IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Manas Kumar: optimising leadership

Thu 1 Mar 2012
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The word that springs to mind when you meet Manas Kumar is focus. It is a trait that has served the young CEO well - in November 2011 Optimizer HQ joined seven of New Zealand’s largest construction, dairy and telecommunications companies to be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with its share price jumping to 0.40 euros within six hours. "In India, cricket is a major sport and every kid wants to be on the team,” Kumar tells IT Brief, "so you grow up knowing if you don’t have the drive you can’t survive.” The analogy is not haphazard - Kumar played professional cricket in South Africa for four years before returning to India to complete a BA majoring in Economics and Maths. In 2003, two years after immigrating to New Zealand he founded Optimizer HQ. He was just 23 years old and now at  31, Kumar is the second youngest chief executive in the world to be listed on the Deutsche Boerse, behind Puma’s Jochen Zeitz. Initially founded as a web development company with a goal of educating the market place about strategy, it was soon evident success for the business lay in offering software as a service (SaaS).  Today the company offers a variety of technologies to businesses specialising in online marketing and SEO. "In the last 18 months Optimizer HQ has grown to a point I could never have imagined back in 2003. Last year we were delivering about 300,000 emails per month, which I was really happy with. Now we’re sending more than 400 million emails and expect to hit the one billion mark by next June.” The decision was, he says, a inspired one that allowed the company to break free of the annual season cash flow problems  many New Zealand companies experience over summer. Recognising a  gap in the market for fundamental business tools  to allow small to medium businesses to effectively compete online, Optimizer HQ focused on creating a system that would facilitate business growth, purely through the Internet. Listing on the Deutsche Boerse marked the beginning of a new era for the company, allowing it to showcase its technologies on the world stage. "This was such an important step for us as a company and one which we’re naturally incredibly proud to have achieved.” While local clients include  New Zealand Police and New Zealand Post Kumar is quite open about the fact that most of his business is offshore and some big international names feature on Optimizer HQ’s client list, from Harvard University to pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. One of the great advantages of using SaaS, according to Kumar, is the ability to have a mobile workforce and still be on top of things - a concept, he says, kiwis are still a little reluctant to embrace. "New Zealand business does not like to be first to do things. It likes to wait and see how it works for other countries first.” This is compounded, he believes, by the challenges of finding funding in a small country. "On any given night, in any given living room or back bedroom in this country, you’ll find ground breaking innovation happening, but there’s a lack of capital backing it up. We have enough brain power in New Zealand to be an SaaS leader but somewhere like Silicon Valley simply has more funding and our Number 8 wire mentality can only take us so far. We need a new level of financial education in New Zealand.” 

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
SaaS
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
Data Protection
VMware introduces advanced workload protection for AWS
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Story image
SaaS
AvePoint rebrands SaaS learning product to MaivenPoint
"Our mission with MaivenPoint is to make your learning experience limitless and inspire everyone to achieve their aspirations."
Story image
Storage
DCI Data Centers breaks ground on AKL02 center
DCI Data Centers has commenced construction on Auckland's largest data center.
Story image
Inde
Exclusive: Inde provides innovative solutions across the tech sector
Inde likes to call its approach the 'power of the collective', which essentially means that if a client approaches the company with a problem, they'll get the team's collective insight to help drive the best outcome.
Story image
Malware
Avast One extends protection with Online Safety Score
Avast One has extended its cross-platform support by adding its Online Safety Score feature to both the Mac and iOS platforms of Avast One.
Story image
Neat
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Charity
SnapLogic teams up with meetmagic for charity and children
SnapLogic has announced its partnership with meetmagic, an online Australian platform that combines business and philanthropy.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Heidrick & Struggles
Graham Kittle joins us today to discuss how the company is helping organisations bring about change within their business.
Story image
APAC
Automation to take over 63 million jobs in APAC by 2040 - report
Forrester forecasts that working populations in the five largest economies in APAC are more at risk of physical robot automation than in Europe and North America.
