May

Convergence, Key To Biz Empowerment: CSS Corp CEO

In a connected economy, customer experience is the new currency. Digital is at the epicenter of the success of any customer experience program across industries. Digital can play a major role in building customer centric business models and help organizations to generate additional revenue.

IT services and solutions provider CSS Corp sees convergence of new age solutions like AI, Cloud, Automation, Analytics and IoT to empower organizations to infuse intelligence into their business processes and enable them to have smart and context led conversations with their customers.

Digital Tech are the building blocks for businesses:

Driven by the adoption of digital technology, the total addressable market for global technology and business services will likely expand to about USD 4 trillion by 2025 as per NASSCOM.

We have invested significantly in AI, analytics and conversational commerce in platform solutions that can help companies understand their customer’s next best action and drive additional revenue. In the recent 2 quarters, more than 90 percent of CSS Corp’s investments were focused on building technology solutions around digital, cloud, analytics and automation. Both in regional and in international markets we see there are huge opportunities in enterprise adoption of digital and new age solutions,” said Manish Tandon, CEO of CSS Corp.

Manish

He added that the company has over 5,500 technology professionals across 16 global locations. “We provide IT Services and technology support solutions for over 140 clients, including Fortune 1000 companies, that count on our expertise,” he states.

One of the solution of CSS Corp is Active Insights, an AI led Customer Analytics Solution that streamlines customer data and infuses intelligence into operations. The solution proactively predicts customer needs and offers appropriate solutions even before the customers recognize their need.

We extensively use AI to extract insights from the various touch-points and that help in identifying customer propensities, topics and issues resulting in new revenue opportunities for clients. These insights also help companies understand the customer journey, preferences and account entitlements,” he informed.

Technology adoption by India

According to a survey by PwC, in India, more than half (55 percent) of the companies view digital as technology innovation-related activities vs 53 percent globally. India has leapt far ahead with the progress it has made in technology innovation both from a creation and an adoption perspective. India is reaching an inflection point in technology adoption with mobile, cloud and analytics disrupting the market. Gartner, says IT spending in India is forecast to reach $72.4 billion in 2017, up 6.9 percent from 2016.

Millennials are expected to enter the workforce in large numbers in the next few years. They, as consumers, expect personalized, user and persona based services for their connected devices. To engage effectively with this demographic group, organizations are increasingly adopting new age technologies to discover new efficiencies, new revenue streams and new sources of competitive differentiation,” Tandon remarked.

Head quartered in California, the company’s key industry focus is on,Telecommunication, Media and Technology (TMT)Retail and CPGHealthcare and Life SciencesBanking, Financial Services and Insurance and Manufacturing.

We are aligned strategically with market need and are designing customer centric engagement models, solutions and business processes that recognize different customer segment needs,” he outlined.

Core strategies for Customer Engagements

The company follows a business roadmap based on a four pronged strategy, said Tandon. It enhances customer engagements through IoT, Analytics and Cloud transformation solutions. It then creates a revenue avenues through white-labelling, premium tech support, as-a-service model and marketplace. Also the company believes on focused solutions to enhance specialization and eliminate “me too” via automation, analytics and machine learning. And lastly it emphasizes on faster time-to-market through automation, infusing insights into operations through analytics and drive outcome based models, he summed up.

Preview: CXO Today

Silver lining for jobseekers as edtech, pharma, e-commerce, logistics sectors to continue hiring

As the Covid-19 lockdown lifts gradually and people begin their return to workplaces, there are some pockets of hope for jobseekers.

Recruitment experts at Manpower, KellyOCG, PeopleStrong, and Xpheno predict that even as many sectors see widespread layoffs, there will be a silver lining in sectors like edtech, ecommerce/internet, transport and logistics, as well as pharma that continue to hire.

All of these sectors will need to hire talent for various roles, said experts, and skills in machine learning, data, AI will command a premium.

Supply is predominantly lower than demand in the transport and logistics sector, said Alok Kumar, senior director – Manpower.

“Logistics platforms are already revamping their concepts to match the new market circumstances by enabling retailers to scale home delivery fast. E-commerce companies will need to hire for last-mile delivery executives and warehouse profiles,” Kumar told ET.

