularly focused on simplifying the complexity of IoT deployments. We have transformed from a vendor-neutral, global connectivity provider to a true IoT enablement advisor and solution provider. We enjoy sincere relationships with carriers and partners, and on behalf of our customers, we bring to bear a comprehensive understanding of the IoT ecosystem.
We help our customers eliminate the time-consuming need to identify, evaluate, contract, and manage multiple network connectivity providers, equipment manufacturers, and professional services organizations as they build out their IoT solution. In an entirely vendor-neutral and independent manner, we help customers accelerate their time-to-market and maximize the ROI of their IoT spend.
What strategies do you undertake to make your employees resourceful?
First and foremost, and while we are customer-centric in all we do, every member of our organization has a passion for learning and growing to help our customers succeed. We are open when it comes to sharing ideas cross-functionally and collaborating to achieve exceptional results for our customers. We team well. We are not defensive. We are transparent, and as quickly as the good news is shared, the bad news is shared quicker, so that we can respond and solve issues that inevitably occur in the complex world of IoT. From a personnel standpoint, we have implemented some of the most comprehensive performance tools, with a focus on not only current success and metrics but also individualized personal and professional goals. Everyone at KORE is empowered to grow in his or her career.
We are all about a high-performance culture, driving a work-hard, play-hard mentality that creates a global team empowered to make a difference, and incented to succeed as the company itself reaches.
What are some of the vital attributes, in your opinion, that every leader should possess?
Every leader should have thoughtful strategic insights, the will to execute and follow-through, and high-quality communication. It probably sounds like an exaggeration, but in some way, shape or form, I spend about 50 percent of my time communicating, whether that’s externally or internally. You’ve got to be able to do it consistently and with passion. I want my team to feel confident that I am there for them – and our customers as well. We’re all working toward the same goal here, but without adequate communication, even the best of intentions can fall flat.
What is your greatest life achievement?
That is a two-fold answer for me. Professionally, I made it a goal to become CEO by the age of 40. And I did just that. It was not very easy, but the challenges I faced along the way have shaped my outlook and management style today.
Personally, my wife and I have two incredible daughters of whom we could not be more proud. Family is essential to me, and I see the determination in my girls to achieve happiness and success in their lives as well. It’s incredible. It trumps any professional accomplishments.
Where do you see your industry in five years?
The IoT industry will continue to gain momentum as we uncover new, more straightforward ways to connect our world and services. KORE is excited to help our customers implement solutions faster than ever before by navigating the complexities across the IoT ecosystem, we make it easier for our customers to adopt IoT. To scale securely with our IoT managed services and on the best and most secure IoT network on the planet.
We have already introduced turnkey solutions in several markets, including healthcare, life sciences, fleet, asset tracking, and industrial IoT markets. The December acquisition of Integron, for example, allows KORE to bring the industry’s most robust healthcare IoT solutions set to market.
What one thing, more than anything else, do you want to accomplish in your business before you get out?
I want to be a part of something that makes a lasting impact on our world, something that revolutionizes our lives. I want to give back, to leave a legacy of something bigger and better than myself, and to enable our global team to have massive success in their careers. I believe KORE can be a crucial enabler of IoT for business – and also IoT for good. We consider a connected planet is a better planet and will make lives better, and make our world a better place.
What advice would you like to give to the emerging entrepreneurs?
Your attitude is everything. There will be significant challenges along the way, but you have to learn from them and find the positive in each situation. Letting yourself get bogged down by failures or negative feedback – you’ll never succeed that way. You have to approach each case with hope and optimism and tenacity, and you can never give up. Get out of your own style, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. Never give in!
How do you sustain your entrepreneurial spirit in this changing technological era?
The changing landscape energizes me, quite frankly. I’ve never been one to rest on my laurels or become complacent. I like to challenge myself and keep learning and growing. I honestly never want to feel like I’ve checked off my entire list of personal or career ambitions. If I do, that means it’s time to try something new.