The Collaborative Leader: Vishal Dhupar, MD, Asia South, NVIDIA

Vishal Dhupar, MD, Asia South, NVIDIA in a conversation with The Leadership Review team.

As the Managing Director of NVIDIA, Asia South, Vishal Dhupar has been pivotal in fostering key partnerships with the ecosystem to accelerate the growth and adoption of GPU technology in India.

Vishal Dhupar_MD_NVIDIA_Web Cover

What was your mandate when you took over the reins of NVIDIA India?

I had a fairly straightforward mandate – to accelerate the business and to make NVIDIA gain a recall value within the Indian ecosystem. So, my first realisation was to make NVIDIA appear much bigger in a consolidated stand, away from its then distributed mode of functioning.

How did you do that?

The first thing we did was draw a big picture for everyone and ensure each team member understood his/her role, i.e. mutually exclusive and yet collaborative for the team to succeed. We ensured the communication among us increased substantially both via formal and informal platforms.

Was there some resistance to this in the beginning?

Every change at its core has its own set of resistances and this was no different for us. In fact, the resistance here was more implicit than explicit.

How did you overcome this?

As an exponent of change management, I do understand human behaviours, especially during major change surrounding them. It became imperative that I continuously speak to them about how this change is going to be better for them. More importantly, it will help them realise their aspirations of growth.

Our plans were created on a three-year horizon to expand the business of the organisation and at the same time ensure prosperity of each individual.

How did you drive your people to double the business in three years’ time?

With the team, together we decided that the acceleration of our business should outstrip the industry’s average growth of 8 or 10 percent. We decided that we should work towards doubling our business in three years. The boldness of our thinking, ability to challenge the status quo and the power of our action gave the team the confidence that our business could accelerate and give us the planned growth. This indeed became our driving force.

After these three years, how did you ensure that this new way of doing things becomes institutionalised in the DNA of the way you work?

I went to each line of the business, understood their nuances, and communicated that together we need to dream bigger and achieve success where we have no fear of failure. Our longer journey is built on tangible milestones which act as factors of success that demonstrate our performance is moving in the right direction. We are committed to excel as a team at an unprecedented pace.

What was your go-to market strategy?

NVIDIA is at the right place; at the right time. The three most important drivers for IT adoption in India are: large young population, thriving middle class, and adoption of technology. This provides us a huge platform of over 160 million people which are a direct target market for us. Thus our strategy has always been based on coverage of the market, awareness among the user, and focussing on partnerships.

Was there any part of the business that didn’t succeed as much as you had planned?

It’s interesting that you are asking such a question, in fact, our plans on gaming didn’t pan out as originally visualised. Gaming in India was treated as a taboo. Thus Indian parents discouraged children to indulge in digital games. In view of this, our strategy was to position our products for both education and gaming needs. However, the results were a shadow of our plans. Having realised that we were not making headway, we as a team took a pause and introspected the reasons for slow growth. Having understood the root-cause of the challenge, we applied international learning to our local problem and course corrected us to ensure that we were back in the rhythm.

How did you identify and prioritise opportunities in India?

NVIDIA has always looked at solving computing challenges from the lens of visual computing.

We apply the following three paradigms while undertaking any challenge: Is this a visual computing problem? Is this a hard problem that can bring joy to the user of this technology? Can the solutions to these problems be monetised in the long run?

Can you give me an example of it?

Mobile gaming is a classic example to this question on how we take the gamer from a playing on desktop to playing on TV from their couch to playing on their handhelds while on the move. This is a classical visual computing problem that technology companies struggle to resolve on account of the latency challenge in this kind of application. This is where NVIDIA excels and makes a huge impact on the needs off a gamer who wishes to enjoy gaming experience on the device of their choice through the day.

You said you focus on building partnerships as a part of your strategy. How did you create a network of partners?

The main ingredient of growth is partnership. We believe in our partners and work with them to synergise to their competencies. All our programs are designed to create a win-win situation for the partner and us together. Our partners enjoy working with us as it accelerates their business and helps them to provide greater value to their customer base.

What did you do to strengthen these partnerships?

Our first attempt was to understand our partners. We did this by putting ourselves in their shoes and contemplated on ‘WIFM’ – what’s in for me? Thereby, we created a joint work value proposition, where partners could gain stickiness via solutions and services built on our technology.

Which skills have been crucial in the way you have led NVIDIA in India?

I’m a firm believer that everybody in a leadership position should don two hats, one of a manager and the other of a coach.  In addition, every phase of your life gives you subtle life experiences and lessons which are imperative to learn from and incorporate in the way you lead. For example, while I manage the business by numbers and metrics, I coach people by creating an open environment in which one can discuss, share, learn and therefore implement this knowledge and prosper.

What comprises successful behaviour at NVIDIA?

As a team here, we are extremely focussed. With the opportunities that are available, our charter is to basically stay committed, listen a lot, nurture our relationships, be accountable, be willing to challenge the status quo and take more steps to move towards our journey of the bigger picture.


Movie in Focus – Saving Private Ryan
The Idea Whose Time Has Come (Part – II)
I Sell Bacteria
Back to Top