MindTree's 'Bhishma', Ashoka Soota, resigns

28th January 2011
MindTree's 'Bhishma', Ashoka Soota,   resigns
Soota seated centre with other co-founders of MindTree, on the comoany's 10th anniversary in 2009 ( photocourtesy A.P)

In a surprise announcement, Ashok Soota, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of MindTree the Bangalore –based product innovation company has said he has resigned. He has asked to be relieved by March 31. MindTree was co-founded by Soota, in August 1999 along with 9 others – many of them like Soota, moving from Wipro. From the start, MindTree distanced itself from prevalent practices in the IT industry… providing unprecedented levels of freedom to its creative team and innovating in management: Fellow founder and Wipro “alumnus” Subroto Bagchi is designated “Gardener” a concept of nurturing talent that could almost be inspired by French philosopher Voltaire – his famous character Candide exhorts people: to “cultivate one’s garden” ( ‘il faut cultiver son jardin’). Says Soota in his resignation announcement: “We can take justifiable pride in creating an organization with the highest standards of Corporate Governance, a great place to work, an admired knowledge enterprise and high levels of customer satisfaction”.
“The decision to resign is for personal reasons.  It is something I have thought about for a few months and arrived at a well-considered conclusion.  I will finalize and announce my plans for a new business venture, shortly after my departure from MindTree.”
In recent weeks MindTree has been in the news ever since a front page piece in the "Economic Times” suggested that the company’s bad decisions had somewhat dulled its attraction to investors.  The company’s journey away from its core competence into branded products like a 3G smartphone, after it acquired the Indian subsidiary of the US based wireless products leader, Kyocera, was generally viewed with some surprise. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/infotech/software/how-bad-decisions-are-wiping-the-sheen-off-mindtree/articleshow/7330665.cms ) .
Soota and MindTree management responded:A conclusion that MindTree faces an uncertain future is incorrect and is unfair as it is not based on any research or data. In a market like Global IT services, which is dynamic and ever changing, being nimble, innovative and flexible will help Mind-Tree win customers. MindTree's Vision and strategies are in the right  direction.” ( http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/enterprise-it/strategy/Mindtree-confident-to-win-clients/articleshow/7353898.cms )

Soota was  President  and a key architect of Wipro Infotech from 1984 to 1999. He holds a B.Sc degree in electrical engineering from University of Roorkee and a MBA from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines. His first job was with the Shriram Group of Industries in 1965. ( Wikipedia). A visionary of the India IT industry, Soota has received multiple industry honours, but remained a quiet soft spoken and understated face of MindTree for over a decade.

Jan 28 2011