Story image
Enterprise Resource Planning / ERP
Why the right ERP (and partner) is crucial to an innovative and successful business
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a foundational step to ensuring a robust business model; here's why choosing the right one could be vital to ensuring long-term success and innovative results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
Sustainability
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Document Management
TrustRadius gives M-Files two document management awards
TrustRadius has recognised M-Files with both a 2022 Best Feature Set and a 2022 Best Relationship award in document management.
Story image
Indusface
Why enhancing bot protection for web and API endpoints matters
The trouble with bots is that they aren’t all bad. Unfortunately, this can make it challenging to detect malicious bots that find their way into your system and threaten your business.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Compliance
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
SaaS
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
New Zealand
2degrees announces appointments to newly established board
2degrees has announced Liz Coutts as the board chair, while Russell Stanners and Kathy Meads join her as directors.
Story image
Microsoft
Spectralink DECT devices now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway
Spectralink DECT devices are now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway to help create better results for business-critical frontline workers.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cohesity, Equinix, IDC, Proofpoint & Xero
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Healthcare
Why the Metaverse could be the key to enhancing the healthcare sector
The experts at Accenture understand that the programmable world is about building the next version of the physical world in healthcare, understanding complex layers in order to fully utilise technology to its maximum effect.
Story image
Pure Storage
Pure Storage named leader in GigaOm report for Kubernetes storage
Pure Storage named the leader for the third consecutive year by GigaOm Radar Report for enterprise Kubernetes storage.
Story image
Data
Talend announces support for Amazon Redshift Serverless
Talend has announced its support for Amazon Redshift Serverless, with the company saying the integration reinforces its commitment and leadership in supporting businesses.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Palo Alto Networks responds to rise in threats with MDR service
Unit 42 Managed Detection and Response is a new service that can offer continuous 24/7 threat detection, investigation and response.
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ revenue in NZ grows by 57% in FY 2021
The New Zealand branch of LG Electronics Australia's total revenue shot up by nearly NZD $45 million reaching a total of $123.7 million for FY 2021.
AWS Marketplace
See how managed security services (MSS) have evolved to Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). Learn how these new holistic solutions can simplify security management and improve your threat detection and response.
Link image
Story image
Payroll
Exclusive: UKG brings a people focused approach to workforce management
Managing an effective and efficient workforce is the crux of any business operation, and in today's climate, it's more than just work employers need to be aware of.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner positions Commvault as Leader in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has named Commvault a Leader in its 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Backup and Recovery Software Solutions report.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Exclusive: NZ-based DEFEND offers global cyber protection
DEFEND supports customers in 66 countries across the globe with a relentless focus on ensuring that every dollar spent on security provides a meaningful return on investment and reduces cyber risk.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat announces 2022 awards winners for A/NZ region
Red Hat recently acknowledged Australia and New Zealand partners with its annual awards, highlighting partners across various categories.
Story image
Financial results
Jade Software’s plan to get back to surplus in 2022
Jade Software has released its latest financial report, revealing that the company has kept its loss low from $567,000 in FY 2020 to just $153,000 in FY 2021.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Gigabit
Keysight Technologies and Nokia’s public test of 800GE success
Keysight and Nokia have successfully demonstrated the first public 800GE test, validating the readiness of next-generation optics for service providers and network operators.
Story image
Data analytics
Data analytics a struggle for A/NZ healthcare organisations
A study by InterSystems has found that most Australian and New Zealand healthcare organisations struggle to use data analytics to support their business objectives.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Adobe and FC Bayern collaborate on a multi-year partnership
Adobe is embarking on a multi-year partnership with FC Bayern, using its enterprise solutions to carry out the club’s digital transformation.
Story image
Open source
Flashpoint acquires Echosec Systems, elevates OSINT capabilities
Flashpoint has acquired Echosec Systems, a provider of open-source intelligence and publicly available information.