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The Quest for Rapid Growth

Intech Systems Managing Director Deval Parikh (MMM ‘99) talks about how he leveraged his MMM education to develop a business philosophy that has led to multiple massive success stories.

The prospect of 10 percent or even 20 percent year-over-year growth would make many business executives giddy with excitement.  

Not Deval Parikh (MMM ‘99).  

Parikh believes it’s better to aim higher. 

A lot higher.  

Deval Parikh“I have a very simple benchmark with pretty much all the organizations I have worked with for the last 20-plus years,” said Parikh, managing director of India-based Intech Systems. “We have to grow 100 percent. Growing 10 percent and growing 100 percent require very different mindsets and very different skill sets.” 

During his career journey, Parikh has worked with some of the world’s most prominent business minds and most successful companies, including at Richard Branson’s Virgin Mobile USA and Virgin Mobile India. He has risen from the ranks of product manager to senior vice president, chief product officer, and other high-ranking executive positions in several of India’s largest telecommunications companies.  

His work has helped companies grow out of Silicon Valley in the United States and in emerging markets around the globe. He also had the chance to be part of the founding senior leadership team at Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom and tech-startup. 

He credits the lessons he learned through the MMM program, a dual-degree program between Northwestern Engineering and the Kellogg School of Management, with providing the foundation he needed to build his career.  

“The MMM program allows you to get the best of all worlds,” Parikh said. “It has all the elements of technical thinking, it has all the elements of innovation and product management, as well as marketing and general management.”  

Parikh joined the MMM program shortly after earning a dual bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering and economics.  

 Back then, Parikh was a process engineer for VLSI Technology, a company that designed and manufactured custom integrated circuits and was credited with accelerating the advancement of electronics in affordable products.  

“I was a trained semiconductor engineer, but I felt I could do more,” he said. “The important thing to me was the ability to use management and operations to make something better, to impact the world.”  

That mindset, combined with what he learned in the MMM program, is what led Parikh to his philosophy of asking for 100 percent year-over-year growth at the companies he helps lead.  

He said it’s not easy to hit the mark – and it can be even more challenging to find the talent willing to pursue this growth mindset.  

“When I hire my direct reports, I tell them that this is what you're in for,” Parikh said. “The hardest part is getting the people with that mindset. But once that is in place, then stuff happens.” 

A lesson Parikh said he likes to pass on to developing business leaders is that a great future is a combination of the right lessons from the past and a vision like his quest for 100 percent growth.  

“There is a lot of communication and coaching when saying that this is how we are going to shift. I'm here for a purpose. I'm here for a reason,” he said. “Take the best of the past and leverage it for the future.”  

That’s how Parikh recommends prospective MMM students see the opportunity to join the program.  

“It's a great program for being product managers of the future and leading to the chief product officer track, and then eventually CEOs of large organizations,” he said. “The MMM program allowed me to have this journey and I am truly grateful.”  

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