Mr. Rajan Bedi, HCL Technologies on ‘Sales in IT & ERS Outsourcing Industry’

Mr. Rajan Bedi, Head Business Acquisition Hitech and Manufacturing, Engineering Services Business, HCL Technologies interacted with students of T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal on 24th August 2013. Mr. Bedi has been associated with HCL Technologies for the last eight years. Prior to this, he has worked with Yamaha Motors, Ramco Systems, Commerce One and Microsoft Business Solutions. He has demonstrated skills from Business Acquisition to Building High Performance Presales Teams, Customer Relationship Management, Winning Large Outsourcing Deals, Large and Complex Client Visits and Strategic Projects for the Corporate Office. Apart from his rich professional experience, he enjoys mentoring young minds. Owing to this initiative, he delivered a Guest Lecture on ‘Sales in Information Technology/Engineering and R&D Services (IT/ERS) Outsourcing Industry’ at TAPMI.

The Guest Lecture began with Mr. Bedi speaking about HCL Technologies and its clients. Few of the established brands catered to by HCL Technologies are Boeing and Airbus. He spoke about the value system followed at HCL Technologies. Trust, Transparency and Flexibility, Value Centricity are the three core values which act as guiding principles at HCL Technologies. It also follows an exclusive management philosophy of ‘Employees First, Customers Second’. HCL Technologies is present across 31 countries and has a diverse portfolio of 9 verticals and 5 service lines. Industry verticals include Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail and CPG, EU and Public Services, Telecom, Manufacturing, etc. The horizontal service lines include Information Services, Custom Applications, Application Services, Engineering and R&D, BPO Services.

After a brief introduction of HCL Technologies, Mr. Bedi discussed as to why outsourcing is important to an organization. Focus on primary areas, reduced risk, handling technology changes, cost benefits – savings for investing in competencies and hence better planning are the main reasons for outsourcing. This was followed by a discussion on selection of outsourcing providers by clients. Sourcing partners are evaluated based on a methodology followed. First, a business case is put forward to the client by the providers, followed by which Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) processes takes place. Vendor Evaluation Model (VEM), reference checking, oral presentations and site visits, identification of final list, completing due diligence/final pricing processes takes place after which the final service provider is selected. It is crucial to develop an appropriate evaluation document. The best practice for devising an evaluation document is to determine the right vehicle for fact finding and to maintain commitment against timelines and norms set. The steps for developing a VEM is to determine and define the key evaluation criteria, scoring system, weightings, create relevant RFP sections, analyse scores, issues and risk management plans and contract negotiation.

Mr. Bedi threw light on the organizational structure of a typical IT company. He also spoke about Infrastructure Management as the biggest and fastest growing horizontal in the industry. The responsibilities of an IT/ERS Salesperson were covered by Mr. Bedi in detail. The audience contributed to this discussion by mentioning few of the various roles carried on by a salesperson – meeting revenue targets and competition intelligence/replacement. The other major roles and activities played by an IT/ERS Salesperson are business planning, account management, organization mapping, relationship building, business creation, managing deals, RFI and RFP due diligence, client visits, contract closure and bonus calculations.

Significant focus was drawn to the necessities required to win a large outsourcing relationship. Apart from maintaining a good client relationship, it is essential to have the right information and understand the customer in depth. This can be achieved by studying the annual report, investor report, M&A of the customer. It is important to identify the needs of the customer to align the approach taken to address customer needs. It is vital to understand the channel ecosystem and also be aware of the key decision makers in the customer organization. A good coach, advisory, client references, risk and mitigation factors are the other key requirements for acquiring an outsourcing relationship. The value addition provided in the proposed solution is the sole differentiator from solutions provided by other providers. The price charged by a provider will commensurate with the value perceived by the customer. Hence, it becomes imperative to identify and understand what the customer is likely to hold as added value to their organization.

The Guest Lecture reached its end with Mr. Bedi touching up on career opportunities at HCL Technologies – Sales, Pre-Sales, Marketing and Corporate Office Strategy. Sales include new sales hiring, sales with existing clients and large account management. The floor was open for questions from the audience, which was actively carried forward by both the speaker and the audience. Queries from students ranged from areas like presence of sales team in verticals and horizontals to product versus service sales, advertisements having an impact in the service industry, career progression, identifying untapped spaces and potential determination, effect of cultural and regional differences in sales. Mr. Rajan Bedi kept the audience engaged throughout his address. This Guest Lecture ended successfully with a large number of students showing enthusiasm and keen interest in working in the Sales and Pre-Sales domain after their two year Post Graduate Diploma in Management programme. 

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