30 years as an entrepreneur have not made Rajesh Jain complacent; rather it has taught him to always be on the alert for what is coming next.
What’s your story?
Growing up, I was inspired by my father’s entrepreneurial journey. In the 1990s, I wanted to become an entrepreneur myself. Despite a rough start, I started IndiaWorld Communications — an electronic informational marketplace to connect Indians worldwide, eventually selling it in one of the largest Internet deals in Asia then.
In 1997, we launched Netcore Solutions (now Netcore Cloud) to revolutionize marketing and consumer engagement. Although the role of CMO and growth managers has become key to every organisation’s success, the tools at their disposal still fail to provide a unified view of their customer’s intentions, preferences, and journeys.
What excites you most about your industry?
The marketing automation industry is an ever-evolving space. Today, the industry is moving away from data-driven marketing to intelligent marketing powered by AI and Machine Learning, where algorithms decide the right message. The consumer’s shift to mobile is transforming content consumption, be it editorial, entertainment or branded. The shift has also impacted attention spans, leading to a phenomenon called “attention recession”. To match the shifting consumer behaviour and a greater fragmentation of consumer attention, Netcore Cloud aims to empower all the touchpoints between brands and their consumers throughout the consumer journey — creating an omnichannel personality with an AI-first approach.
What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?
As an entrepreneur for over 30 years, I aspire to bring positive change and ultimately make life better for end customers with the use of technology. My motivation is to enable marketers, growth hackers, and product marketers to orchestrate amazing experiences for their customers. I am constantly thinking of ways to improve processes today with the customers of the future in mind, and therefore what tools marketers will need to create these industry improvements. Marketing is a space that will never go away — every business in the world wants to acquire, retain and grow customers — always.
What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?
In my professional career, I’ve learnt to never be afraid of failure, but rather, to accept it as part of the journey. Secondly, timing is critical. With competition always close behind, a leader’s biggest enemy is time. As a leader, I’m always mindful of the time I take to address a challenge. Finally, as the dynamics of the market and therefore the needs of clients are constantly involved, I have learnt to stay agile by ensuring our relevance, and through reading, writing or sharing my ideas. Writing daily helps me to consistently become better — with my ideas and solutions.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
At 40, I read a column about writing one’s obituary — and then living that life. I tried it, and it was one of the best mental exercises I ever did. It gave me immense clarity on what I wanted to do. I repeat this exercise every few years.
We all have one life. The question before us is: how can we live our best life? What should such a life be? Early in one’s life, one doesn’t think deeply about such questions. Take each day, each year, as it comes.
Who inspires you?
I have been deeply inspired by my father, who is also an entrepreneur. Growing up, I’ve watched him grow through numerous ups and downs in his own journey. When I was older, I realised I wanted to embark on that adventure just like he did.
What have you learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently saw a video of Open AI Codex that converts natural language into software. It’s amazing what AI can do. Totally blew me away!!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing — I like to live life forward! I think of the life that’s to come, not the life that’s gone by. We’re not living in a multiverse where we can take a different path in the past. A decision made is a decision done. Of course, if it’s not going right, one must find ways to mitigate its damage. Life has to be lived forward — look ahead to what’s coming. Each big wrong decision is an education in itself — one must understand why it went wrong. But that’s a different exercise from playing the “If only” game.
How do you unwind?
For me, reading has always been my comfort zone. I read a lot — business books, thrillers, short stories — and I make it a point to spend at least 30-60 minutes reading every day. For a few dollars, you get the life’s wisdom of people through their books. Reading is the best investment we can make with our free time. In addition to reading, I also enjoy putting my thoughts & ideas into words daily on my blog — https://rajeshjain.com/.
What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?
The transformative power of the SaaS model — and the ability to sell to global businesses from our home country. Delivering software through the cloud is a disruption to the traditional software model. The use of content, inbound marketing, SDRs, ABMs — all these can transform sales and marketing. India and SE Asia have great talent in software, and we can leverage this to build the next-gen software leaders from our region.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Jim Collins series, starting with his most recent book, Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0, which also connects to his previous books. If you want to create an enduring, great company, make Jim Collins your guide!
Shameless plug for your business:
Netcore Cloud has benefitted 5000+ brands from North America to Southeast Asia by elevating the effectiveness of their communication with consumers. Today, 80% of unicorns use at least one of our products, and 75% of India’s and 50% of Asia’s email traffic goes through Netcore Cloud. Some brands in Southeast Asia we work with are Pizza Hut Malaysia, and McDonald’s Malaysia. We’re also aiming to become India’s first B2B SaaS IPO by 2022. With the introduction of our SMS & Email Marketing platforms, many brands were successful in expanding their reach, refining the communication further, thereby elevating their consumer’s experience.
How can people connect with you?
You can visit my blog at https://rajeshjain.com/.
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Links?
Instagram: [@netcore_cloud] https://twitter.com/netcore_cloud
Facebook: [@NetcoreCloud] https://www.facebook.com/NetcoreCloud
My Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajesh-jain-b941
This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.