We've known for a while that if any country has an extraordinary or even unnatural aptitude in corporate leadership, it's India. Ginormous conglomerates such as Pepsi, Microsoft, Adobe, Cognizant, Harman and Bose, and many others have Indians occupying their top-tier management positions.
Finnish company Nokia joined that list on Tuesday when it announced that the Indian-born executive Rajeev Suri will be their next chief executive officer.
Those familiar with the rise, fall and partial resurgence of Nokia will be familiar with his name, but for those who don't, here are some important facts you ought to know about him. Mind you, he is not your regular, run-of-the mill business geek.
If the job is right and the offer enticing, Suri isn't the kind to say no. During the course of his career, he has lived in seven different countries, making him a bit of a business nomad. He has also racked up several nationalities in the process, which makes it difficult to say which one he considers home.
Corporate attire doesn't do justice to Suri's lean, toned frame. He actually is a health fanatic and hits the gym regularly to maintain his body.
Tech bosses are often considered the boring type with nothing but innovations and profits on their minds. Suri is nothing like that though. He purportedly is a big fan of music and the arts. In fact, one of his sons is pursuing a career in the music industry.
No MBA, No Problem
It's hard to imagine management personnel climbing up the ladder in big, complex organizations without an MBA or postgraduate degree. Suri is an exception to this rule, however. He doesn't have a master's degree validating his leadership credentials but has still ascended to the very top of Nokia.
Key Role In Nokia's Revival
While Suri couldn’t return Nokia to its heyday, he did revive Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) to the point where it became an attractive enough operation for Microsoft to acquire.
The Suri-led NSN was responsible for the bulk of Nokia's €12.7billion revenue last year. Its high profitability is the primary reason why Microsoft paid Nokia €5.4 billion for it.
Manipal University Alumni
Just like the new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Suri also attended Manipal Institute of Technology for his BE degree. One has to wonder what those students are being taught over there.
Man behind Nokia's Forced Redundancies
Suri is known as a 'turnaround specialist' in the tech world for his unmatched ability to revive an ailing unit. He achieves those results by taking difficult, even harsh decisions. It was on his advice that Nokia laid off thousands of employees after 2011. Once in control of the entire organization, he could take more such decisions, meaning the good times for Nokia employees are over.