Nitin Mittal, IT News, ET CIO



By Aryaan Parwez

Born in Nagpur, a town in Maharashtra, Nitin Mittal as President of Technology and Data at Zee Entertainment, spent most of his days at school and college in Nagpur. “Father was in the transferable role with GOI, so we moved around a bit, but most of my education was in Nagpur,” he said. His father first worked in the armed forces, but then joined the “PSU for the production of weapons and ammunition.” By qualification, he is an engineer, ”he added. Her mother was a teacher earlier, but later became a housewife. “After the wedding, working with such a mobile job was difficult, so she chose to take care of us and raise us in the best possible way,” Mittal said.

Mittal finished with his 10th from Central Council, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Nagpur. “Being mobile, we would jump between various Kendriya Vidyalayas in India.” He then completed his engineering at Nagpur University. “This was a four-year graduate program in electronics and telecommunications that was a new field coming up in the 90s era,” he explained.

School life taught him leadership skills early on. He has never considered himself a geek, he has a fascination and love for sports. “All the good and bad memories of following and not following the rules are all in sport,” he said. He represented his school, his region, his state, revolving around various sports such as cricket, badminton, kabaddi and athletics. He learned a lot about team building and team leadership throughout his school years. During his college days, he said “every year we collect the money for our end of year party.” They started collecting money from eighth grade from the whole class, then organized a full dinner and movie nights. As he belonged to the army colonies, his only source of entertainment during this time was playing and watching TV on Sundays. They started to raise money from eighth grade from the whole class, then organized a full dinner and a movie night.

Carrier start

“I would say I did 50% of home engineering – I study at home because it is quite easy to study in the Indian education system. It is a very predictable education system. There are no surprises, ”added Mittal. He has been a gold medalist in his branch for three consecutive years. Nitin received a few offers to join Indian companies, but he wanted to join a company “that can give me a bigger perspective,” he added. Since his youth, Mittal has always wanted to do something different, differentiating him from others. His first job was at IBM. “IBM could take me to the United States in a much nicer way and it happened within six months. That’s what prompted me to join IBM. Even though people just sit there doing nothing and just interacting with the people there (at IBM), the learning is multiple, ”Mittal exclaimed.

“The idea was to take a risk, so I found a way that IBM sponsored start-ups at the time that were very technical in nature. Areas where IBM doesn’t want to invest its core workforce but would be happy to spend some $ 100,000 to have someone sit on an outside lathe and do the research. If this research is successful then an idea comes to life and IBM gives them a platform to try it out for customers in the production environment and if it is a scalable model then they do. acquire, ”he explained. Thus, he made his first start-up work thanks to the sponsorship of IBM after having succeeded in selling his idea to them. After 3 years, IBM bought them inside.

Leadership lessons

The technologist who played a vital role in building Aadhar: Nitin Mittal“My father taught me a lot,” Mittal learned a lot from his father. Humility is one of the most important lessons his father taught him. It’s still something Mittal aspires to achieve, despite his ranking and success. “The way he treated people, the kind of social events he attended, it’s amazing. He’s still a north star for me to match. Another lesson that was taught about discipline. “My sister and I weren’t the brightest students, but what got us ahead of a lot of them was the discipline,” adds Mittal.

“There are a lot of leadership lessons that have come to me as I progressed in my professional career. I progressed through IBM to my next business and joined Tesco, the UK supermarket chain. During those days they were the third largest so one thing I learned and still am until today and something I say to others as well is that they taught me two greatest values ​​- one is to treat others as you like to be. treated and cherished and follow this rule both personally and professionally. The second thing is to ask for more than you can say. You have to have good listening skills and be able to ask the right questions all the time, because, at the end of a conversation, everyone must leave filled rather than asking a question mark in their face ” , that’s what Mittal had to say. This lesson is useful especially when people are working remotely, without any physical proximity.

The greatest achievements and challenges

“The biggest achievement for me was without a doubt the construction of the Aadhar. Nothing can be as satisfying as this. It is the backbone of our digital economy and I am truly privileged and proud to be part of the team as the CTO to build it, ”exclaimed Mittal. He also talks about Nandan Nilekani, the team leader, who was influential in guiding him throughout. “You learn a lot from him. Integrity and the impeccable ability to maneuver a complex system of stakeholders is a lifelong learning when you work with it, ”he added.

Throughout his personal and professional career, Mittal has always taken risks and aims to think outside the box. He never repeated an area in which he worked. He started with technology, then moved on to banking, retail, and other industries. “Then I came to India to work with Kishor Biyani to set up India’s retail infrastructure because at that time India had never understood organized retail,” he said. he declared. He was also part of the UPI team, building the first version of UPI. He explained that his life has always been about two things: taking more risks and having an impact. The impact should be aimed at India. As long as these are changes that impact the country, he is up to the challenge.


The technologist who played a vital role in building Aadhar: Nitin MittalIn addition to having an obvious fascination and love for sports, Mittal is also very attached to breaks. He loves to travel and has visited over 85 countries. “Now, with the kids who have grown up, we’re definitely taking breaks. Whenever I have the opportunity to get out of Bangalore, for 2-3 days, I go on vacation. For me, vacations are about relaxing and exploring there is to explore, ”he said.

“I would like, at some point, with the help of a few of our friends, to build the primary health infrastructure of our country, because I believe that this solves 80% of our problems today, at all. levels, ”Mittal said. He also wants to reorganize the country’s education system. According to him, today’s education systems create a skilled workforce to work for others. “We are not a country of job seekers now”, he aims to make changes to the education system so as to make the country a place of job creators.


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