Edtech platforms and office automation companies are expected to ramp up hiring plans, said Kamal Karanth, co-founder at Xpheno, a specialist staffing company. “Other sectors that will need to hire talent include pharma, medical devices and healthcare companies, which have seen a boom during the lockdown and will require talent in sales and marketing, engineering, research, as well as testing and customer support.”

Given that the lockdown is rolled back some time by the end of May or June in a phased manner (in the metro locations particularly), the annual absorption of top tech talent is likely to be around 75,000 (best case scenario), says Karanth.

The IT industry should see about half of the top ten IT services companies requiring fresh, top-rated tech talent, almost a third of the remaining services pool, and almost 15 to 18% of the high tech product / internet or GICs going for it.

The pharma sector will have jobs up for grabs in testing, research and sales, said Devashish Sharma, founding member at human resources solutions firm PeopleStrong.The new role of crisis manager will be in demand across sectors, said Francis Padamadan, senior director – RPO, KellyOCG. “Companies will want professionals who can help mitigate risks and losses from such similar global crises in future, and help coordinate smooth business continuity planning.”

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BITS Pilani Now Offers ‘Earn as You Learn’ in Association with Global IT Firm CSS Corp

The specialized M.Tech work integrated learning program will be offered at BITS Pilani to upskill newly joining CSS Corp employees

CSS Corp, has announced the launch of its ‘Earn As You Learn’ program – a specialized M.Tech work integrated learning program, in association with BITS Pilani. The program is 100 percent sponsored by CSS Corp, and will help its employees in India to acquire knowledge and skills required for excelling in their careers with the added advantage of gaining a top-notch M.Tech. degree in software engineering from one of India’s most prestigious universities.

The course will be open to all CSS Corp employees, who meet the qualifying criteria, and have completed a minimum tenure of 6 months with the organization. The program offers a unique opportunity to employees to enhance their academic qualifications while gaining significant professional experience. The 4 year program is designed to create a pool of industry-ready technology professionals.

CSS Corp is a global provider of IT Services and technology support solutions similar to TCS, Infosys and Wipro. Founded in 1996, the company currently has 5,500 technology professionals across 16 global locations and have been looking to make it 10,000 strong team by 2017. With a bid to double its revenues by 2017, from 1050 crores in 2014, the company is likely to tap the leading universities across India.

Speaking about the association, Manish Tandon, chief executive officer, CSS Corp said, “CSS Corp believes in investing in its people, their learning and their development. Our ‘M.Tech Work Integrated Learning Program’ for B.Sc. / BCA Graduates from BITS Pilani is testimony to this. As a new-age company, we are strongly focused on innovation. Our clients are among the world’s top technology companies and there are interesting shifts happening in their ecosystem. Through this initiative, we see a great opportunity to bring our employees up to speed with the latest technologies. This would have a positive cascading effect on the services we can deliver to our clients.

Work integrated learning has been a core element of the educational philosophy at BITS Pilani, and it is our firm belief that life-long learning is key to achieving professional success and organizational development. We believe that organizations such as CSS Corp, which provide opportunities to their employees to enhance their academic qualifications and technical skills while gaining significant professional experience, will remain prepared to tackle business challenges of the future,” said Prof. G. Sundar, director for off campus programmes and industry engagement at BITS Pilani.

As a part of the program, the first set of B.Sc. and BCA graduates will be joining in May 2017. Initially, candidates will undergo 60 days of CSS Corp’s intensive New Hire Training. On successful completion of the course, successful candidates will be deployed for various projects. At the end of 6 months, all employees who have qualified from this lot, will join the BITS M.Tech program which will commence around January and February 2018. Once these candidates meet the relevant performance criteria set by CSS Corp and the M. Tech program, they will earn their final degree from BITS Pilani.

Preview: BW Disrupt

TimesJobs :: High Tea Live Chat Session :: Satyanarayanan Visvanathan

COVID-19: Future of jobs in IT sector

TimesJobs: Welcome to the High Tea Chat Session. Mr. Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, Sr.VP-Head HR, and Head of Corporate Quality, CSS Corp will join the chat at 3 PM. Meanwhile, you can send your questions related to Future of jobs in IT sector. Kindly note your questions will be moderated and sent to the celebrity to answer. Questions already answered by the celebrity will not be entertained.

