In this episode, I interview Vinod Muthanna - CEO and President of DBM Vircon. DBM Vircon is a merger of 3 companies and he leads the integration and the creation of a global practice with nine offices in 8 countries over four continents.He also shares his experiences throughout his career, past and present, and shares his thoughts on being a CEO and a servant leader to his team and business.
DBM Vircon is a steel-detailing and building information modelling company
DBM Vircon is a merger of three businesses - BDs Vircon, PDC Group, and Candraft VSI, and headquartered in Brisbane
What type of work DBM Vircon does around the world.
The company does projects with industrial and commercial strain, and high rises. It boasts 55 years of iconic projects around the world.
How did the company come to acquire and work for these iconic projects?
How the business stood out in North America versus the local competitors
Vinod talks about his life in India. He migrated to Australia in 1988 for his MBA
What attracted Vinod to be an engineer?
He worked for an industrial house in Australia before doing his MBA
Why he picked Australia to study for his MBA
"Australia has got a much far superior lifestyle. But if you can then make a career out of it then you have the best of both worlds."
He did merchant banking after completing his MBA and worked with the finance industry for 20 years with various banks, mainly with JP Morgan and then the latter half with Westpac
Towards the end of his 20 years of working with the financial industry, around 9/11 and after, he felt "a bit jaded" and started trying to do something on his own.
"Somewhere along the line, I wasn't that enchanted with the whole profession, the way the industry functioned. I always wanted to work for myself at the end of the day."
"That was always my goal; to be an entrepreneur long before entrepreneurship became the language as it is today"
Vinod shares his cultural roots in relation to his profession and on his decision to be an entrepreneur
He then ran a fund associated with a US hedge fund looking for investment opportunities and found this opportunity in BDS Vircon. He decided to invest in this company, and ultimately bought the business with some help in November 2007.
What was about the business that originally made him invest in it?
Business was sold in 2016
Vinod share his thoughts about the idea of a servant leader
"If you are the smartest guy in the room, you are in the wrong room."
"That doesn't mean you're not confident. It means professional humanity."
"You have to give people the courtesy of having been heard and there's good and bad with that."
"There are people in the business that bring certain attributes. You have to listen to it and you've got to empower them."
How does he live out this value of being a servant to his team?
Bob Iger - the epitome of a servant leader
"He doesn't use it [the term servant leader], he embodies it"
At what point of his career did Vinod adopt this servant leader approach in his leadership DNA?
After the business was sold in 2016, what the business was like then as compared to what it looks like now in 2020
With the company mergers and acquisitions, Vinod shares how he and his team made the business successful
Looking at 2025, what Vinod is excited about and his aspiration for the business
Vinod shares what he is excited for for himself for the future
What is Vinod when he is not at work?