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John Kuruvilla the CEO of Propmart Technologies

John Kuruvilla the CEO of Propmart TechnologiesJohn Kuruvilla graduated in Statistics from Madras Christian College and is an Excecutive Alumni of The National University of Singapore where he was adjudged the 'Most Resourceful Participant' by the University.

Having started his career selling electronic typewriters in 1985, John decided that Advertising was his first love - having been strongly influenced by his Uncle - who co-owns and runs Anthem TBWA in India. Having being exposed to creativity in school and college, he believed that every problem had a solution which if handled creatively could produce cost effective results. Beginning with the Maruti Omni campaign where he was part of the team responsible for the repositioning and the subsequent success of the Maruti Van in 1988 to the 80:20 Sunrise Coffee campaign for Nestle to saving lives in the Gastro Enteritis tragedy that hit Delhi around the same time where he was part of the team from Hindustan Thomson working with UNICEF to save lives.

Being restless by nature, his longing to work in Mumbai, the Advertising Mecca of India saw him join Lintas and be part of the team that was responsible for Hamara Bajaj and the Revolutionary Kawasaki Cheetah (animation) campaigns in 1989-90, under watchful eyes of the legendary Alyque Padamsee.

Thereafter he decided to grow up and do something more exciting - turning around loss making Advertising Agencies He started with Clarion Advertising (Now Bates in India) and joined an elite force hand picked by Ashish Mitra to turn around this ailing Ad agency. He joined Clarion in Bangalore and worked as an Account Director and took the agency from Rs 2 crore turnover to Rs 6 crores in one year and left when Ashsish threw in the towel and left to join ITC.

Thereafter he turned around Contract Advertising (of Shoppers' Stop, NIIT, Philips, BPL, Ayurvedic Concept fame) where he spent the greater part of 5 years in Bangalore. At Contract, Bangalore he set up the Direct Marketing and Consulting businesses - working on brands like Hutchison MAX, BPL, Reva -The electric car, BPL US West and The Oberoi Group who he subsequently joined as Corporate Director Marketing - looking after their Time Share venture. Which eventually was put on the back burner due to the political change in India in 1997. Thereafter he took over another loss making Advertising Agency -Chaitra Leo Burnett in Bangalore - loss making for 5 years and turned it around in 16 months.

At Chaitra Leo Burnett he was instrumental in bringing together Dentsu - Japan's largest Ad agency and Chaitra Leo Burnett in a venture named Orchard Advertising. At Orchard he was responsible for the successful launch of the Toyota Qualis and Hitachi Air-conditioners in India, Bharati Mobile - Magic Pre Paid Mobile Cards and also helped small entrepreneurs like Deccan Aviation (Helicopter Charters) and US Pizza gain recognition and succeed. John also went on to win for Leo Burnett in India their first medal for films at the Famous Cannes Advertising festival held in France every year.

In his 10 years in Bangalore he worked closely with some of the biggest Real Estate developer companies and realized the lacunae that existed in this industry. He was also excited with the prospects of the opening up of this sector coupled with the enormous opportunities that technology and the Internet threw up. At the height of a successful career at Leo Burnett, John decided to throw up a cushy job and take the plunge to become an ITpreneur in partnership with one of Bangalore's leading Developers.

Using his experience in turning around loss making companies, his middle class value systems and his ability to lead a team from the front in a hands-on managerial style, John decided to apply creativity to the Business of Real Estate to ensure enhanced efficiencies to not just the community but also the end customer. Focus (A Single Vision and a focus on the task at hand as also the needs of the customer) Fun (enjoy and be passionate about what you do and about the organisation) and Fear (of Failure resulting out of a superficial attempt at doing a job based on a half baked attempt) These are the three guiding principles that have driven his teams and him to succeed in earlier assignments and are today the driving forces at Propmart Technologies - A Real Estate Company that leverages the technology play in an industry driven by relationships and on the ground services to create an organisation that draws on the best of both worlds.

Propmart for John is a dream that will see fruition based on Real World solutions in an irrational technology hyped marketplace. At present John's main areas of responsibilities at Propmart Technologies are Marketing, Sales and Customer service with an eye to break-even by December - 2001 and plan for expansion thereafter. He is very confident that this mammoth task will be accomplished with backing of a group of like-minded partners, a handful of investors who see value and are willing to contribute not only with their money but their time - all from the Real Estate world across India.

With humble beginnings in a 650 square feet office and two members about a year ago, Propmart today boasts 7 offices and over 70 people and a revenue stream that averages 30% of expenses of a tightly run organization. Focused on the future while having its feet firmly on the ground today, Propmart ever since it started was very clear about its outlook towards what John terms as 'un necessary' expenditure - no 5 star hotels, no business class flying and driving hard bargains on every transaction from day 1- be it purchase of computers, finalizing office space or on the coffee and lunch that it serves its employees. Without compromising on Quality. Propmart will perhaps be the final feather in the cap of one who believes that there is 'No shortcut to success' and the fact that in the long term it is Credibility, Integrity and Customer focus that will finally set Propmart apart from others in a higly localized and fragmented industry.

Rahul Surkund

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