Getting To Know You: Subrah Iyar, CEO, Moxtra

What do you currently do?
I am the CEO of Moxtra – a tech company offering a fresh approach to collaboration, which has been inspired by the mobile social revolution. This is driving the need for new ways for teams to communicate with each other, from wherever they are.

This was the driver behind an app we have developed which is a powerful communication and mobile collaboration app for iOS, Android, and Web with digital binders, team messaging, content sharing, screen-share, etc.

The app was actually inspired by my daughter Leena, whilst studying at London’s Kings College, who saw the need for a way for students to easily collaborate and share document whilst working on projects.

From this concept, the Moxtra App was born, and there are now over 2 million users. It’s currently the #1 Project Collaboration App on the iTunes store. We have ambitious plans for growth in the future and aim to have 3 million downloads by 2016.

What is your inspiration in business?
Innovation has always been a key inspiration, particularly innovation in technology which leads to innovation in business. This can be new products or services or simply finding ways to meet a business need in a different and unique way.

I find myself always looking for the next big thing and we’re in the midst of a mobile revolution which is changing so many things about how we do business. And it forces us to think about how we can deliver the best possible experience for our users. It also means that the mobile communication space is a very exciting place to be right now. It’s constantly evolving, and we await with interest, what the future holds!

Who do you admire?
Steve Jobs. First, his innovation and disruption in business models, e.g. digital music and downloads. Also, his relentless focus on product and design, his combination and appreciation for both left brain and right brain thinking – both of which led to an unparalleled track record delivering elegant as well as functional products that customers love.

Looking back, would you have done things differently?
I think I would have probably taken the entrepreneurial road much earlier in my career. I spent almost 15 years in the corporate world working with companies such as Apple and Intel before I ventured out on my own. I took the path to entrepreneurship in 1996 when I was eager to do something new and challenging. I co-founded Webex and then in 2007, helped the transition of Webex to Cisco.

Looking back now, and knowing the things I do know, I probably would have branched out on my own earlier on in my career, and certainly within the first 5 – 7 years after graduation.

What defines your way of doing business?
The way I look at it, business is a serious game. There are times where you focus more on the ‘serious’ part and you can get extremely consumed with it, but then I remind myself that, it remains a game – and just like any competitive game there are rules to play by, winners and losers.

We also have to accept that we can’t control everything and if something doesn’t go according to plan, then that is just part of life.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
I would say that, especially in the early years: to try different things. Don’t get set on one particular route. Be open to change and be flexible so that you allow yourself to wander off the road you laid out initially. Further, and I’ve learned this over the years: relationships matter. As you bank your working life, you realise that the early relationships you formed in your life, become the basis in terms of the people you know and the networks you attend together.