Parimal originally intended to complete a Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering but realized his prospects in that field were becoming limited as an international student in the early 1990s. He shifted gears and completed his MBA in Finance.
After hearing that a career in investment banking would be a challenge, Parimal packed his bags and moved to New York in search of a job on Wall Street. The idea of a challenge thrilled him. After 16 meetings with Bear, Stearns, and nearly running out of money, Parimal got the job as an Associate in Investment Banking.
After climbing the ladder at Bear, Stearns for five years, Parimal pivoted into the role of a corporate executive for Terex Corp. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Parimal found success in the corporate world for another 14 years before taking an operational role in Italy, where he achieved some of his most satisfying professional moments.
Driven by his risk-taking, adventurous spirit, and his desire to keep on learning and being challenged both personally and professionally, Parimal continues to take on new clients, new investments, and new ways to apply his knowledge to create business success stories.
Parimal is especially proud of and inspired by his work mentoring young companies. He enjoys learning about new technologies and ideas while helping them refine and develop their business models. As a mentor, Parimal works with entrepreneurs to provide them with alternatives, highlight risks, and point to the right resources in order to make informed decisions.
“Startup entrepreneurs typically do not have business experience. They have ideas and breakthrough technologies but when they try to commercialize them, they find the task quite daunting and rightly so. They don’t have enough capital and consequently, they can’t hire experienced functional leaders while still developing the product. I help them with ideas on financing, such as SBIR funding or structuring private investments in appropriate series of convertible notes. I also help them with strategic planning, financial modeling, negotiations, and other things. Sometimes, they just need someone to listen to their problems and assure them that they are on the right path. I also get to learn about different industries and newer technologies and just enjoy being near very optimistic people whose spirits have not been dimmed by the hard knocks of life.”
Parimal describes his approach to decision-making, where the desire for “perfect information” and exhaustive analysis can potentially derail a deal by taking too long or creating doubts where none had previously existed:
“I try to find balance in my approach to any task. I emphasize excellence but not necessarily perfection. Real-life situations require making decisions in the face of uncertainties. Waiting for perfection could result in failure. I am decisive. I plan before executing but I do not suffer from paralysis from endless analysis. I prefer not to be reactive all the time and instead of putting out fires, I plan to avoid them from starting.”
“For me, decision-making was about balancing the available information with decisiveness. Recognizing that perfect information is never available, one has to be able to make decisions based on what is available. At the same time, one needs to make the necessary effort to find discoverable information and not make excuses for a lack of them. My due diligence strength in uncovering the core of the issue with triangulation and proxies is very helpful in coming to a judicious, thoughtful decision. Data themselves are not sufficient, what you do with the data, your analysis, and your judgment is crucial. Since information is never perfect, I am always careful not to make self-serving assumptions or manipulate data or analysis to come to a predetermined solution.”
Another way that Parimal has differentiated himself from other negotiators is in his efforts to know everything about each deal he is a part of:
“There exists an asymmetry of information between buyers and sellers. One would think that sellers would know more about their business than the buyer but that is not always true because there are many different business aspects being investigated – operations, financials, legal, IT systems, human resources, etc. The knowledge is distributed among different functional experts and for confidentiality reasons all of them are not always participating in discussions. They are merely providing documents to the data room without appreciating the wider context. I made it a point to know most, if not all, of the materials in the data room – both when buying or selling.”
When questioned about the qualities that he had to learn in order to achieve success, Parimal points to patience and forgiveness.
“It sounds like a cliché but how you react in a difficult situation shapes your future. I had my share of long, tedious hours and backstabbing in investment banking, but I learned to be patient and forgiving. If you get frustrated in those difficult situations, your judgment suffers, you make poor decisions and your productivity declines. I reminded myself that everyone is not the same. Just because someone treated me badly does not mean others will do the same. Playing victim may give the satisfaction of righteousness but holds you back from moving forward. I also try to bring perspective to my difficult situation with others who have it worse and then I become grateful for my luck rather than disappointed in my bad luck.”
Parimal has a great appreciation for independent thinkers who challenge cultural norms. When he is hiring, he looks for people who will take initiative:
“I focus on understanding the person. I don’t try to fit everyone into our perception of our culture. I don’t want our culture to become staid by trying to force people to change their natural personalities. I want them to contribute positively to a dynamically evolving culture. I want to make sure the candidate can take initiative. I don’t want people who just take orders and nothing more. I want people who can challenge the long-held dogma of ‘that’s how we have always done something.’ At the same time, I want that challenge to be respectful and open to other views, including the status quo. Such creative disruptions encourage innovation.”
Outside of his tremendous resume of professional accomplishments, Parimal also finds personal success through practicing empathy, continuing to teach himself new skills, and balancing work with family life. He is very proud of the time he has dedicated to raising his children with his wife, and his prioritization of family throughout his life.
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