New at the top: Vineet Puri’s early education in business taught him revenue is king

November 4, 2012

I’m originally from India. My dad was in the Indian air force, so my childhood was spent as part of a typical military family growing up in India.

My family then had a manufacturing business that made home appliances for large distributors. I ran one of the business units in my early 20s.

I always had an independent streak in me to rise up and achieve things on my own. So in the early 1990s, I planned to attend business school in the United States. It was my uncle, who had moved to the United States in 1963, who would visit and show me that I could be successful there.

When we had to close down a piece of the business and consolidate it into the rest of the larger business, I saw the transition as my opportunity to move overseas.

So I moved to Pennsylvania and in two years got my MBA on scholarship.


Vineet Puri of MicroTech ( MicroTech )

I moved to the Washington area and have been involved mostly in businesses focusing on government contracting and commercial business.

I was fortunate to learn from my time running a business in India just how important it is to focus on growing the top line of any business. Generating revenue is the most important thing a business can do.

I worked at companies that could do that. I’ve served at the divisional, operational as well as the corporate level. I understand how to under-promise and over-deliver on the numbers.

I learned quickly that success comes with sacrifice.

I remember when my wife and I were living in McLean, I would fly up to New York City on Monday mornings and fly back on Friday night. I did that for three years until we had our son in the late 1990s.

One of my proudest moments was at Intelsat, a satellite company. I did all the analysis work for a transaction where the company was sold to four private equity firms. I was head of the financial planning analysis group. As the company grew from $800 million to $2 billion, I had to develop a lot of business cases for launches. These were critical decisions because the investments in a satellite launch were significant. You have to look into the future and determine how things will pan out.

I learned that being able to make decisions is critical to any leader. Sometimes taking no action is the right decision, but it has to be well grounded and thought through.

I joined MicroTech in May as a financial adviser, initially to help on some financial improvement and reporting issues. But as I became familiar with the company, I found it to be a phenomenal place.

I’ve been pleased because of the diverse portfolio of services they offer. Now I am looking forward to helping it grow.

I’ve had varied experiences in my career. I’ve seen how opportunities can take you [to new opportunities]. All you have to be is disciplined and focused.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

Vineet Puri

Position: Chief financial officer and senior vice president of MicroTech, an information technology company based in McLean.

Career highlights: Vice president of finance, Inmarsat Government; vice president of finance, Stratos Government Services; director of financial planning and analysis, Intelsat; division controller, American Management Systems.

Age: 44

Education: Bachelors in Commerce, University of Delhi; MBA, Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Personal: Lives in Great Falls with his wife, Meena Puri, and two children.

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