Aditi Banerjee, Co-founder & CEO, Magic Billion, in conversation with ET Edge Insights focused on growing and scaling a global business as a remote CEO
Ms. Banerjee stated that Magic Billion is an Indian organisation that helps Indian talent find global opportunities in terms of jobs and work across 15 countries. Despite being a remote CEO based in London, she shared that her business has witnessed substantial growth over the past five years. Her clients are spread over countries like Europe, Canada, the U.S. and Australia and hence it makes sense for the business head to be based in the center of the business world. Her team, based in India, caters to Indian candidates. The remote working experience so far has been great as the organisation has scaled 5 times.
The CEO acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns played a significant role in bolstering her business. The world became more accepting of remote work and readily adopted virtual collaboration tools like Zoom and other messenger tools. These platforms proved instrumental in conducting virtual meetings, which became preferable as compared to traditional face-to-face interactions. However, she emphasised the importance of a responsible and aligned team that comprehends the organisation’s mission and its individual contributions to it. In India, a strong leadership team has been cultivated to uphold the organisational culture and values on her behalf.
Ms. Banerjee ensures to visit her team once every quarter. She has managed to build a strong senior leadership team who are in sync with the organisational goals, culture, and belief. This layer of leadership is very critical for a growing organisation since they are the ones that the teams rally after. She believes that most teams perform not because of the company but because of the leader they are working with. This is what Ms. Banerjee is pushing extensively so that there are right leaders in her organisation who can lead on her behalf. However, she acknowledged that the effectiveness of remote work varies depending on the nature of the business. Technology-driven businesses find it easier to operate remotely, while those relying heavily on interpersonal interactions require a more personal touch. Since Magic Billion deals with human-centric businesses, her team in India is not remote.
Addressing the challenges of being a remote CEO, Ms. Banerjee highlighted three key aspects: Firstly, the physical distance often hinders her from fully grasping the pulse of the organisation and picking up on subtle cues that could help the team in challenging situations. Secondly, remote hiring and addressing attrition pose significant challenges. And thirdly, new employees may struggle to imbibe the company’s culture without direct interaction with the founders.
In her concluding message, Ms. Banerjee addressed the aspiring Gen Z leaders and CEOs, encouraging them to take risks and not be overly concerned about societal opinions. Watch this insightful interaction to learn more about how an organisation can grow and succeed in the ever-evolving business landscape.