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Good afternoon to all of you in the chat room! Hope all of you and your family members are safe and positive. My name is Satyanarayanan, people call me Satya. This is my 31st year in the IT industry, having been with CMC Ltd, Diwan of Royal Court Muscat, Sultanate of Oman earlier. For the last 12 years, I have been with CSS Corp in different roles. I have extensively worked in the areas of Enterprise Application Development in different domains and headed the Global Delivery of different business units such as Engineering Services, Technology Support with CSS. Currently I am the Head of HR (Global) and Head of Corporate Quality. As Head of HR, I am reinforcing people practices and leading the transformational journey to a Digital HR. In my role as the Head of Quality, I provide an independent view of all our client engagements.

 

Pavitra : Hello Sir, afternoon how do see employment market change amid COVID-19 pandemic and after the lockdown?

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hi Pavitra, good afternoon. Obviously, there are going to be a lot of changes. While there could be some threats and job churns in the near future, there are bound to be more opportunities coming up. People need to be agile in terms of mindset to position themselves for emerging scenarios. Keep sharpening your skills!

 

Lien : Hi Sir, greetings. I would like to know what kind of new jobs will emerge in the IT technology as technology has become a key driver to run the basic operations across the globe?

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hi Lien, greetings to you! There is going to be a lot of thrust on “Self-reliance” in several areas such as Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Education, Healthcare. You as an IT professional have a tremendous opportunity to contribute in the mega projects in these domains. Whether it is a conventional skill (Java, Web, Mobile et al) or neo-modern (analytics, social media etc), all these are required to drive such initiatives successfully

 

Ila : Hi sir, goodafternoon, I would like to know how hiring scenario will change in new-age technologies such as AI, ML, etc. Which skills will be most sought after in these technologies?

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hi Ila, good afternoon! Hiring is set to have a new ingredient – that of people working remotely. A lot of jobs could be delivered from home. We are seeing reports of Vision 2025 from TCS and other players. This means that geo restrictions and constraints would ease out both for the companies as as well as professionals. Not everything needs to be in new-age technologies as I mentioned earlier. AI, ML etc could play an important role for example in Healthcare. Take the Covid-19 situation, right from contact tracing to vaccine research, many aspects could be powerfully impacted by suitable deployment of AI, ML

 

Aditya : Hello sir, hope you are doing well. How job prospects for engineers will change in the overseas market as USA economy is struggling to retain its workforce? And how it will impact the Indian job market post COVID-19 lockdown?

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hello Aditya. Am fine, thanks. Hope you are doing great. A number of geo-political aspects will have to settle down before a clear view emerges. It is certainly true that many countries will attempt self-reliance to some extent. At the same time, a readily available local talent pool would still remain an unresolved issue. With respect to India, there are potentially several positive changes that we could look for. The areas of focus that the nation wants, would need a lot of talented youngsters. IT professionals should be skilled and demonstrate flexibility in getting into the newer opportunities.

 

Krishna : Hello sir, afternoon. I’m a software engineer with an work experience of 2 years. Looking to change my job profile is it the right time to change it or should i wait till things get back on tracks? Kindly Suggest

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hi Krishna, good afternoon! I am not sure, if your career opportunities in the current company are exhausted. While it is some trend these days to have a job switch every two years, it is important to note that a longer stint (say 5-7 years) could help in the longer run. If you have some compelling reason (personal or otherwise), you should possibly looking for a change. Otherwise, allow the choppy waters to settle down

 

Rohan : Hi sir, afternoon, In the wake of COVID-19 how talent demand among the companies will change? What key trends one will witness in coming times on talent front.

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hello Rohan good afternoon. The Covid-19 impact on companies in US, Europe or other geos who have been outsourcing IT jobs, will influence the extent of outsourcing in the coming days. There could be a shrinkage. For example take Travel or Tourism, which already have a severe impact currently and to some extent in the near future. On the other hand, product companies (take Video conferencing products) see a boom. Networking products to the last mile would also set to have a surge. Such factors would directly have a demand impact on talent market.

