Sangeet Paul Choudary, Founder and CEO of C-level advisory and research firm Platformation Labs, has had an extensive list of achievements to his name: co-author of international best-seller Platform Revolution – ranked as a must-read book by Forbes and a top CEO read by Huffington Post, Young Global Leader as recognised by the World Economic Forum, and ranked as one of the top 30 emerging thinkers globally in 2016 by Thinkers50 Radar. Where does he foresee his platform methodology heading to in five years’ time? Sangeet tells us.
1. Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?
My company’s name is Platformation Labs. It’s a board-level and CEO-level advisory firm on the future of different industries and the transformation of companies to meet that future requirement. The company works with clients all over the world especially in North America, Western Europe, Middle East, India and Australia. We work with clients across all industries.
I started this company because I was very fascinated with the whole idea of how new technologies, digital technologies, and the convergence of different kinds of technologies were changing the way different industries were structured, the way companies compete in different industries and the way new business models are coming into the placeholder business models. In that context, I started this company. I started creating thought leadership which has been accepted at the highest levels globally.
2. Why start a company in Singapore over other markets?
I started this company in Singapore because I wanted it to be at a location from where it could serve the global market. I knew that the application and the impact would be global and so I wanted it to be based at a global hub. But also, I wanted it to be at a place where the business climate was friendly to new companies and Singapore has been great from that perspective. It’s been very easy and convenient to set up and scale the company and it’s been a great hub to work out of even when serving clients all over the world.
3. How did Rikvin aid you in your business journey?
Rikvin has been a great partner in my business journey. It’s taken care of the nuts and bolts of running a company. It’s helped me with all the compliance-related issues but also just giving general advice on how to best structure company operations, how to best leverage towards growth. All of those things have been really good. So Rikvin from that perspective has not just been a service provider, they also have very much been a partner in the growth of the company
4. Describe your experience with Rikvin in three words:
I really think of it as a one-point solution where you get everything. You want to get help with your taxes, compliance, you want to get advice on how to structure company operations – it’s a one, single-point solution which is really helpful.
5. Could you share an interesting / unforgettable story about a customer using your product / service? Or a company that you invested in?
There have been many interesting examples of the impact of my work. My work has been used at the World Economic Forum to think about how it works like a platform, how public and private corporations are enabled in a platform-based model. My work has been used by the philanthropists in the US where they are trying to figure out how to scale social impact using digital technologies, how to create the next model of solving real problems using digital technology. It is also been used across industries – it’s being used to create new models in healthcare in Europe. It’s been used to create new autonomous mining models in Australia. The implications and usage of the work has been diverse and because I’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide range of clients, I’ve been able to see its impact in many different industries.
6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
What really gets me out of bed in the morning is that the space that I look at is changing so fast, things are happening, new technologies are coming and the way they impact industries is changing every day. So it’s not a stagnant space. Every day you get out of bed there’re new things to do, there’re new things to explore so the learning never stops. The implications of what you’re building and the way it can impact the world never stop. And that’s what really led to the growth of the company so far and that’s what really keeps me going and helps me get started every morning.
7. What keeps you up at night?
What keeps me up at night is usually ensuring that my research and work with the clients stay cutting-edge. All the work that I do needs to be validated by what’s happening right now in different industries – what’s working, what’s not working – so there’s a lot of constant research that goes into ensuring that the solutions that I create are applicable in different industries. What really keeps me up at night is ensuring the solutions are validated and that they can be deployed in a particular industry.
8. Tell me about your company in five years. What does the end game look like to you?
The end game of my company is that – the methodology that I’ve built out to create new business models and industries that are being transformed – I believe that the real end game we are running for and the real impact that will happen is if this becomes the dominant methodology that is used across industries to solve these problems. Whether it’s used by my clients or by my competitors’ clients will start becoming immaterial if the methodology that I created starts getting used across the industry. So to me what’s important is not just where the company is in five years’ but also the larger impact beyond my direct company and my direct clients that can happen in the industry in five years’ time.
9. What is the one characteristic that people totally dig about you? What is the one characteristic that drives them insane?
The one characteristic that people really dig about me and the one characteristic that drives them insane are both the same characteristic – it’s my passion. When people see my passion, they get attracted to it. They get attracted to how that passion has been recognised at the highest levels, how that has created new value – so they get energised by it. A lot of my collaborators work with me because that’s what they like about me. At the same time, what drives people insane is also my passion because I am really driven by my work. I can work on it 24/7 – I know it’s not a good thing and I do not do that to keep a balance but I’m constantly tuned into my work. I’m always thinking about what’s happening next and how that will impact different industry structures. That can sometimes drive other people insane because that’s not what they’re thinking about 24/7. So it’s really my passion that’s both the strongest attractor and that drives people around me insane as well.
10. What’s the one piece of advice you would offer to founders out there?
The most important advice that I would offer to founders out there is to ensure that you validate your idea, you validate what you’re building, you validate it before you invest too much and take a long cycle towards launching it into market. Keep validating it at every point, keep learning from the market and your potential customer, the industry – whether what you’re building actually creates value and whether there’s a business over there.
The other thing that I believe is really important is that even as you validate, know the difference between feedback and opinion. There will be people who give you their opinion and there will be people who will give you actual feedback and it’s important to always know the difference.
11. What book do you think everyone on the team should read?
That’s an easy one. They should be reading my book – it’s an international best-selling book – it’s called Platform Revolution. I passionately believe in the book because that’s what my whole life’s work is based on. All my clients read it and apply it.
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