Tel Ganesan, a Serial Entrepreneur, Movie Producer & Distributor, Motivational Speaker, Investor, and Philanthropist, is both highly celebrated and recognized as the Founder and Executive Chairman of Kyyba Inc.
With more than 700 employees and millions in revenue, Kyyba is a thriving, Michigan headquartered global IT, with a robust portfolio that includes Engineering, Professional Staff Augmentation, Emerging Technologies, and R & D to Advance Innovation. Tel has scaled and advanced the company to include Health & Wellness, and Entertainment, giving way to a global Film Production and Distribution Company, Kyyba Films, both spearheaded and also founded by Tel.
While Tel has pursued and mastered entrepreneurship, he has become passionate about mentoring young entrepreneurs, which has afforded him the great opportunity to develop numerous organizations that promote entrepreneurship and mentor young entrepreneurs with the blueprint. Powered by Kyyba, Pitch Club is an initiative that contains ongoing series of monthly startup events across Michigan. With the Pitch Club program, there are opportunities for young entrepreneurs with startups to get mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, advisers, and partners. The hosted events allow entrepreneurs to practice pitching their business plans with the best in the industry. Tel is passionate about bringing entrepreneurs, businesses, and organizations together through Kyyba and its organizations, which has been a key factor in economic and business growth throughout Michigan.
Tel actively seeks industry leaders and corporate executives who are enthusiastic about innovation and getting involved in the start-up and entrepreneur ecosystem. Which is how the Detroit Fintech Challenge was innovated in 2019 and continues to prepare successful entrepreneurs today. This organization allows sponsors to curate challenge statements to work on specific challenges and solutions while receiving global brand recognition throughout hosted events.
In addition, TieCon Detroit is another event and organization that Tel is the president of that focuses on enabling entrepreneurship through mentoring, educating, and networking. TiECon has become Michigan’s largest ongoing conference for entrepreneurs and has developed a network across dozens of countries to amplify entrepreneurship growth. TieCon Detroit partnered with DAPCEP and The Entrepreneurship Academy to advance entrepreneurship programs for Detroit City high-school students. This focus on entrepreneurial skills for the youth to drive future economic growth in the city and state, as Tel is a strong believer that entrepreneurship is one of the greatest skills, and when put into the hands of the youth, anything is possible.
Tel’s passion for entrepreneurial mentorship has afforded him the great opportunity to open Kyyba Kidz Foundation to assist orphaned children and underprivileged individuals by providing resources, education, training, and economic empowerment and has supported startups and entrepreneurs in healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, financial services, and have gone the extra mile to empower women.
Tel’s stern interest in fitness, yoga, and meditation touches newer leaps. He spends Tuesday morning in meditation and yoga poses before heading into his business ventures. Staying fit with tennis, being adventurous with kayaking, and expanding his experiences with travel. Even with all the success, he has achieved, his visionary spirit of Tel has yet to scratch the surface. You want to be sure to follow the unfolding of it all at Kyyba.com
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Tel Ganesan: I am a Serial Entrepreneur, Movie Producer & Distributor, Investor, and Philanthropist. I am the Founder and Executive Chairman of Kyyba Inc, a Michigan, US, headquartered IT company, with more than 700 employees. I have included Health & Wellness, and Entertainment, giving way to a global Film Production and Distribution Company.
I am highly passionate about mentoring young entrepreneurs. Powered by Kyyba, Pitch Club I initiated is conducting ongoing series of monthly startup events across Michigan which provides an opportunity for young entrepreneurs with startups to get mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, advisers, and partners. Along with that I have produced and distributed several films under Kyyba Films, and also worked on featuring several music videos, and more. Kyyba Wellness and Kyyba fashions are also my ventures where I focus on health, setting up a good lifestyle, and sustainability through my ventures.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Tel Ganesan: As an entrepreneur, I have met a lot of challenges, and what I learned from all of these is that businesses can go through multiple challenges, and is very important to face them with confidence. First of all, it is very important to set up a good team, that can handle everything well. I train them, empower them to make their decisions, and would value their inputs and suggestions. I also have my off-shore team, and often connect with them. Thus maintaining my team, and coordinating with my clients and vendors were taken care of.