 

Omi: Hi Sir, greetings. How the employment opportunities will change for freshers? How one can find a job amid and post COVID-19 pandemic

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hi Omi, greetings to you. We are already seeing reports that freshers intake would continue in quite a lot of companies. Perhaps, there could be a delayed on-boarding in certain instances. Job search will have to continue as before, but as you do that please ensure that you are doing a continuous up-skilling. Remember, communication skills are equally vital for many jobs!

 

Neil : Afternoon sir, as the tech giants plan to work remotely, I would like to understand how the nature of jobs and what kind of skills will be in demand by them? Also, apart from core skills which other soft skills will take the center stage in getting a job?

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Hello Neil good afternoon. Nature of skills per se will not have a change. But if the job involves remote working, you should equip yourselves towards the same starting from your basic infrastructure (power, connectivity). Communication will gain further importance because of the fact that what is achieved during face to face meetings, may take more efforts and time in a virtual mode. Self-discipline would be valued!

 

TimesJobs: Thank you everyone for taking out time to participate in the session. Hope the session was useful for you. We regret that due to time constraint Mr. Visvanathan could not answer all questions. The chat transcript of the session will be made available for your future read, soon on the site.

 

Mr. Satyanarayanan : Greetings to all of you. It was a great pleasure interacting with you and sharing my thoughts. Stay Positive, Radiate Positivity!!
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Forrester includes CSS Corp in cloud migration services report

New report on ‘Vendor Landscape: Cloud Migration Services’ recognizes CSS Corp.’s cloud transformation capabilities

CSS Corp, a new age IT services and technology support company, has been included in the March 28, 2017 report by Forrester: “Vendor Landscape: Cloud Migration Services, which covers a robust market for services that has evolved to suit all preferences.
We think this analysis should benefit both customers and partners who increasingly need to choose cloud experts to partner with, in their journey ahead.
Forrester’s report provides a view of 30+ vendors and recognizes key players with advanced cloud expertise that help enterprises in seamless transitioning to the cloud. It talks about how high-profile companies have large scale plans for migration, and how important it is to choose the right service provider with the right set of capabilities.

Report author Bill Martorelli, Principal analyst at Forrester, writes: “CSS Corp, for example, is attempting to transform cloud migration from a project opportunity to continuous delivery with automated/assisted migration. CloudMAP is CSS Corp’s cloud migration, assessment, and planning methodology.

Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp., said: “We are delighted at being recognized by Forrester for our capabilities in the cloud migration segment. Our cloud experts work extremely hard to provide world-class cloud migration and management solutions to our customers as they embark on their digital transformation journey. We work with several companies that are disruptors in their respective industries, and believe innovation is key to digital transformation.

CloudMAP is the latest innovative solution from CSS Corp’s indigenous Innovation Labs which act as an entry point for clients to access new age capabilities of the organization. CSS Corp has developed a complete suite of solutions to shift from a “program” to “continuous delivery” model for cloud adoption.

Key cloud solutions are:

CloudMAP – Automated cloud migration assessment and planning for a specific business process or enterprise workload. Reduces migration planning time by at least 40 percent.

CloudPATH – Simplified, industrialized and predictable method of migrating enterprise workload through re-factoring, re-platforming and live workload migration. Improves success rate of migration by 30-60 percent.
CloudDRIVE  – Operational readiness from day 1 in the cloud using Next-gen predictive operations and automation platform for continuous optimization. Saves cloud spend by 20-25 percent.
These industry-leading technology capabilities have resulted in accelerated digital transformation for CSS Corp’s clients. Enterprise customers who look for business application-focused migration are especially benefitted through CSS Corp’s continuous planning, industrialized migration and integrated operations.

Preview: Business World

How embracing virtual hiring will be the new normal in the HR landscape

Social distancing norms are ensuring that recruiters turn towards virtual collaboration platforms that offer 100% mobile experiences.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives. In our effort to combat it, there has inevitably been consequences to our lives, businesses, and the economy. It has been challenging for employees and employers alike. The changes in the worldwide job market paints an alarming picture of the work scenario for many who are stuck at homes with families to take care of. Business repercussions across industries are forcing leaders to re-think and adapt to ensure business continuity amidst this downturn. The IT and ITES sector which was once brimming with job opportunities and hiring activities has lost some sheen because of the widespread impact caused by Covid-19.

