Originally from Thrissur, Kerala, Ajayya Kumar is a Management Thinker, Mentor, Business Advisor, Art Enthusiast and CMA Graduate Author from ICMA, USA with a Masters Degree Financial Professional from the American Academy of Financial Management. doctorate in organizational behavior. With so much talent and ability in one person, he is now a name known to many as a virtuoso. Beginning his long journey in 1994, starting with ABB, the man has worked with some of the biggest names in the field, including ABB, IPCA Laboratory and Federal Foods.

Currently COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Emircom, he is an avid reader and a bestselling author too. He has co-authored four books scheduled for launch in 2021. Passionate about art, he has organized six editions of classical concerts and directed 10 short films with his production company. Speaking about his life, Ajayya Kumar answers a few questions that provide insight into his incredible journey.

1. How was your career in this industry?

“Fill in” – if I had a word. It all started in 1994 when I joined tech giant ABB as a management accountant. With stints with industry leaders like ABB, Federal Foods, my exposure and my experience have been enriched. I joined Emircom in 2004 as CFO and played a crucial role in making the company a leader in the ICT market in the Middle East. I have strengthened it by establishing a strong and solid financial foundation. My relationship with Emircom spans over 2 decades.

2. What are the main challenges you have encountered?

Growing a business isn’t easy, especially when you are in the driver’s seat of major economic events – like the 2008 recession and now the pandemic. risks that one can prepare a company through difficult times. I believe that there is no challenge too great to stop our progress if you develop the right mindset and equip yourself with the right tools.

3. As a leader, what are the points that you always keep in mind to better manage a start-up?

Like I said, it all starts with the state of mind. I make sure that the people who come to me have the right entrepreneurial spirit – a commitment to their cause, persistence to not give up when the going gets tough and the ability to learn especially from failures .

Then come the tools to tackle organizational management, from finance to risk management. I tell most startup leaders to develop practical and financial wisdom. These two concepts are at the heart of my next book – Formula G – How to Scale your Startup to be a Growth Machine – which I co-wrote with peers in the industry. Its publication is scheduled for the end of the year.

4. What are your main goals for 2021 to achieve?

We are in the last quarter of 2021. This year, I put health at the forefront. I believe that a leader should be in good physical and mental shape. I cycle 9 miles every morning which is when a lot of visualization and planning happens. Since setting long-term goals, this decade of my life has been devoted to promoting innovative ideas in management and education and helping to prepare the next generation of students and entrepreneurs by sharing the knowledge and wisdom that I have acquired over the years.

On other fronts, three books are in preparation, all in the final stages of publication. I also look forward to doing more with my arts and culture organization – Sarvamangala Arts Initiatives.

5. Tell us about Sarvamangala Art Initiatives?

SARVAMANGALA SABHA is a non-profit organization registered in Thrissur, India. It is present in India and the United Arab Emirates. The inaugural Sarvamangala concert took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. After the successful launch, we launched the project, titled “Temples Series – Stories of Temples and Their Arts,” which was dedicated to the classical arts that developed and flourished around temples. To date, we have hosted a dozen events at leading temples and art centers in South India. Our YouTube channel hosts original content and has some of the best archival material around traditional and classical art forms.

6. Any interesting or memorable incidents or experiences while making OTT movies or content?

Our very first film, “BURNING”, has been critically acclaimed and shortlisted at the Panorama India International Film Festival 2018 and has so far been screened at 45 film festivals around the world. Walking the Panorama red carpet was an incredible experience. As a producer, I trusted the screenplay (Jinoy Jose) and the director (Sanoj). The result is here to see. You can watch “BURNING” on our youtube channel – Sarvamangala Productions.

And our second, Vikram Kochar starrer “DAMMY” written by Jinoy Jose and directed by award-winning national director Rukshana Tabassum. Its world premiere at the Indian Film Festival, Stuggart is in July. The production house plans to venture into the production of feature films and web series next year.

7. What are you doing to help society / industry in these difficult times?

Well, I give back to the industry through CSR activities. Recently, we partnered with an e-commerce platform in UAE and a multinational computer technology company to provide laptops to students in UAE at a heavily subsidized rate. Our effort has been a relief, especially for families with more than one child taking online classes at the same time. The CSR campaign was a success.

Through Sarvamangala Arts Initiative, we have supported over 1,000 artists with direct financial assistance.