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In Conversation with Rahul Garg: Founder & CEO, Moglix

We caught up Rahul Garg, Founder of Moglix, the Indian startup with ambitions to be the Alibaba of the country in B2B ecommerce. Rahul has had a stellar career, having lead businesses at Google Asia, holding 16 patents to his name, and now aiming to change the B2B ecommerce landscape in India. Excerpts:

Q1. Can you give us a snapshot about your academic and professional background? What responsibilities have you dealt with so far?

After graduating from IIT Kanpur, I started my career with Ittiam Systems in Bengaluru. The first three months were geared towards learning the nuances of technology – whether it was wireless LAN or digital signal processing, learning how to build world-class products and working as a team member. It was a high energy environment where I gained well-rounded experience across my project, team and technology.

I have also headed the advertising and strategy business at Google Asia where I grew the advertising exchange business to $100 MN+ from scratch.

The most important part of my career has been the process of learning, unlearning and relearning that has been honed through the three different technologies I worked in my four years at Ittiam Technologies, or the five different ones I worked on at Google Asia, where I led the advertising exchange business. I was fortunate to have opportunities to build multiple products and teams from scratch, and each one of them has been unique.  

Apart from this, I have extensive experience in strategy, product management and operations in technology industry. I currently hold 16 US patents and have partnered with quite a few early stage startups.

Q2. How and when did you feel the need to start Moglix? What is interesting about your company?

Well, looking at the manufacturing sector in India, I realized the immense potential it holds and the lack of technology that existed in the sector. The Indian manufacturing sector is $300 billion in size and adoption of technology is less than 2 per cent. This made me kick-start the company in 2015. We have introduced solutions to transform and bring disruption in the manufacturing space in India. Our vendor portal solution aims to digitize the entire supply chain of India has been one of the most unique solutions in the space.

It has been a great journey till now. We have already expanded to 8 locations Delhi/NCR, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata etc; and have been able to generate a client base of over 250K+ Small & Medium Enterprises and 350 + large enterprises across auto, electrical and integrated manufacturing enterprises in the country. As of now, we have partnerships with 5000+ suppliers across India and have regional offices across India. As of now, we are 350+ in strength.

We have a very robust work environment that has employees from across the country and we also have industry stalwarts in the advisory board.

Moglix’s uniqueness stems from its ability to integrate technology with its domain expertise in manufacturing and supply chain; building digital technology into the sales channel and procurement functions of manufacturing units both for large corporate as well as MSMEs. All of this is being achieved on the back of its SAAS-based platform, which facilitates online convenience and enable supply chain efficiencies in business purchasing.

Q3. What is your #1 mantra for acquiring and retaining talent at organizations?

Our key mantra for hiring is hardworking, innovative and fearless intrapreneurs with a hustler’s attitude. This resonates with the kind of culture we maintain at Moglix. Our workforce consists of modern thinkers who are passionate about Make in India and build strategies with their vast know-how in the technology and manufacturing space.

The leadership team at Moglix consists of industry stalwarts from some of the premier institutes of India like IIT, IIM, ISB, MDI, XLRI and NITIE. Moglix also consists of a close-knit leadership team wherein we have also onboarded a lot of management members through our own network.  

Q4. What are the values that you look for, or wish to instill in your employees?

As I mentioned in my previous answer, our priority is always innovative, fearless and hardworking candidates who are ready to hustle hard and align themselves with the company vision and mission. Moglix has maintained a core value of self-leadership and a culture of intrepreneurship, which we wish to instill in each and every employee at our workplace.

Q5. Are there any companies that you admire for their work-culture where you have previously worked?

Google is known for its liberal work-culture worldwide. Google employees have the ‘get work done’ attitude and that’s something that resonates in the environment there. Apart from that, it caters to innovation, growth mindset and offers its employees complete flexibility and many recreational activities. I would definitely pick Google as far as the work culture is concerned.

Q6. What are the key initiatives undertaken at Moglix for employees?

Some of the key initiatives we have undertaken are:

  1. CEO Connect: I make sure I know my employees well and for this reason, we have introduced a CEO Connect program wherein I interact with a group of eight employees at a time per week. This helps them understand me and my perspective better and vice versa.
  2. Free chat with industry leaders: We have some industry leaders come to our workplace to interact with employees wherein the employees get a perspective from these leaders on various industry trends. We have had IT Veteran Neelam Dhawan and Amit Singhal aka the God of Google Search and Google Maps.
  3. Team all hands: This is another initiative wherein we have every team meet the team head at least once every quarter
  4. Training session: We hire a lot of fresh talents directly from B- Schools and other institutes, for whom we conduct training sessions on advance excel, communication skills and accelerated leadership programs.

Rapid Fire

Q1. Given that you’ve worked out of a diverse range of locations – which one is your favorite – Singapore, Japan or India?

It is definitely India as it is my home country and also because, India is where I started Moglix.

Q2. Which aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?

All aspects have their own interesting points. But if I have to pick one, it has to be the CEO Connect program. Unfortunately, I can lend limited time to it.

Q3. Your hobbies and interests?

Sports, reading books on new technology and traveling

Q4. Any favourite or relatable movie character and why?

Phunsuk Wangdu from 3 Idiots, portrayed by Amir Khan as all his roles have something unique to offer.

Q5. If not an entrepreneur, what would you have been doing instead?

I would have been an astronaut.

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