HR at the Forefront

Employees feel they are wading through murky waters with no clue on what is in store with every passing day. Stepping out of the house is a privilege and having a kitchen shelf stocked with groceries is in itself an achievement. Only time will tell if the days of frequenting prospective employers for evaluation tests and successive interviews are gone. Job seekers during these pandemic times are in for a surprise. Everything is going virtual. Remote meetings, virtual collaboration, and digital recruitment are the ways to get through these distressing days.

Across various industries, the HR function faces the brunt of sourcing and engaging talent amidst a disruption they have never experienced before. With all the gloomy news encasing us, it is invigorating to hear that the IT and ITES HR functions continue to provide seamless Employee Experience (EX) by leveraging the power of new-age tools.

Today, employers have greatly adopted the use of these tools to source, hire, and engage employees to ensure optimum staffing across functions. Undoubtedly, new age virtual hiring is playing an integral role in minimizing business disruption and making people dynamically adapt to changing needs. After all for an organization to successfully run the experiences of both employees and customers must be made seamless. With the temporary closure of the usual route to recruiting talent, organizations are taking the virtual highway to accelerate the hiring process with positive results despite remote working regulations in force.

Digital Recruitment Framework

Social distancing norms are ensuring that recruiters turn towards virtual collaboration platforms that offer 100% mobile experiences. Multi-device UX tools have redefined the recruitment processes through their efficiency and seamlessness at every phase of the recruiting process: screening, assessment, documentation, on-boarding, and engagement. After sourcing candidates from online sources and social media, recruiters communicate with candidates through new-age HR platforms for evaluation and screening. These platforms follow global data security norms and data compliance laws, and they integrate with existing HRMS applications. Subsequent interview phases happen via videoconferencing applications.

With a flurry of remote video profiling sessions underway, “trust but verify” is the policy employers follow. Bots, AI, NLP, and ML tools bolster existing applications and offer behavioral insights, test proctoring, web monitoring during interviews. Post the government restricting travel means the entire documentation phase happens online. Selected candidates need to sign specific clauses verifying their identity after which they receive the digital format of appointment letters. Virtual events such as orientation, technical and soft-skill training, and meet-the-leader sessions ensure a sense of connectivity and engagement for the millennial workforce. Quick processing, turnaround, and unflagging momentum overall has surged the number of new hires every month.

All organizations are frenetically racing to step up to the challenges of the pandemic, but of the whole lot, the new-age digital service providers are delivering on SLAs and productivity through 100% utilization of staff. Reports claiming that the pandemic has exposed the frailties of the outsourcing landscape has negligible truth to it; the fact is that IT and ITES firms are braving the storm quite well across various global delivery centers through robust frameworks built on automation, analytics, and AI. By automating routine tasks, HR leaders have more time to focus on core strategic aspects of the enterprise.

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CSS Corp wins Golden Globe Tigers Award 2018

CSS Corp, an IT services and technology support company, announced today that it received the 2018 Golden Globe Tigers Award in the Business Innovation category. The results were declared at Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre in Malaysia. CSS Corp was recognized for its novel adoption of AI in customer support operations through its digital customer engagement platform, Cognitive Customer Experience Platform.

CSS Corp’s digital platforms help simplify complex business processes and streamline customer life cycle management. The platforms provide omnichannel customer experiences and enable new revenue opportunities for organizations. In a customer support ecosystem, CSS Corp’s digital customer engagement framework provides a convenient digital engagement channel, uses AI and analytics to identify the best course of action, and guides customers and engineers through specific resolutions.

Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Being a customer-obsessed organization, we realize that deep understanding of the customer’s intent and the problem is key to providing a better experience. CSS Corp is deeply invested in digital and we are honored to be recognized for our innovation in delivering stellar customer experiences.”

