We live in an information era where we are surrounded by streams and streams of data. For corporations in customer-facing industries like retail, it becomes crucial to understand this data, and here is where the scientist steps in. This person finds patterns, identifies trends, asks insightful questions and gains relevant answers from the data that is mined. This designation saw a surge in hiring in 2011, and companies like LinkedIn have senior people employed to address this skill.
This could mean one of two things. The first is where the CEO does not work in the office. Typically, this is an entrepreneur who chooses to work virtually with his team. For example, Chris Ducker, who owns three companies and employs over 300 people, decided to cut down on working 14-hour days and six days a week and became a virtual CEO. The other kind of virtual CEO is one who comes in for a short period of time. They typically come in for an interim period to see the company through a transition phase.
Dr. Sunita Maheshwari co-founded Teleradiology Solutions, a medical knowledge process outsourcing company. At first, as co-founder, she found herself immersed in many roles. As the company grew, she put in place a like-minded team, and found herself with plenty of time to ideate and innovate.
She called herself the Chief Dreamer of the organisation. Over the years, she says, “The culture of the organisation has evolved such that no one has the need to prove themselves with serious titles”. Her co-founder, Dr. Arun Kalyanpur, later changed his job title from CEO to Chief Pusher. So while Dr. Maheshwari dreams the next level of their organisation, her partner sees that it gets done.
(This article is excerpted from the latest Forbes India 06 January, 2012 issue which is now available at news stands and book stores. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com)