Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Nurturing innovation through shared vision and commitment to customer success

Published: Aug 2, 2019 07:48:57 AM IST
Updated: Aug 2, 2019 07:37:43 PM IST


Nurturing innovation through shared vision and commitment to customer success

Murali Krishna Gannamani is the Managing Director and CEO of Fluentgrid Limited based in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. He has been recognized as one of the top 100 Great People Managers in India, by the Great Manager Institute in association with Forbes India.

In a span of two decades, Murali Krishna has shaped the company as the most respected turnkey system integrator in energy and urban technology space from India. Fluentgrid initially catered to billing & customer care needs of power distribution utilities, later scaling up the value chain into smart metering and smart grid technologies, with some of the most prestigious projects setting global benchmarks. Fluentgrid products CIS and MDMS are listed in Gartner magic quadrants for utility software products globally. It is also a name to reckon with in the smart city space with its Actilligence city operations center, and Urban ERP & E-governance products being implemented across many of the designated 100 smart cities in India.

Murali himself is a proud recipient of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award 2016 in the Most Promising Entrepreneur Category, and has won the IPE Corporate Excellence Award, VCCI Pride of Vizag Award 2019 including several other national and international recognitions. He is an active member of Round Table International and industry forums including NASSCOM, CII, AMCHAM and Vizag Chamber of Commerce and Industry, having served as Chairman of CII for Visakhapatnam zone and is an ‘Invitee’ to the CII Andhra Pradesh State Council for the year 2019-20.

Great Manager Institute tries to decode what makes this company such an attractive employer brand.

Nurturing innovation through shared vision and commitment to customer success

Shared Vision There is a common thread across all companies that nurture great talent - shared vision. Murali says ‘we all believe in our shared vision and our unique competitive advantages in realizing that vision for common good and our business success.  This belief is further strengthened as we witness our customers succeed, project after project, and bring back those learnings to innovate further and strengthen our products and solution offerings to do a better job next time. This keeps us continuously motivated and emotionally connected with each other. That is the secret behind our successful journey.’

Commitment to Customer Success
Back in 1998, Murali Krishna had set foot in the IT industry and started developing software products with a commitment to do his bit for reviving the loss-making Indian power utilities. He didn’t stop at implementing solutions using homegrown software products. His company even delivered back office and field services to understand a utility’s commercial process inefficiencies, from the front seat, so he could plug those gaps through software solutions. It is that commitment and passion for customer success that has made the local (Visakhapatnam) power utility APEPDCL become the best Indian power utility with the least AT&C losses.

Having helped power utilities streamline their commercial operations, Fluentgrid started assisting them on their digital transformation journey with smart metering solutions leading to smart grids. It has now become a key player in India’s  universal smart metering drive. Further, Fluentgrid has become a leading player in the ongoing 100 smart cities mission with its integrated command control and communications center (I4C) solution powered by Actilligence for cities platform along with urban ERP and e-governance solutions.

Today, Fluentgrid has grown to 1000+ associates and its footprint spans most of India and the neighbouring countries Nepal and Afghanistan besides Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and Africa touching over 100 million lives improving their quality of life. Fluentgrid has been conferred with various prestigious Global and National Awards such as IBM Beacon Award for Smarter Industry – Best Industry Solutions for Energy and Utilities in 2012, IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smart Cities Solution in 2015, NASSCOM Innovation Award in 2013, Fierce Innovation Award under the Technology Category in 2015, Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award in 2012, 2013 & 2016, Safe City Award 2017, Smart City Platform – Special Mention Award 2018, and now the Top 100 Great People Managers badge in 2019. This is a testimony to Fluentgrid’s commitment to customer success.

People Relationships
‘I believe in managing people relations, rather than the people themselves’, says Murali Krishna. He further adds that ‘only those who believe and share our vision for digital transformation of utilities and cities become our associates (aka Fluentians). Once they are in, we empower them with what is needed to perform their role in terms of a conducive work environment, skilled and capable associates, challenging assignments, learning and experimenting opportunities, flexible career paths and so on. Each one of them is like an intrapreneur working towards our shared vision for a sustainable planet. So, there is hardly any need for managing Fluentians; they are self-motivated and work together for business success.’

Riding on the emotional bond developed from shared vision through innovation and customer success, Fluentgrid has seen most of its senior personnel leading technological innovation and the management team be with the company right from its inception. Murali inspires them all with his infectious charm and positivity emanating from his belief in the long-term vision for the company and its ability to be the changemaker for a sustainable planet. This bears testimony to the high employee-retention levels Fluentgrid has maintained over the years.

People Management is not about managing people. It’s about believing in and working towards realizing the shared vision in order to achieve business objectives. Fluentgrid teaches us the same. 

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