“CSS Corp reaffirms its commitment to using emerging technologies to create high-quality, personalized customer experiences. We continue to make significant investments in Cognitive Customer Experience Platform industry-specific solutions in telecom, media, technology, retail, and CPG industries. It has been very well-received by our clients, industry analysts, and thought leaders as a way to drive growth, agility, and enterprise transformation. It is indeed a proud moment for all of us to receive this award,” said Sunil Mittal, EVP, and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

 

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CSS Corp expects hiring growth after work-from-home shift

OUTSOURCING company CSS Corp. sees its Manila operations as a primary driver of aggressive hiring through fiscal year 2021 after it had transitioned to 100% work-from-home operations prior to the lockdown.

“One hundred percent of our workforce currently is working from home without any disruptions to our customer commitments… but at the same time also making sure employee safety is first,” CSS Corp. Philippines Associate Vice-President and Country Head Arvind Appavu said in an online interview in March.

The technical support company, which Mr. Appavu described as “mid-sized” compared to larger outsourcing operations in the country, began moving its 1,500 employees to work-from-home operations on March 9.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced a Metro Manila community quarantine on March 12, then extended it to the entirety of Luzon on March 16. Metro Manila remains under a relaxed lockdown until the end of May.

Mr. Appavu said the company had seen a spike in demand as its customers mobilized to respond to the crisis.

“At this point in time, one of the things that we are seeing is there’s increased demand with most of our customers because of the nature of customers that we’re working with,” he said.

Most of CSS Corp.’s customers are technology companies, with telecommunications companies coping with demand to migrate connections to homes.

CSS Corp. also works with original equipment manufacturers that are now working with governments to support hospital networks.

The revenue growth of its Philippine operations is up 10% quarter on quarter in the fiscal year that ended in March 2020, ahead of the global company’s 4%.

The company will be onboarding 1,000 new employees virtually, and had given incentives to employees that had helped in the shift to work-from-home operations.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte announced a Metro Manila community quarantine on March 12, then extended it to the entirety of Luzon on March 16. Metro Manila remains under a relaxed lockdown until the end of May.

Mr. Appavu said the company had seen a spike in demand as its customers mobilized to respond to the crisis.

“At this point in time, one of the things that we are seeing is there’s increased demand with most of our customers because of the nature of customers that we’re working with,” he said.

Most of CSS Corp.’s customers are technology companies, with telecommunications companies coping with demand to migrate connections to homes.

CSS Corp. also works with original equipment manufacturers that are now working with governments to support hospital networks.

The revenue growth of its Philippine operations is up 10% quarter on quarter in the fiscal year that ended in March 2020, ahead of the global company’s 4%.

The company will be onboarding 1,000 new employees virtually, and had given incentives to employees that had helped in the shift to work-from-home operations.

Mr. Appavu said the company would maintain its growth expectations set at the beginning of the year, but is watching for the further impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outsourcing industry players recently said the Philippines might lose clients to other countries if it is not able to boost work-from-home connectivity, as well as ensure data security.

CSS Corp. said that prolonged work-from-home operations could create susceptibility to laptop and desktop hacking.

“To tighten the security measures further, we have doubled the monitoring on systems and networks to safeguard our data integrity,” it said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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Leader’s talk: Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp

“ Leadership is not wielding authority- it is empowering people ”, Beeky Brodin.

Leadership is not only about holding a prime position, it’s much more than that. A leader is someone who has a vision and a passion to make things happen. TimesJobs brings to you exclusive interviews of industry maestros’ whose journey and experience are incredible and influencing. Read on, to know about their journey and their advice for young, upcoming leaders…

Here we have an account from Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp

With which job role/ position did you start your career?
After completing my engineering, I joined the technology subsidiary of a bank. After 2 years of working there and saving some money to pay for higher education, I did my MBA. Right after completing my post-graduation, I joined one of the top financial institutions in the country managing projects in debt and funding. Although I enjoyed learning new things there, I moved into my first love (Technology) by joining the IT Services industry and found my passion there.

When did you join your present organisation?
It’s been 15 months since the time my journey began at CSS Corp – and no two have been the same!

