Leading a business to global success is a daunting challenge that only a select few are able to accomplish. Keith Krach, founder of Ariba, was able to accomplish this multiple times and was kind enough to share his journey with me. The lessons that I’ve taken from Keith’s success bring focus to the importance of strong leadership, empowerment and solid values and can be directly applied to my future as an entrepreneur in whatever industry I choose.
Keith Krach began his career in a corporate position that allowed him to gain knowledge and true leadership experience at a young age. He received his undergraduate degree from Purdue as a General Motors Scholar with his sights set on pursuing a career at GM. The company paid for him to receive an MBA from Harvard two years later and he returned afterward to quickly ascend the ranks and become the company’s youngest VP ever at age 26.
The Founding of Ariba
1996, Keith Krach took the leap and co-founded Ariba, a software company that specializes in business-to-business commerce. Ariba expanded as the B2B software quickly became the industry leader, obtaining yearly revenues of over $500 million after only five years. In 2000, he was selected as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and Ariba won the Technology Pioneer Award at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. I asked what leadership strategies were key to his seemingly unending success.