As part of our ongoing Executive Spotlight Series, TechLeadersPOV had an insightful discussion with Romil Bahl, President and CEO of KORE, a world leader in Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Under Romil’s leadership, KORE has become the world’s only pure-play public IoT company, managing over 15.3+ million connections and 45+ carrier integrations worldwide. We had the chance to delve into Romil’s journey to his role at KORE, learn about the company’s most noteworthy experiences, and get some invaluable advice on leading in the tech industry.
What inspired you to get into your current industry?
I owe my position as a CEO of a global, NYSE-listed technology firm to excellent mentors, significant effort, and a sprinkle of good luck. I’m grateful for the opportunities given to me by different individuals such as supervisors, executive leaders, advisors, and board members.
I set my sights on becoming a CEO early on in my career. I began in consulting to gain diverse experience and hone my problem-solving and strategy skills. This prepared me to move into general manager roles, enabling a better understanding of an operating executive’s position. When presented with the chance to become a CEO at 40, I seized it. I’ve always prioritized learning to facilitate change within companies. Currently, I’m in my third CEO role.
A highlight of my career was leading KORE’s transition from a private to a publicly traded company in 2021. The experience of ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, flanked by my KORE colleagues, remains unforgettable.
Could you share an interesting story from your career or elaborate on how your business has evolved?
Two pivotal moments occurred during the pandemic, reshaping medication delivery and clinical trial processes.
Firstly, KORE collaborated with Swoop Aero, an air logistics company, utilizing IoT technology to deliver medicines and health-related supplies, including COVID-19 tests, to remote locations worldwide.
Secondly, the pandemic necessitated a shift towards virtual or “decentralized” Phase 3 clinical trials, enabled by IoT technology. KORE played a crucial role in deploying IoT for remote Phase 3 clinical trials of various drugs.
Can you share a lesson learned from a business challenge?
Fourteen years ago, I was selected to lead PRGX Global. While I was eager and motivated, I lacked CEO experience. I made mistakes, as any first-time CEO does, but I learned valuable lessons and carried them forward.
Do you have any leadership advice regarding building a business?
I advocate for a culture of trust and transparency and a robust strategy. Showing gratitude is also key in leadership. At KORE, we have systems in place for peer recognition and performance-based rewards. Gratitude fosters team cohesion and ensures the success of the company.
How has technology impacted your industry and business?
The advent of IoT has revolutionized multiple sectors, and KORE has been a major player in this revolution. From facilitating remote patient monitoring to digitally supported clinical trials, IoT has a vast potential that KORE is helping to unlock.
What are your top three tips for building a business?
- Clear and consistent communication is vital, as CEOs have responsibilities towards multiple stakeholders.
- A leader should always remember the power of their voice, as people pay attention to what they say.
- Information received may be filtered, especially bad news, which tends to be slow to arrive and overly managed.
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