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Last Update: Tuesday July 27, 2021

Key Idea: Be a People Person

The employees at INDUS say it is a great place to work.

Key Question:


Let them know you like them and enjoy being around them.  Shiv says every business is about people.  He is certainly a people person and we can see how his goodness and charm have contributed to his success.

Q: Why does a small business need a people person at the helm?

A: Successful businesses operate as a team and the team has a coach, the CEO. The coach motivates, inspires, and nurtures the team, but the coach never wins the game, the team does! Most small business owners are people-people. There’s so much personal contact in owning your own business, with employees, customers and suppliers, that owning your own business just isn’t very attractive if you don’t genuinely enjoy meeting new people and interacting with them. Occasionally, though, a person who is more comfortable in the laboratory or in front of a computer has a marvelous idea for a new business. When that is the case, it’s a good idea to find someone else to function as CEO of the company. And that’s OK. People who are not people-people are not bad people. They just aren’t suited for the coach’s role.

Think about it

Are you a people person?

Clip from: INDUS - Diversity & Mentoring

From Just a Job to Being an Owner

Washington, DC: In 1979 Shiv Krishnan arrived here from Madras, India to go to college. He got a job and was doing well.  But in 1991 he risked everything to start his own business.  INDUS would be a technology innovator.  He did well. Today this company has 500+ employees and major clients including the US government.  They do Geographic Information Systems (GIS), database management, data warehousing and  mining, and more.

This story is about an immigrant to America. Like so many, he came with nothing, got a job to save money to start a business. When he put it all at risk,  he knew his safety net was to go get another job.  It wasn't easy... but that's the USA. This country is a beacon and inspiration to the entrepreneurial spirit within all of humanity.  When freedom rings,  new songs are written!

Shiv is a person who is open to learning from everyone. He empowers that  attitude among his employees, his suppliers, and his customers. He mentors people and he is always open to being mentored.  INDUS is part of SAIC's Mentor-Protégé program which has helped this business to grow. 

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INDUS Corporation

Shiv Krishnan, Founder

1951 Kidwell Drive, Eighth Floor
Vienna, VA 22182

Visit our web site:

Office: 7035066700

Business Classification:
Information Services

Year Founded: 1991

Be a People Person

HATTIE: We're witnessing what could be called the 'mentor's circle'. To mentor means to tutor or coach. This is different from teaching. While teaching is most often done in a classroom, mentoring and tutoring are done one on one and all coaching includes personal attention. Shiv is such a natural at finding good people and mentoring them that we think he has a little trouble describing how he does it. George said that Shiv is able to identify and cultivate the right people. Meena says Shiv sees the good in people and doesn't dwell on the bad. We think he must see right into the minds and hearts of people. While his grandfather mentored poor children in India and watched some of them go to the top of their chosen field, Shiv grasped the concept that every person has tremendous potential. He believes his number one task as a leader is to find the strengths of a person and mentor that person to achieve his or her potential and then have that person mentor others. As everyone succeeds, the business grows.

Are you part of a mentoring circle? If not, why not? It is the best way to grow your business.

(Voiceover) At, there is self-help study for people who want to start a business and for those who want to grow the business they have. To learn more about this episode, choose the overview. You can read every word you're hearing today when you choose the transcript and go deeper with the case study. There's streaming video and access to interactive study guides throughout the site.


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