Maser CEO speaks on skills to leadership in technology
For eight years now, Mr Prateek Suri, has been running Maser, a Dubai based dynamic start-up driven by technological innovation and a passion to make high-quality products that are affordable and accessible to all.
Mr. Prateek is the founder and CEO of Maser and has a BE in mechanical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS ), Pilani (Dubai campus) in 2010.
Born and bred in Delhi India, Mr Prateek began his career in the trading sector, supplying goods across the MENA region that consists of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Mr. Prateek runs his company with the ambition of becoming a global leader in the affordable consumer electronics segment. Over the years, he has gathered invaluable experience in his industry by understanding customer needs, as he has had the opportunity to research and understand his customers.
In 2019, Mr Prateek steered Maser’s successful expansion to the UAE. In December of the same year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in international business in recognition of his entrepreneurial vision and leadership.
One year later, he played a pivotal role in MASER receiving funding from a UK-based private finance company for investing in a state-of-the-art, 100% export facility to boost its manufacturing capacity and meet growing customer demand.
Under his leadership as CEO, the company has registered strong sales and sustained growth even in a challenging business environment. He started his company with the vision to provide high quality electronic products at affordable prices. The first products that were rolled out were LED TVs, that were distributed to Tier 2 and 3 cities across the Middle East and Africa.
What are his three key takeaways about leadership in the technology industry.?
1) Know your company’s finances
“As an entrepreneur, you should be able to show how the business will expand. The proposed business should be able to scale, which can be calculated by CMA (Credit Monitoring Arrangement) data. Before approaching an angel investor, ensure you are well versed with all the financial aspects of the business. Secondly, your business vision, strategy and the road map should be clearly articulated as an entrepreneur,”
2) Insert key milestones in the business plans
This is key in instilling confidence in investors because they can see the company’s scalability potential and ability to deliver results.
“If you don’t identify measurable goals, how can investors trust you’ll execute bigger plans? Or even know when you have arrived where you want to go?”
3) Focus on quality products
Even when you are selling to low income earners, focus on providing the best to that target market.
“At Maser, our focus is to provide high quality electronic products at affordable prices. Due to the two factors: quality and affordability, we have received overwhelming feedback and response that forced us to expand our portfolio to include audio systems and air conditioners.”
4) A strong vision for the future
For someone to be a leader in the tech industry, one has to be visionary. Anticipating the tech needs that your customers will require in the future is critical for one’s survival in this industry. You also need to be adaptive to customer needs and demands in order to be relevant and competitive.
“I can attribute a big portion of my success to the ability to make tough business decisions that have been instrumental in steering Maser towards a more expansive market outside the UAE. For example, Maser is planning to invest USD 300 Million in LED TVs, Aircon, washing machines for sale in the Middle East, and Africa over the next 3 years. This is because we have identified Africa as the next big consumer market for our products.”
5) Posses exemplary management skills
Management is not just managing people, it’s also managing projects, products, and other eventualities like a crisis.
“As a great manager, you need to know that management involves delivering on time. If you have promised a customer that a product will be delivered at a certain time, you have to stick to that timeline and if you can’t, you need to communicate that in good time otherwise your trustworthiness is brought to question. Another great quality that you need to exhibit is your ability to stay calm in the midst of a crisis. One of the greatest test that we had to endure at Maser is the Corona Pandemic, which caught everyone unawares. As a company, we have had to adjust on our strategy and focus on online sales.”
6) Customer- centrism
You need to listen to and understand the customer. You need to put the customer at the center of everything your organization does and to maintain a steady pulse on what customers want —sometimes anticipating what that is even before customers themselves know it — and then deliver on it.
“I got much inspiration from the response which we got after redistributing from Jebel Ali Area and re-export our products to African countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Gambia. Kenya was one of the places where customers approached us through email and direct contact and for that reason, we understood the market potential of Kenya.”
7) Innovative ideas
As a leader in the tech industry, you have to be innovative in order to inspire your team to make your vision a reality. Do not be afraid to try new things.
“At Maser, we ventured into producing a product that many were not considering yet: quality and affordable electronics. We believed that there was a market gap and we went for it.”
Maser boasts of a product portfolio that includes LED televisions, display televisions for outdoor use, home theater systems, sound bars and power banks. With strong sales and sustained growth, the company is now poised to enter an ambitious phase of expansion into the larger African market, starting with Kenya.
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