Born: Hyderabad, India
Education: Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, bachelor’s degree, engineering; Indian Institute of Management, founded by the Harvard Business School; Wharton School of Management, MBA
First job: Working in his family’s hardware store in India
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
People come and go, but it is companies that succeed. One company I admire is the first one I worked for after graduating from business school, General Electric. It has reinvented itself dramatically and is focused on success. While GE is in so many different businesses, it is really in one business, and that is the business of winning.
What has been your toughest business challenge?
At GreenPoint, we acquired an entity that was based in the San Francisco Bay area. It was entrepreneurial and innovative and had never been part of a large company. It was a challenge to combine a 100-year-old business and an entrepreneurial company into one entity that operated seamlessly.
What is your greatest business lesson you’ve learned?
There is a difference between a leader and a loner. Early in my life, I had a tendency to get so carried away with my own ideas and thoughts.
The distance between me and the people I worked with grew so large that I was moving forward without them. That is a loner. A leader is when you carry your people with you.
Have you changed during the year you’ve served as CEO of Radian?
I would be very disappointed if I hadn’t. This is a new set of challenges, and I have a new appreciation of the governance issues that are important in the CEO’s role. I take pride in doing what is right for shareholders. I work for them.