When asked about a personal habit that has served him well over the years, finance leader Puneet Pamnani raises his voice slightly and seeks to mimic the delivery of his wife’s tone: “This is what you do for a hobby? You read company annual reports?”
To which Pamnani defends his favorite pastime with the retort: “I find them interesting!”
Although it might seem difficult to imagine this exchange taking place on sandy beach vacations and holiday escapes, it nonetheless remains an example that Pamnani uses to illustrate his relentless curiosity for how businesses operate and perform.Read More
According to Pamnani, this curiosity has led him to regularly attend the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, the major event for many value investors and fans of Warren Buffett, among whom Pamnani proudly includes himself. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that Pamnani’s reading pastime is one that Buffett has long enjoyed and encouraged others to pursue.
“I’ve been to every Warren Buffett annual shareholder meeting in the past 10 years,” says Pamnani, who quickly adds: “But not the last one, that was hard”—signaling the environment related to COVID.
Of course, Buffett is renowned not just for the investment and business insights themselves that he serves up but also for how he serves them up using clear, concise language that every investor can understand—and it’s here where Pamnani’s relentless habit and professional life are perhaps about to converge as at no other previous time.
“The CFO arrives at the center of the process when a company goes public,” explains Pamnani, who back in 2018 entered the CFO office at KORE Wireless, a provider of mobility and network connectivity solutions that is expected to go public later this year.
Helping KORE to realize its IPO ambitions is just the latest chapter of a transaction-driven career in which at times Pamnani has worn multiple hats, including those of CFO, COO, and chief strategy officer.
“As a privately equity–backed firm, KORE has been very commercially focused, but it’s now time to balance that out, and as we maintain our focus on revenue and profits, we need to be more focused on compliance in order to become one of the best publicly listed companies of our size,” observes the increasingly investor-minded Pamnani, who tells us that he keeps a volume of Warren Buffett’s letters to shareholders on a shelf nearby.
“These are his actual letters, word for word, compiled as a book. You also can also find a summary on Amazon—but this is not a plug,” remarks Pamnani, who, perhaps like Buffett, just wants to share his methods. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about KORE Wireless. What does this company do, and what sets it apart from its competitors today?
Pamnani: We’re in the middle of a very defining industry in which we play a fairly critical, almost central role. I’m talking about the Internet of Things, of course.
We are an independent Internet of Things enabler and probably the largest one of our kind. Let me talk a little bit about the company. We are headquartered in Atlanta. Last year, we did give-or-take $214 million in revenue, $58 million in EBITDA. We’re fairly global today. We have offices in 12 countries, and our products are available in 180 countries, as they’re shipped.Read More
When you’re talking about the IoT, different companies play in different ways. There are people who manufacture devices of different sorts: GPS trackers, offender trackers, smart locks, smart meters. There are the connectivity providers. Cellular connectivity is a big chunk of it. There are software providers. There are all sorts of business services providers. So, where do we play?
We do provide data connectivity. Cellular data connectivity is our legacy, but increasingly we are getting into what’s called “private networking.” We have proprietary IoT software. We do resell devices as well, but we typically bundle them as part of an overall prepackaged solution in which you also get some deployment services.
We are bringing all of these different components to the table. If you are a Fortune 500 company, you want to roll out IoT. It’s complex. You don’t have to deal with 20 vendors. You can come to us. We’ll assemble it all together for you. The failure rate in IoT deployments is fairly high because it’s a new technology. You’re having to buy hardware, plus software services.
Obviously, the failure rate is high because it becomes so complex. We reduce this complexity for you. We bring it all together. Some of the things, we do in-house, like some of our in-house software. Some of it, we’ll buy from the market for you. Then we assemble it all together. This is our value proposition.
KORE Wireless | www.korewireless.com | Alpharetta, GA