Vikram Kumar, LETSTRACK: WCRC Inspirational Leaders 2018-2019
About LETSTRACK: Headed by Vikram Kumar, Letstrack is a global real time instant messaging and tracking app for smart phones, tracking devices and browsers. The proprietary, cross-platform app uses GPS and the Internet to track and send text messages, images, videos and user locations. Headquartered in London, Letstrack is already going strong in two countries and ready to embrace four more countries in the near future.
Broad Category: Technology
Specific: GPS APP
In conversation with Vikram Kumar, Managing Director, LETSTRACK
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
I started my career in India where I worked a couple of years, and then I relocated to the UK where I continued to work and grow exponentially at various sales-oriented roles. Then I started my own business in 2012 selling SIM cards, vouchers through an online platform to developing software for clients and then came back to India and started again with LETSTRACK, it has been a full circle. Traveling and working in different countries and having roller coaster for a life have influenced my decisions. Contrary to popular belief, I also study Ramayana, Mahabharata, Guru Granth Sahib, whatever I can get my hands on to self-evaluate, learn decision making and improve in work and life.
A project or an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
The most recent significant thing to happen was that we were named as “Best Vehicle Security Company in Asia” in December 2018. I am particularly proud as we have achieved this as a team within 24 months of launching the company in India. It is a real privilege to have ring side seats to the birth of Letstrack. I find great pride in so many small things each day, like the excitement of securing a first new customer for a new member of our team or hearing how a vehicle has been tracked down by its’ owner and the police after a theft.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
We believe “You rise by lifting others” and the cause of girl-child education is very close to my heart so every device we sell, we give a percentage of it towards SMILE FOUNDATION which provides education for underprivileged, and give support for poor children’s health. We have proudly put it on our devices boxes, sold at nationwide retailers.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
I have always tried to focus on my “WHY”. Why do I exist? Why do I do, what I do in my life? The purpose we feel in life evolves as we mature and as our families grow. I always try to focus on why I am heading in the direction I am going. I try to make my team question why they do what they do. I find that colleagues with the best understanding of their ultimate motivation have a far greater output in terms of quality of work, new ideas and dedication.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
I truly believe in the power of education. Education can bring families out of poverty and change lives. I personally sponsor the education of a few children’s education, starting from a very young age and will continue to do so for as long as they continue to further their studies.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
Many believe that money is the measure of success, but money is just a by-product of true success. True success should be measured by the people you surround yourself with, the friendships, professional relationships and teamwork you perpetuate and the ethics of those you have around you. Two major benchmarks I have to measure, how we are doing are customer referral rates and staff morale. We are proud that our world class service has created such a high customer referral level whilst the Letstrack team have such passion and drive that they honestly feel like Letstrack is their company. We all feel like we are building a legacy. It’s a special feeling, one I hold very dear, and something we all want to cherish and continue to work on.
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less.
A recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
Letstrack started in India where price sensitivity is extremely abundant. Businesses in India are surrounded by opportunity but need to fight to offer innovation and quality whilst staying competitive with people who offer less. We recently launched DRIVER BEHAVIOUR in India. This enables families to see exactly how safe the driving habits of their drivers are while they are transporting their families. We have added this valuable feature at no extra cost to our existing or future customers. This is just one of the reasons why we are one of the fastest growing companies in India in any industry.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
Being a leader is a great responsibility and I think if you are a business owner as well then it becomes even more difficult to sometimes make decisions based on financial implications. I consider myself the Head Coach and I think its an easier route to Leadership. You help people, nurture them, train them and work on the strengths and weaknesses of your team and then help them to improve and grow with the company.
Your perception of an empowered society.
Empower? Yes, but Safety first. Rather than social empowerment, the focus should be on making people feel safer on the streets, at workplaces and homes.
To be empowered socially you have to have peace of mind. Safety is something that cannot be taken for granted and our Industry is trying to do its bit by securing people’s lives and vehicles and thus empowering society as a whole.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
The one thing I would like to change applies not only to this industry but to every other industry – Making the move from Retailer-first to Consumer-first. The reality of the network is, brands don’t have a direct relationship with consumers and are instead trying to keep distributors and retailers happy. I go to the field every chance I get to learn what the consumer is looking for because I don’t want to lose sight of what makes the product work. At the end of the day, the consumer is the one paying for the product. The thing I would like to retain is Securing people’s lives, giving them the peace of mind, saving vehicles from being stolen and people’s saving not being wasted.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
I would suggest thinking too much about the competition. We started with over 500 companies already established in India. You just need to keep moving, keep improving and keep innovating.
Whom do you owe your success to?
My family and extended family which is our team and partners who work tirelessly to the vision of adding security to people’s lives through technology. The way the team at Letstrack have embraced the same core beliefs and ambitions I came to the market with, has made us a close extended family following the same dream.
The best thing about your job?
I love meeting new people and learning about how their companies operate whether they are a huge Bank in India or a high street technology shop in the US. The diverse nature of what is required to grow as a brand across the world brings a huge amount of enjoyment to my life.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders
Perseverance is the key. You can’t do everything by yourself, and no matter how much you think you know, collaboration is essential. Leaders have to build a team around them who can work toward the ultimate goal together. This takes time. This is why I think of myself as Head Coach. I have to take responsibility for the failures and problems just as much as those who I have trained to do those jobs in the first place. You all win and lose together in a successful company