I have learned to decentralize decisions and invest in multiple businesses, as it would be easier to use the knowledge, contacts, and lessons learned from the earlier business. The biggest lesson I learned is to continue giving my effort, and not get demotivated. Self-confidence and self-introspection come a long way.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Tel Ganesan: Technology is gaining great momentum, and through digital transformation, and disruptive technologies, many things are made possible. What we now go through is also another temporary phase, where we have successfully faced several challenges as a country. In 2022, companies should focus on solving the challenges of people through technology, and invest more in R&D. Novel solutions and innovations, which could help to reduce people’s time, effort, and money will be of great value. What I understood is that when going gets tough! The tough get going. Be confident and strong to evade challenges.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Tel Ganesan: Information Technology is one of the industries that saw growth even during the pandemic. Earlier, what posed as a challenge became a greater reward now. We understood the needs of the people from various industries, especially in terms of digitization, and transformation. Much during the pandemic time, the team operated remotely, they need good communication too, and cyber security was the need of the hour.
We understood the people’s requirements and made a lot of tools and solutions to fit the needs. Moving to health and wellness, I believe that you are what you eat, and the pandemic has reinforced the need for good nutrition. Kyyba Wellness would address the gap, and bring effective solutions that would help people gain good health.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Tel Ganesan: I always loved the quote, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Everything will have a solution. When the pandemic burst, I felt a jolt in my mind, and with our team’s constant effort, we brought everything back to where it should be. Solutions begin to appear, and we found ways to keep our teams motivated and keep the work uninterrupted. Since many of our team members are cross-trained, they could step in, and solve various challenges. In 2022, I am intended to focus more on my businesses, enhancing my clientele, and reaching newer geographies.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Tel Ganesan: I would see a growth in digital dependency. Digitization, online delivery, and Hybrid working models are getting prevalent, and people enjoy the benefit of staying home and curbing all challenges during their routine travel and commutation. I encourage new startups, to utilize this trend and come up with more unique solutions. This way it would be a win-win.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Tel Ganesan: My work covers a lot of travel, managing, monitoring, and mentoring. My working hours exceed more than 10 hours a day, where at least 6 to 8 hours I have to dedicate before a screen.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Tel Ganesan: I too use quotes and small stories. Being a film producer myself, I enjoy storytelling and inspiring my team with thoughts that help them to stay focused. Some of my simple conversations are the root of some good quotes, which are regularly shared on my social media pages. I influence my team to be positive and look for happiness in all their pursuits. After all, the true quest of life is nothing but happiness.
One such inspiring story I would always share with my team is that of Steve Jobs. Once a team of designers handed over an iPod to Steve. He immediately threw it in his fish tank and saw the bubbles rising. Steve told his team that if the bubbles could arise, the design and the build of the gadget should still be made compact. Such is his leadership ability, and his thirst for innovation. I ask my teams to be open, dynamic, and expand their vision to reach newer goals.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Tel Ganesan: I see a world of uncertainties, war, crashing economies, and political unrest. We can never avoid global politics, which has a deeper impact on all the businesses you do. Much to say, the crisis, price rise, and inflation are all causing a great dent.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Tel Ganesan: My quest is right now in Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. The way machines are solving complex problems is fascinating. Starting from day-to-day usages in our life, AI has crept a long way in and is also altering the way we live
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Tel Ganesan: Much after the great resignation, there came the trend of retrenching back to the old company, or familiar places to work. Great resignation has seen a severe reversal, and many call this period a great regret. Now is the time for great onboarding. Many new employees join the fleet and get into newer roles and responsibilities.
As times are changing, leaders and entrepreneurs must also give flexible work hours for their team, and appreciate their contribution. An employee will do more than expected when they are appreciated, valued, and rewarded. Gen Z wants a lot of innovation, degrees, and certifications are yesteryear’s story. What we should value now are commitment and talent.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Tel Ganesan: I would want to develop supervision! A foresight that could predict the opportunities, obstacles, future trends, and more. That way, we could think of the future, and realign our business today! At kyyba, we give a lot of prominence to innovation. I think it is very important for all entrepreneurs to think about the future, and work toward answering the futuristic requirements.
I am admired by entrepreneurs like Musk, who could think of a future to create Space X, focusing on the Mars mission. Everything we do should be aligned with the future. It always brings great results when we are futuristic.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Tel Ganesan: Success is not the destination but the journey. Every step you take should inspire you, enrich you and motivate you to explore further. When I wanted to start Kyyba Inc, I had to leave behind my job with an automotive company, where I held many leadership positions. I enjoyed my work in Kyyba Inc, which gave me enough motivation, network, and encouragement to think in different dimensions and add new lines of business. I would always insist everyone keep happiness as their pursuit. If you enjoy what you do, and work towards your goal, success comes automatically.
When someone asks me who is your competition? I would always say “Myself.” I want to be a better version of myself today than before.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Tel Ganesan for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Tel Ganesan or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.