Starting his professional journey as a service engineer in DCM Computers and Byte System, Ravi “realized how fast technology was evolving and the potential it had.” Describing his growth saga, he elaborates, “I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey back in 1992 by setting up a proprietorship concern Advanced Graphic Systems. We were the pioneers in computer-aided textile designing software. Subsequently, I established AGS Transact Technologies Limited (earlier known as AGS InfoTech Private Ltd.) in 2002 and forayed into the payment technology space.”
Taking pride in his achievements, he says, “It has been a satisfying journey so far. I am glad that we have been enabling transactions across sectors and simplifying everyday lives of people for the past 25 years.”
Ravi has been instrumental in introducing services of global giants like Fast & Fluid Management (Netherlands), Diebold-Nixdorf (earlier Wincor Nixdorf, Germany) and ACI Worldwide (US). Under his leadership, the company has clocked a revenue of INR 18,057.42mn from operations as on March 31, 2019 and processed approx. 936.83 mn switching transactions in FY 19. By virtue of his quintessential leadership, the company has installed and maintained/managed approx. 72,000 ATMs for leading banks. It has also installed approx. 40,000 cash billing terminals at large retail stores and approx. 1,40,000 merchant POS terminals across big and small retailers. It has supplied approx. 72,400 colour dispensing machines for leading paint companies and automated approx. 11000 petroleum outlets for leading oil companies.
LEADING HIS WAY TO THE TOP
Leadership is not only about holding a position of eminence; it’s much more than that. A true leader is someone who listens without being condescending and has a vision and passion to make things happen. As an incisive, passionate and revolutionary leader, Ravi has gained the admiration of both his principals and clients for being an inspirational personality, capable of delivering the unthinkable.
Throwing light upon his leadership style, Ravi reminisces, “I started with very few employees, who are still a part of the AGS family in different roles. I believe that every employee has his/her own leadership style and it is important to give them a certain level of freedom to drive the business and also grow and experiment. Technology is at the core of the AGS Group’s foundation. It is evolving at a faster pace than ever, and so are we. We are always looking for individuals who have the zeal to grow along with the organization. Many business heads have stayed with us for more than a decade.”
According to Ravi, “‘Motivation’ is an essential characteristic of a good leader. A self-motivated leader will have a better chance of driving the business successfully. Motivated employees can bring exceptional results for a team/company. Also, in some cases, it can also help an organization or a team sail through tough times.”
Ravi is a leader who believes in evolving consistently and enriching himself with new knowledge and experiences. Sharing his views on growing and developing as a leader continuously, he says, “In my professional journey of 25+ years, one principle that I have stood by is that learning is a continuous process and there is always something new to learn. I stay abreast of the new trends and technology around the world which may have an impact on our ecosystem.”
Talking about the person who had a tremendous impact on him as a leader, he says, “I idolize my grandfather, Shri Kunjbihariji S. Goyal, from whom I have learnt the most important life lessons that press upon hard-work and honesty. These two attributes are also embedded in the vision of AGS Transact Technologies Limited (AGSTTL).”
CREATING A HOLISTIC EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE
Being well aware of the fact that employees are the foundation of an organization and their everyday experiences are key to its success, Ravi has always focused on providing a better employee experience. He is of the view that when companies address their employees’ experience, from the front line to the corner office, it improves their quality of life and builds mutual trust and loyalty. He righty asserts, “We encourage employees to grow personally and professionally. In addition to the growth within a specific business vertical, we also support lateral movement if desired by the employee. While this helps the employee develop more than one business skill, it also provides the company with fresh insights from the employees.” He further adds, “Every employee is free to approach their respective business heads directly and in some cases even me if required.”
Completely understanding the significance of overall wellbeing of the employees, he describes, “At AGSTTL we lay great emphasis on work-life balance as well as employee friendly policies and initiatives such as dayto-day health & fitness, medical policies and health camps to encourage a healthy mind and body.”
An innate optimist, Ravi believes that every challenge is an opportunity to perform with renewed vigour. He is of the view that “Opportunities and growth go hand in hand. Businesses are formed when you are willing to explore an opportunity at the right time. And great businesses are formed when you are willing to take risks associated with that opportunity at any given point of time. I firmly believe that technology has the power to transform every sector and industry and for doing so, I have never hesitated in taking ‘calculated risks’ to explore new business ideas and stay ahead of the curve.”
His advice for young, upcoming leaders is to be dedicated, diligent and preserve their integrity in all situations. He emphasizes, “To all youngsters moving away from their comfort zone to build their own businesses; my advice to you is to have a vision, to believe in a value system and to never compromise on hard work.”
He adds, “No two individuals are identical, their educational qualification can be the same but their attitude, experience, adaptability, communication and soft skills will vary.” When given a chance to select an employee among two equally-qualified candidates, he would select the candidate on the afore stated factors. Stressing upon the significance of ethics in business, he asserts, “Honesty and hard work are the virtues of AGS Group. I hope the company will continue to grow by leaps and bounds while keeping its legacy intact.”