Issue: Beyond's 10 Most Influential Business Leaders to Watch Out in 2020

Nitin Kumar: High Impact Change, the Power of Influence

Technology has seen an exponential development over the last few years and continues to rapidly scale each day. This accelerated change is a result of the relentless efforts of many leaders who are passionate about technology and love to innovate and transform the way business works. Appnomic is one such innovative software company, that loves difficult business IT operations problems and solves them with artificial intelligence. Established in Cupertino, CA, Appnomic is a pioneer in preventive healing solutions.

It takes ardent technology enthusiasts and leadership to create such high-value solutions that are unique and innovative, which led Nitin Kumar, the CEO of Appnomic to follow his passion and influence a change in the hi-tech industry. Nitin Kumar is recognized as a brand in himself and has been the recipient of several global awards that have honored his contribution in other fields too, such as business model innovation, business transformation, product innovation and M&A. He has written numerous articles on leadership, disruptive technologies, innovation and building global professional ecosystems that are inspired from his own experiences and he incorporates the same leadership skills in his role as the CEO of the company. Beyond Exclamation is privileged to feature a few inspiring insights shared by Nitin Kumar that highlight his idea of being an influential and successful business leader.

Defining Influence from a Leader’s Perspective

Being influential is a gift that ignites a wave of revolution. While each leader has their own definition of influence, Nitin has derived his own version of it over the years. Trend influence, social media influence and leadership influence are areas commonly comprehended by many. However, for Nitin, being influential is above and beyond it all. It is about bringing the right knowledge together, bringing the right people together, creating wins together and watching out for the collective interest of individuals or groups. Orchestrating professional networks and ecosystems gives you influence to shape a vision, create win-win strategies and exchange meaningful value with the ecosystem. Long story short, Nitin defines influence as a byproduct of thoughts and actions which is all about being the connector of people, knowledge, trends, opportunities and sharing them with the broader community for collective benefit.

Nitin strongly believes that as a leader one needs to have a vision, should be able to connect people to that vision and influence is a vehicle or mechanism to do that. Firstly, there is some level of ingrained ability to influence in every business leader which is why they became a leader in the first place. Secondly, it is about honing that ability, fine-tuning it, and using it for the benefit of others, be it shareholders, employees, customers, partners, or others. In the modern business era, executives need to lead by influence not authority. Authority and influence are very conflicting styles, one must share and distribute for influence to grow, because asserting authority on too many people will just diminish it. To sum it up, a business leader is already influential in their own right – it is now a matter of adapting that influence into vision, action, and results.

Exploration is Vital in the Journey of Success

Gaining a plethora of experience in several fields throughout his career, Nitin describes his professional journey as a mosaic of experiences. With a background in strategy, operations, products, sales, marketing, general management and M&A, the different roles that Nitin played and the opportunities he got, created the runway to change business models of companies within the Technology, Media and Telecommunication sectors. He has been a serial intrapreneur/entrepreneur building large cybersecurity practices, creating global operations at mega scale in Management Consulting, building two start-ups and building smaller businesses from scratch inside large companies.

Nitin is considered one of the most well-connected global executives because of his ability to connect with people, engage them through intellectual stimulation, his strategic thought process and versatility of experience. Owing it his phenomenal experience, Nitin says, “Success and failure have taught me the importance of a professional network, constantly learning, figuring out the next big thing and helping others.”

Unique Product from Appnomic Influencing Change

Appnomic is the provider of the game-changing innovation HEAL, the first preventive healing tool for IT operations, fixing IT operations problems before they happen. HEAL uses unsupervised AI to learn how IT systems work under normal conditions and creates a dynamic baseline correlating the entire system and workload behavior. This ability is beyond the present-day AI-assisted APM and monitoring tools. Appnomic’s patented, unique cognitive capabilities include predictive anomaly detection, anomaly linked healing triggers and unified causation that navigates the linkages between digital journeys, transactions, applications, and IT infrastructure on the edge, public and private cloud. Their product HEAL eliminates several thousand severe incidents as if they never happened – saving their customers substantial time, energy, cost, and effort.

Appnomic is in a category of its own and works together with existing monitoring and APM tools to create value. As businesses migrate from the era of user-generated content to machine-generated content, they will need sophisticated, autonomous methods to identify and correct problems in an autonomous manner. This is where Appnomic’s product, HEAL comes in.

Being Influential is an Ongoing Process

To develop the ability of being an influential personality, it is essential to have a unique, compelling, and distinctive positioning. This positioning needs to be equally strong and consistent, internally, and externally. This is called your personal brand – it is the art and science of communicating this unique positioning i.e., helping people understand how you can create value for them. Branding is more than just who you are and what you do, it is about articulating how you can help solve complex problems. When personal branding works, people reach out to you for the solutions of specific issues you stand for. If you are not the first call on certain issues, then your brand needs enhancement, amplification, or both.

Nitin asserts that your professional network is where you communicate and amplify your brand. Building an effective network allows you to “pull and push” your value proposition from and to it. A common misconception is that a network is about extensive reach and the number of the people you know, this is the biggest myth. A wide but weak network will not help much, it is about the strength and individuals who care about your involvement in their professional careers. You want well respected, credible, and sought after people in your network who can put their individual networks to work for you as needed. This is however a two-way street and you want to have individuals who you can help and make a difference as well.

Influence is the New Power

For a leader to lead, they need to have followers. Corporate leadership is not the only form of leadership e.g., you could be a leading authority on a certain topic, and you will likely have followers who want to listen to your insights on that or you might have access to certain skills or abilities which people want to learn. Hence, having online, offline, or social media followers is certainly one dimension of influence. “Modern day influence hinges on three things: deep knowledge, a top-notch professional network and your ability and willingness to share both for making an impact.”, Nitin adds.

There is always some subjectivity when we associate influence with power and leaders have individual views on it. Nitin expresses his views on this debatable topic in a few simple words, “If influence is the ability to get things done, make change, create value, exchange value, develop knowledge and apply it to make a change, then it is equivalent to having power or being powerful. It might not fit many alternate definitions of power, but there is a certain power of influence.”

Nitin Kumar has experienced the ups and downs in numerous businesses and has successfully led many businesses to exponential scale, which is why he has a myriad of learning experiences that empower him to be an influential business leader. With the same passion and intellect, he has driven Appnomic through a massive pivot that redefines the power of technology to change the way IT operations delivers value. 

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