Dinesh Bhatia, president and CEO of multi-channel enabler EdgeMatrix, speaks about relaxing through understanding the thought processes of other human beings, and tells us why his two and a half years in National Service constitute one of his biggest regrets in life
Describe your achievement and impact on the industry.
What EdgeMatrix hopes to do is to make it much easier for individuals and businesses to communicate with one another over multiple digital channels through digital touch points such as PDAs, phones, the Web, interactive television ... If we can save people minutes to hours a day in doing tasks like interacting with utilities, institutions and organizations, this means more time in a day to do other things, either creative, social or productive other work-wise. Right now there is no one way of dealing with the multitude of upcoming devices, protocols, and digital channel communication that is becoming pervasive in our lifestyle at home, work and play.
What do you like about your work?
What I like about the work is that we are at the forefront of it. We are very much leading the race and have a history of innovation to prove it as well as products ... in the multichannel space. The satisfaction comes from the visioneering, building to cater to people's future and immediate needs, and the use of our products.
Do you have a personal business philosophy that you adhere to?
Personal business philosophy is very much one of managing, motivating and selecting the right people. This is what drives a business forward, and people skills are an essential part of my business philosophy. I believe a company armed with all the other prerequisites and people of the right caliber and attitude are going to be hard to catch up with.
How do you define success? Do you consider yourself to be successful?
Success is to be happy. Not yet, because happiness for me is much more than business ... I believe that there is still room to be an all-rounder success for me.
Any role model whom you look up to?
People who are genuinely happy and have positively contributed to move our endless cycle of humanity forward. This includes coming to terms with oneself and understanding the context of who we are and where we are and what are we doing here. I don't know anyone who has outwardly come out and stated this. I don't know about any one individual role model; my role model is very much a collective sense of the things I admire in people and build in my head, in a way the role model is still being shaped and constitutes encounters that I wish to retain and take away from every interaction that I have with people.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
I am not one to look back and find a particular moment in time or a particular event that I can relate to as the proudest ... One event that has just transpired and which I am deeply honored is being recipient of the Young Alumni of the Year Award for 2001 from the Faculty of Engineering, Washington University, in the field of entrepreneurship and building meaningful business communication software.
How about your biggest regret?
Biggest regret? I would have liked to have spent my two and a half years in National Service (our compulsory military service) doing something much more meaningful in service to the nation. I don't feel I was utilised as per my abilities. But I speak as an individual and I am sure that in total, the contribution by all of us doing our National Service meant a lot.
What is your favorite form of relaxation?
Relaxation. Interacting truly and amicably with other human beings, understanding their thought processes, hopes, fears, aspirations, ideas, lessons, creations, etc and drawing some base of correlation from this. Relaxation is also hanging out with people you are very comfortable with and not worrying about anything you say or do because these people are equally comfortable with you, ie a little bit of downtime. Going out and feeling the sun and outdoor air in terms of open-top driving down long country roads, playing a spot of tennis, etc, is also great, although the time that I have for this is quite limited unfortunately.
Which in your opinion is the best place in Asia to hold a meeting for four?
The best place in Asia to hold a face-to-face meeting for four would definitely be one that stimulated the visual cortex as much as possible so as to enable open-mindedness and the creative stimuli to flow. Somewhere like in Bali would be a great place to hold a meeting.
Which Web sites do you visit most often? What kind of books do you read?
I visit any number of Web sites a day for work and also for personal use so that I may spend more time actually getting work done. The Web sites I visit include our own (edgematrix.com), yahoo.com (news and market indicators of companies who are in our industry), dbs.com.sg (to carry out my personal banking and finance needs), and also a couple of industry relevant content matter and periodicals which I subscribe through avantgo.com for my PDA. I also visit some WAP sites, which include the M1 portal through my handset and iteru.net quite regularly.
I am reading a variety of books, which include science fiction, books on science like neuroscience (very interested in how the brain works), autobiographies of interesting people who have caused an impact in the world, and books on philosophy. Also, books on how fundamentals we use today came about like mathematics, etc prove very interesting because they explore the issue of creation and truly inspire thinking. I read in parallel because I don't have much time to read and am ever hungry to get a little piece of as much as possible.
More about People: Managing Asia.