Importance of Learning to Learn – Deveanand, Founding Member and Director at Maxires

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Today’s ever-dynamic business landscape calls for organizations and their people to adapt to changing circumstances rapidly, and to always be learning.

Be it a start-up or a growing business, every small improvement takes a lot more effort. And, if you would like to stand out, these tiny improvements in your speed or accuracy can be the difference between being the best in the world and an also-ran. Treading on N2N (Needle to North) Consulting, this is exactly where Maxires steps in!

Maxires – The name? MAXImising RESults!

Maxires is training led business consulting based out of Chennai which solves business problems from end to end. Maxires was incorporated in the year March 1st 2011 and has operations across the country and presence at Dubai.

Maxires today has 200 plus clients across 71 verticals and has the best retention rate of happy clients who offer repeat business as they are a brand of choice for their training and consulting needs. They have an enviable team with a fine blend of youth and experience, fairly large representation of women to men, people who ran successful and multi businesses across country vis a vis core training professional with domestic and international certifications.

Chennai Insider in conversation with Deveanand – The Founding Member and Director at Maxires – He shares a sneak-peak of Founding Principles of Maxires and some valuable insights into product or service differentiation. Whether you are a corporate employee or an entrepreneur, each one has a takeaway from these snippets!

What made you start your training venture and what problem does it solve?

Post subprime crisis the business world has come to terms that the economy will not remain stable like in the past and will have tremors felt from time to time; no standard strategy would work, as the real-time scenarios keep changing. Opportunities come gift-wrapped during moment of crisis and challenges. Isn’t that true. This gets compounded on three fronts: when the existing good performing employees get promoted within the organization or move out of the job for greener pastures, there is a vacuum that is created; second being the arrival of new employees at work. The third one being multiple start-ups that are jump-starting – hence new employees/millennials have a choice in front of them either to join start up’s or corporates. Hence to get them to reach a plug and play state within a limited time frame will be an added challenge.

Markets do not get saturated but mindsets do

Maxires saw beauty spot here and built its long-term strategy to help organisations reach their financial goals through a fine blend of training and OFCC – On Field Coaching and Consulting.

Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?

I am a hotelier, started my career with Taj and been part of Taj, served the brand for good 9 years in domestic and international markets. Post that was part of the team which launched Club Mahindra and worked with M&M close to 5 years. Post joined Max New York Life as founder team member and headed south region for agency and later moved as VP and Head – Training for Bancassurance and DST vertical. Worked for MNYL close to 8 years and moved on to start Maxires.

The pillars which we work are 4P’s – People, Process, Productivity, and Profitability.

Consolidated wisdom gained in all the working years, being connected with the field on a daily basis helped me to carve the strategy for Maxires which works with clients closely on four business pillars and help the needle move north in all of the pillars or some of the need and requirement of clients.

As a founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?

As I always say to my team, India is a super good place to be in for this kind of business and it’s going to be a great run for the next two decades as I see. Its already started and momentum is catching up. But having said this, along with velocity and speed comes the challenge of Wisdom, Execution, Fungibility, and Frugality at the organization level.

I am not perturbed by what’s happening around, as we all know the difference between what can be controlled and what cannot be. Why fret over it?

Having lock in’s and working in silo’s is making lots of organization lose opportunities and take advantage of such opportunities.

Being flexible and nimble-footed on all 4 P’s is the way forward, people know about that too, but challenge is willingness to change as it takes the first two P’s out of comfort zone.

Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?

As I see competition exists when you commoditize your product or services. The moment you design be it product or service in a way that cannot be replicated, you are staying away from competition.

If others are doing it, let’s not get there

Maxires’s founding principle is on two fronts: If others are doing it, let’s not get there. Two, if there is no value add which ONLY Maxires can provide, we will become an also-ran company. We run past all our strategies through these two questions and arrive at structuring our products and services.

As a strategy, we are certainly high-end solutions providing company and to me, that’s a better situation to be in. Differentiated service comes along with value-added pricing too. Delighted to say all our clients’ value that part of us and feel that it’s worth the investment that they make with us.

How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?

To me, the last 9 years have been more rewarding, learning and growth of starting from no client to 200 plus clients at a frenetic pace of close to 2 corporate clients per month. Pressure happens when you do something which isn’t to one’s liking. The moment your passion becomes your work, which is what you do, then from pressure, it moves to pleasure. I continue to enjoy remarkable support from family which makes it much easier. Added to that is our cherry-picked team members, who are aligned fundamentally at the purpose level.

We take regular breaks once a quarter with team members and once a year family holiday rejuvenates us.

       Meet the cherry-picked Team Maxires!

Have you raised funding?

We are currently a bootstrapped company and intend to keep it the same way for some more time. We are in the process of designing a blended learning system for corporates between technology and instructor-led. The challenge out here is striking a balance between both and also get the skill updation run through this module.

Maxires version 2.0 is getting launched soon and will provide timely solutions to corporates on these fronts: Just in time, basis actual real-life scenario, helping them improve 4 P’s and move the business needle northwards.

This will need to involve a lot of cash to put up architecture and will certainly look for an investor who will add value to us apart from funding.

By 2027, we predict close to a million young and first-time managers who will need skilling and wisdom to be shared in quick time as well as in a manner which will accentuate their learning and implementation on the field.

Your challenges and roadblocks so far? How are you overcoming them?

Two big rocks: One is how do we become visible across the country and also scalable. Two being speed to market from a reach perspective.

We will be investing shortly on social media sales promotion and also various forms with the right campaign which can help solve the first big rock.

Our approach towards solving the second one is already work in progress in the form of Maxires 2.0. Team is working tirelessly on this for almost a year now and we will soon be locking in at our war room review before the rubber meets the road.

The Future Path..

Maxires has the advantage of starting early and also leapfrogging some distance in this space. As I see, we have started well and the home run has been good, painstakingly built the architecture, done the basics right. Momentum has to come and that will be the key focus in times to come.

Technology will be the way forward and embedding that with blended learning will make us Zebra in the park. Our approach is to look at acquiring long term valued clients to whom we will add enduring value basis our 4P’s strategy through our business consulting model N2N – Needle to North.

Way to go, Team Maxires! As Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly puts it, “Get good at beginner mode, asking dumb questions, making stupid mistakes, and teaching others what you learn.”

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