From tomorrow I will no longer be CEO of Gridstone Research. Once again, as I have done twice before in my career, I step into the unknown.
I devoted the last three and a half years to our journey at Gridstone. We set out to build an important technology company serving the capital markets. However, Gridstone’s market, the investment managment industry, has been going through one of its worse downturns ever. Needless to say, budgets have been slashed and Gridstone had to take cost-reduction measures to adjust to the new reality.
A few weeks back I started feeling that my presence was no longer necessary for the company and that the rest of the management team was strong enough to carry on with the good work without me. I asked the board to relieve me of my duties as CEO. My colleague and co-founder P R Ganapathy (Guns) will be the new CEO and take over my responsibilities.
I continue to be a big supporter of the company and a believer in its vision. I will stay on the board of the company to help it in whatever way I can. Even in a down market and with a reduced cost structure and I am confident in the team’s ability to see it through.
You remember every stage of your career by the people you worked with. At Gridstone it was my privilege to work with some of the best. My co-founders and others in the management team – Guns, Ramesh, Sandeep, Nitin, Anurag, Sridhar, Nilanjan, Natarajan – would make the A-list in any company. Smart people with integrity and a can-do attitude. I would go into any battle with them.
I also had the good fortune of having some great investors – Izhar Armony at Charles River, Ashish Gupta of Helion and David Singer at Maverick – all astute, supportive venture investors. Along with my friend Ramana Venkata they formed a board that any entrepreneur would kill to have. John Levinson and many of our angel investors were also super helpful and I am sure will continue to extend their support to Guns and the team in the future as well.
So what now? I don’t have any well laid out plans of what I am going to do next. The only thing I know is that I am going to take my time. There is no reason to rush into anything and every reason to make a careful, considered decision. The last few years have been entirely focused on the capital markets. I need to reconnect with what’s happening in other industries, in the US and in India. So the first thing I am going to do is meet people who are in the flow of what’s going on. There’s nothing like a conversation with a smart businessman to clear out the cobwebs.
And oh, there’s one more thing I’ll be doing – blogging. Now that I will have a lot more time, you can expect a higher frequency of posts. As always, feel free to write directly or through the comments.