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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2017

The US, India and beyond: Award-winning SmartKargo Spreads its Wings

thesiliconreview-milind-tavshikar-ceo-smartkargo-17“Global Airlines have deployed SmartKargo to improve air cargo revenues and customer service”

SmartKargo Software as a Service (SaaS) allowscommercial passenger airlines around the world to operate commercial cargo business and generate additional ancillary revenue using the otherwise empty belly space of a passenger aircraft. Aturn-key ERP solution like SmartKargo allows airlines torapidly launch and manage air cargo management solutions and provide services to consumers traditionally served by integrators like FedEx, UPS etc. A readily available network of flights and availability of unutilized cargo space is a win-win for both carriers and consumersin terms of service availability and price competitiveness. 

Established in 2006, the company QuantumID Technologies Inc. (which designed the SmartKargo product from the ground up with a team of airline experts) has a nerve  center in Cambridge, MA, with network of offices in Dallas, Pune, Manila and other locations. 

Interview Excerpts: Milind Tavshikar, CEO SmartKargo

We are a ‘Born on the Cloud’company in every aspects of our business, says Milind who believes his title of CEO is only a formality! We are perhaps the “Smallest Global Company Ever,” he says. SmartKargo customers span from Honolulu in Hawai’i USA to Manila in the Philippines and everywhere in between. Hundreds of airports and thousands of flights across every time-zone depend on SmartKargo to operate around the clock. This execution model makes it mandatory that we have a high level of skill and decision making capability throughout the entire company, which means that everyone is playing the role of the CEO on the job regardless of their geography or function.

Sound technical know-how, global reach, and speed of implementation is our USP

“Every individual here is equivalent to 10 individuals that our competitors have,” he believes. “We are highly selective in terms of the people we recruit. Our top managers have top-notch education from the world’s most prestigious and rigorous universities – predominantly the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). And it reflects in our execution. Attention to detail and ownership of deliverables are highly esteemed values. All the necessary freedom is given to individuals and creativity is encouraged.” 

As a consequence, results are often delivered a magnitude higher than expected. This has also been possible due to the expertise in business processes in the verticals that the team provides services to. 

“We understand the importance of employee satisfaction, as much as client satisfaction. We have used these assets effectively to deliver successful roll-outs, one after another,” Tavshikar said. 

The biggest asset at SmartKargo: Smart People

The company has put togetherthe optimum mix of creators and enablers. With over a decade of industrial hardware, software and technical services experience and excellence, the company has on board the skills and talents to provide visibility to their clients’ businesses. 

“We believe it is our team and colleagues who make us what we are. They are dedicated and responsible, therefore we encourage an open office culture. We advocate the principle of equality wherein any employee—whether old or new, senior or junior has the opportunity to directly interact with the CEO, COO or other managers to express their ideas and thoughts. Every one here is on a first name basis. There are no walls, no hierarchies to worry about and no inhibitions in being able to express yourself.” said Nishant Gawand–Head of Human Resources. 

The company is built on the concept of close-knit teams, Nishant reveals. This allows the vision and the focus of the senior management to trickle down to the employees through their respective leads. Since the focus and purpose is well expressed and understood by the middle management, it trickles down transparently to all sections of the organization—thus helping to maintain the company focus and purpose uniformly across the fabric of the organization. 

“If the interests and the plans of individuals are not listened to and acted upon, the result can be disgruntled employees. We understand the immediate and long- term goals of our employees and work toward planning their roles and responsibilities accordingly,” he asserts. 

The management allows exchange of ideas, not only in projects, but also in day-to-day operations, HR and administration-related functions. It has created a culture where each individual feels content in contributing ideas and suggesting changes. 

“When these ideas and suggestions are heard patiently and discussed, even executed, the employees inculcate a sense of belonging, contribution and responsibility— which brings out the best in them” Nishant claims. 

Working at SmartKargo: A win- win situation

When it comes to making a difference and exploring the world, SmartKargo is a great place to be! One of the most important aspects of working anywhere is to see that your work is useful to the company you work for. Sounds simple, but this can be very hard to achieve in software companies. Colleagues at SmartKargo can see their work being put to use by global airlines on a daily basis. Innovations they create can instantly increase revenue or improve service—and this is immensely satisfying. At SmartKargo, an individual has an opportunity, not only to grow in his professional segment, but also, to learn and contribute to the industry segment that he finds rewarding. Given the global nature of our company’s business, many individuals have the opportunity to explore far reaching corners of the world, at a very early age. This experience is priceless. 

“Fortunately for us, everything we do in our day-to-day work involves cool technologies like Cloud, BI/Analytics and Mobility. These are hot items in terms of professional opportunities and growth. The Core Verticals of IoT and Logistics, to whom we cater, are challenging and ever growing in today’s scenario. These synergies enable us to make a big contribution to the professional growth of our employees,” Tavshikar said. 

Start a venture, have an apt vision – stay ahead of the game: Milind Tavshikar

Starting a venture demands many things—a proper strategy, a dedicated group of smart people and a tremendous willingness to stick together. “Maintaining the customer promise and growing the business quickly is a daunting task. However, there are ways to communicate this urgency and execute your policies that will garner better results for everyone in the company. We always try to ensure that individuals working for the company have a sense of urgency and want to grow with the business, as well. It could be skills, experience, the pay check, satisfaction or many other intangibles. We all have learned how to stay ahead of the game.” Tavshikar claims. 

Top Tier Employee Benefits and Financial Security Allows Everyone to Stay Focused

“The company has a culture of rewarding excellence and ensures compensation levels and benefits are amongst the best in the industry. Flexible working hours, no limits on days off when those days are needed, ability to choose a workplace location, Healthcare for Individual and/or Family coverage (including dental and vision coverage), life insurance, short term/long term disability insurance, choice of a 401K plan that is employee matched are just some of the benefits. We try to include everything that can be included! We have been in business for over 10 years and have not had one instance of delayed or missed payroll. We have created an environment where people don’t have to worry about anything else but their deliverables,” he said.! 

Global Recognition: QID Awarded by Prestigious United States Organizations

In the Summer of 2016, QID was awarded the U.S. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Impact Award, for leadership in International Development based on accomplishments in developing countries. 

In addition, Milind was invited to participate in the Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES) held in Silicon Valley, which was hosted by the U.S. President Barack Obama. The annual GES showcases entrepreneurs from around the world who are creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration that addresses some of the most difficult global challenges. In addition, QID has been awarded the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award for Product Innovation.

About the CEO, Milind Tavshikar 

Milind has over 20 years of experience envisioning and creating technology products and solutions for the world’s most critical business challenges. He possesses the unique combination of deep skills in information technology, broad experience in business management, and knowledge of best practices in global leadership, which he champions. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated as a MIT Sloan Fellow.

“Every individual here is equivalent to 10 individuals that our competitors have,” he believes. “We are highly selective in terms of the people we recruit. Our top managers have top-notch education from the world’s most prestigious and rigorous universities – predominantly the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). And it reflects in our execution. Attention to detail and ownership of deliverables are highly esteemed values. All the necessary freedom is given to individuals and creativity is encouraged.”

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