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Leading Global Energy Services and Technology Ventures - Mahesh Konduru

2 min. read

On Scaling Clean, we have the pleasure of interviewing people with a variety of backgrounds. One less-represented experience on our podcast are PhD-ers turned CEOs.

That’s why I’m excited to talk to Mahesh Konduru, who is the former CEO and now board chair of ProSep, a global energy services company focused on water treatment and chemical efficiency.

Mahesh's company is private equity financed, with operations and subsidiaries in four regions around the world. He's also CEO of Momentum Technologies, a company that processes critical minerals and metals into high-purity materials with a heavy initial focus on recycling lithium batteries.

If you’re short on time, here's an overview of our conversation:

5:22 – It’s tempting to rush through team building in the fast paced, hectic environment of a startup. But doing so puts your team and company at a disadvantage. Take the time to understand the capabilities and aspirations of employees before settling into a rapid, task-completion mindset.

14:56 – The role of a CEO at a company that’s scaling technology from proof of concept to commercial is a different kind of role than a CEO at an established company.

At an early stage, you’re primarily focused on proof of concept and the path to commercialization, making your responsibilities:

  1. Always make sure there is enough cash. Always.
  2. Set the culture.
  3. Be comfortable with risk taking.

Once the company has reached profitability, the CEO’s focus shifts more to goal setting and talent retention. 

18:14 - Match the ambition of your company with the addressable market you're seeking. If the addressable market is huge, keep your ambitions huge as well. If you don't set the ambition, the capital will not follow.

24:23 - CEOs ‘inheriting’ a new team – rather than creating one, as a startup – have a particular challenge in gaining the trust of their new employees. One unconventional way to build a strong team is job shadowing – literally. Spend a day watching your employees in action to understand the full scope of their responsibilities and observe the ways your leadership could make their jobs easier.

 

Listen on Apple, Spotify, Radio Public, Amazon Music, iHeart, and Google Podcasts.