Vice President & Country General Manager India & SAARC, IT Division
Schneider Electric, India
Venkatraman Swaminathan is a seasoned professional with an extensive experience in the field of sales, service, marketing and business development. He brings with him an illustrious 28 years of industry experience. Venkat is highly proficient in Data Center solutions. He brings a wealth of experience in product based solutioning for Mission Critical Customer applications like Data centers, Mobile Switch Centers, Test laboratories etc. He is a Product domain expert for Power Conditioning (UPS), Precision Cooling, Rack Systems and such other Data Center offers.
Venkatraman has been with Schneider Electric for over 6 years, managing strategic acquisitions while continuously providing product and people oriented solutions that lead to a consistent growth in the business.
Venkat began his career as a management trainee at Voltas Ltd. in 1989 and took independent charge of Compressor Repair Shop. Very soon he took over as Senior Service Engineer - Mumbai region for all Cooling products. He expanded the regional sales by 25% during his tenure with Voltas Ltd.
Industrial Cooling was clearly Venkat’s calling and he then joined Emerson Network Power in 1995 as their Sales Manager for Western Region. He excelled in selling Precision Cooling concepts at early stages of IT & Data Center boom in the country. With this success in his stride, he became Business Manager – Cooling product line for PAN India basis at Emerson in 1998. Working in the role, he managed to increase division revenues by three-folds for each sales associate and achieved the operating profits within 18 months of launching the products. From this pinnacle he went to become the Country Manager – Product Marketing at Emerson in 2002. He was responsible for Strategy & product management – UPS (Power Supplies – small, medium & High kVA UPS Systems), Precision Cooling and DC Power systems.
By 2006, Venkatraman was a well-known name within the Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (HVAC) industry with over a decade of rich experience and some major professional accomplishments he yearned for newer challenges and opportunities.
In 2006, he joined APW President Systems Ltd. as Vice President – Enclosure Solutions & Technical Services. APW President was an Indian firm manufacturing IT Enclosures and trading in other IT products from foreign partners. This was a bold move by Venkat as he shifted from a multinational company like Emerson Network Power to an Indian company APW President, moving away from Cooling to IT Enclosures. But with his dedication and perseverance, he excelled in his new role and grew President Systems business by 30%+ during 2009-10. He introduced the consultative selling for IT Enclosures, thereby evolved a product for high heat density Server Racks, application note to enable sales person to sell the concept to potential Customers. Successfully implemented Sales CRM for better business functioning.
After streamlining the processes and putting APW President on the growth track Venkat moved back to his first love - Cooling - at Uniflair India. He joined Uniflair in July 2010 as Managing Director handling the India region for the Uniflar cooling business. Under his able leadership company achieved 40% CAGR for 3-year period (2010-13) with capturing large chunk of market share leading to a profitable operation in India.
Uniflair India was acquired by Schneider Electric India in December 2010 and thus Venkatraman became a Schneider Electric employee managing its IT Cooling line of business under Uniflair brand. Schneider Electric also acquired APW President Systems Ltd in January 2011. These two acquisitions led to an interesting curve in Venkat’s professional journey as he had the unique positioning of leading both the organizations successfully, had strong People and Customer connect of both entities.
He was appointed as the Managing Director of Schneider Electric President Systems Ltd (formerly known as APW President Systems Ltd) in August’13 while he also headed the Cooling business in India under Schneider Electric. President systems saw a major turnaround under his leadership wherein the company grew profitably and integrated well with Schneider Electric thereby catering to Customers outside of India as well. A robust Distribution and Channel Partner business model was also set-up which led to a wider reach of President Systems products.
President Systems was on downward slope as IT/Telecom Racks business was on a consistent decline, market share dropped resulting in reduced factory utilization therefore increase in product cost spiraling further complications including loss of people morale. P&L was also negative leading to unprecedented Schneider Electric management attention for a reasonably small entity.
Venkat took charge of the situation and along with his team focused on the business priorities catapulting the business to register a strong top line growth between 2013-2015 wherein the turnover jumped almost 40% in 2015 versus 2013. Schneider Electric President Systems turnaround is a success story within Schneider Electric group and is considered as one of the best acquisitions Schneider Electric has done in the region. At President, the situation demanded re-engineering the Sales Organization, getting the back office to collaborate & support Front office and then getting Customer focus, building strategy to win large deals. Venkat ensured all this with his perseverance to achieve high impact results with Goal directed actions.
In 2014, he took additional responsibility of Enterprise Sales & Business Development for Schneider Electric IT Business. While he is also the Managing Director of Schneider Electric President Systems, Venkatraman currently holds the position of VP & Country GM, IT Division- India & SAARC.
Venkatraman is a high growth individual whose customer relationships span more than two decades and therefore customers associate with the organization he represents. Venkat is a people’s man and he believes in collective strength of teams which can deliver differentiated performance and business results.