What kind of leadership style do you follow in your organisation?
I follow the transformational style of leadership. Also, I follow the ‘Leadership by Example’ paradigm, as I believe that you cannot lead a professional services organisation without this trait. Identifying changes and creating a vision is really what drives me

How are you contributing to the growth of your employees?
I’ve always said that I am here to build careers, not just create jobs, and that means employee growth is a very critical area. We foster a culture of learning and growth in a lot of ways, big and small, but one way I am very proud of is the learning opportunities. I am a big proponent of constant learning. The industry is evolving so rapidly that we can’t rely on the market to have the talent we need – we must build it from within.

Name one person who had a tremendous impact on you as a leader?
I really admire N. R. Narayana Murthy as a leader. He has such a strong vision, driving tremendous growth and change. He shaped not just a company but an industry and a country.

Share that one critical decision that you made as the leader of your organisation?
Joining CSS Corp, I saw a lot of strong capabilities, but they were somewhat siloed. The company needed a unifying vision – a strategy that would bring everyone together. After carefully looking internally at our capabilities and externally at where the markets are going, we developed a plan to transition the company from a pure services organisation to a new age services organisation. We have been executing against that transformation very successfully, creating platforms and ecosystems for a new digital world. Nearly every one of our services has benefitted for an influx of artificial intelligence, analytics, and automation.

When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?
I would choose the candidate that was most likely to question things and challenge the people around them. With the speed of our growth, we need people that can evaluate where we are and where we are going.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Adaptability. We live and work in a dynamic world, and leaders must be able to quickly adapt not only their companies but themselves to all types of changes.

What is one lasting impact that you hope to leave on your present company?
My mantra is to build a brand that imbibes and promotes the idea of “customer obsession” by making sure the customer is at the epicenter of every decision. I am building a workforce that is passionate about customer success. The commitment is strong today and just getting better every day.

What are you doing to grow and develop as a leader continuously?
I continue to adapt and learn new skills – I make it a point to learn something new every week. I read extensively and also take technology courses online to keep abreast of a rapidly changing landscape. In fact, I wanted to teach my 10-year-old son some computer programming and the languages I knew were not suitable for him so I actually learned Python so that I could teach him.

What advice would you give to the new-age leaders?
I would advise new-age leaders to constantly invest in themselves and in those around them. Investing in themselves requires a commitment to continual learning and personal development. Investing in others means building a sustainable environment of trusted stakeholders

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Technology Support Flourishes Amid Crisis

The technology support industry has truly been tested with the current pandemic, but I am happy to say that, in general, technology companies have been able to successfully move thousands of support employees to work from home and increase virtual engagement with customers. In fact, the data we are collecting shows that not only have the challenges of the last couple of months been successfully met, in many ways, support is flourishing amid the crisis. With all the gloom and doom in the news, I wanted to share some data showing how resilient this industry has proven itself to be.

I’m hearing amazing stories every day. One of my favorite is from CSS, a global service provider that successfully transitioned 7,000 call center employees across the globe, with a large population in India and the Philippines, to work from home within 48 hours with virtually no drop in service levels. And according to the data TSIA has collected as part of our Rapid Research Response initiative, this is the rule more than the exception, as evidenced by the following statistics:

A total of 61 percent of companies said that the impact of transitioning support employees to work remotely has been minimal; 34 percent said there was a slight impact. Only 4 percent reported a significant impact to service levels, and most of these impacts were short term as work-at-home tools and processes were formalized.
A total of 86 percent of companies report that their support teams have been briefed on how to communicate their companies’ responses to COVID-19 to customers. If you are in the remaining 14 percent, take some time TODAY to write up some FAQs for support employees to have at their fingertips in case customers are asking about impacts and guidelines.
A total of 79 percent of support organizations report they have recommunicated or renegotiated service level agreements (SLAs) on their ability to respond to customer requests. And in most cases, this was committing to even more challenging SLAs. Demonstrating to customers that you are there for them when times are tough is a critical way to build long-term profitable relationships.
All the hand-wringing by some firms at having employees working from home seems to have been misplaced anxiety. Having worked from home myself since 2003, I am always confused why executives are so fearful of remote employees, and these fears seem more often grounded in the desire to monitor and control employees rather than to enable their success. So what has been the impact of support suddenly moving to a work from home model?

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