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Ashok Soota warns MindTree with Happiest Minds Technology Pvt Limited
Tuesday, 5th April 2011
A founding father turns against his progeny.

Former MindTree chairman Ashok Soota announced an oddly-named new company called Happiest Minds Technology Pvt Limited, which looks very similar to the company he co-founded and exited recently.

Look at the similarities:

It would be an IT services company that seeks to become the fastest company from India to achieve $100 million revenue. Soota was reluctant to make any comparison with MindTree. But in response to a question he said while MindTree took 6 full years to hit the $100 million benchmark, Happiest Minds plans to do so in 5 full years.

Happiest Minds will be an IT services company � will focus on research and development, product engineering services, software product engineering, Remote Infrastructure Management, Testing and consultancy. It will focus on new technologies mobility, cloud, social crm, analytics, BI.

The broad business focus makes it sound like any other large Indian IT services company. Soota said he is not a niche player. His expertise is in building large companies.

What makes Happiest Minds unique besides its silly, dotcom-esque name? Soota wants to build instant scale. The start-up is being conceived to achieve mid-size status on the word go. He is familiar with the business, has contacts which will wring in customers. Just needs offices, sales and development teams to start rolling. He is negotiating with VCs and will announce funding in 6 weeks and formally launch the company in 5 months.

Soota will be chairman and MD. There will be CEO, COO, other CXOs along with business development teams that will be spun around the vertical focus areas.

There is no no-compete clause with Mind Tree. There is no bar on any Mindtree employee turning Happy in mind. He drew attention to the curt press release issued by KK, which said if Soota starts a competing business and if some Mind Tree employees join him, there will be no impact on Mindtree. He said the Happy Minds will compete with Mind Tree for customers and employees as it would with any other company.

Even the names sound similar � the �Minds� in the new company comes with a prefix � Happiest, a possible dig at the company Soota quit under apparently acrimonious conditions. The new company will also have a logo competition � just the way Mindtree did.

Why did Soota quit Mind Tree � �personal; reasons� and �destiny� he says. Why is he in a tearing hurry to build scale. As a late, late entrepreneur, he does not have time on his side, says the 70-year-old man.


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