Founded in 1995 by Douglas Caldwell, chairman of Caldwell Partners International Inc., Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™ has become one of the most prestigious achievements attained by young professionals in the country today. Honourees are selected from across the public, private, and non-profit sectors based on vision and leadership, innovation and achievement, impact, community involvement and contribution, and strategy for growth.
EXCERPTED FROM The Globe & Mail, May 6, 2008
LAKSHMI RAJ, 38, ALBERTA
For software exec, business is a family affair
Co-chief executive officer and co-founder, Replicon Inc., Calgary
BY CATHRYN ATKINSON
Lakshmi Raj is currently on maternity leave with her seven-month-old daughter, her first child. She prepared for the big event by ensuring that her brainchild, Replicon, the Calgary software engineering company she founded in 1996 with husband Raj Narayanaswamy, was well taken care of. Now checking e-mails and attending occasional meetings is a huge change of pace for Ms. Raj, the company’s co-chief executive officer. “Life has changed dramatically,” she says.
“I’ve learned to take things slowly and there aren’t big schedules to keep right now. We are trying to stay flexible to [my daughter’s] needs, so I made sure we hired key people into the roles I would be vacating.”
Time management, it seems, is in her blood, not least because the products created by Replicon are meant to help business owners and employees do just that. The company is a world leader in Web-based time and expense management software. Its flagship product, Web Timesheet, creates a real-time analysis of worker productivity and helps set employee productivity goals.
Replicon now has 6,700 customers in 58 countries, 140 staff in Calgary, and $15-million a year in revenue. Ms. Raj says its success with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Amazon, BP Oil and Ferrari was built on the back of three early product failures shortly after Replicon began.
“After that experience, we sat down and asked ourselves what we were doing wrong. We felt we were coming from a very non-business perspective, so we looked at our customers and their needs more closely,” says Ms. Raj, who earned a BE in electrical engineering from Anna University in India in 1991, and a BSc in computer science from the University of Calgary in 1995.
The change in approach paid off. Replicon’s products are known for their ease of use, and the company espouses high-quality customer service. Ms. Raj says its employees are also key.
“We have a list of core values for our employees, and while we are a highly achievement-driven company, we also try to have a lot of fun.”
See the complete list of Honourees in the Globe & Mail, May 6, 2008.
Check out Replicon’s Press Release.