Be a Risk Taker – The First Mover Advantage


The principle of any business established to make profit is very simple “ Profit is the reward for risk bearing”. This holds true not only in businesses but also in our personal lives where success and failures are defined by the level of risk taking ability and the maturity of the risk taker in making the risk convert into an advantage more often than not.

My own experiences in risk taking have been phenomenal. To most of my colleagues, I am a big risk taker. However few know that my risk taking ability has been derived out of several positive behavioral traits that have given me a far higher benefit than the rest. To add on top of it, it has been a result of an incremental risk taking where I have lost more than what I gained initially, but eventually my experiences helped me to come out of most of the bigger situations later.

For me, risk taking is driven by the principles of first mover advantage where only few have an opportunity to make it.

In this blog, I would like to briefly give an overview on how you can be a risk taker and win in most of the situations.

  1. Develop the habit of knowing your ecosystem: Understanding what is changing around you and what others have done to be successful is an important learning tool. I have seen, most of us only get swayed away by the big success we see around us but fail to even notice the failures. I have always given more importance to understand how and why others fail and seek the difference between those who have been successful.
  2. Prepare for a backup: Any risk may have an outcome which at times may rob you of the strength to venture into any other. Working out a plan B or going for small incremental risks to test the waters normally is highly recommended. For those who can afford bigger risk, one must take the chance.
  3. Have the ability to face the challenge: Any venture or new initiative will be only successful if that is backed up with tireless working and focus on the outcome. Before you jump into fray for getting some results for yourself, think several times if you can do justice by spending time and energy for a substantial period before you can see the results coming. This is the place where most of us fail. Having enough patience and ability to work under pressure for long time and without any results can be a rare trait, but those who exhibit, almost always find themselves ahead of the pack.
  4. Develop marketing and selling abilities: Any new venture cannot be backed up by others unless you are convinced yourselves about the same. Selling your idea and marketing it well is almost always the reason for faster and bigger success. Enterprising individuals mostly fail to understand the reason of their failure in their ventures, which almost all the time is around the fact that they have poor selling abilities.

 While there is a lot more to being successful in risk taking, I have found these four areas determining most of the outcome in any risk one has to take.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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