DISHA 2017: Day 3: Sophos: “Design Thinking: Expanding Horizon of Corporate World” – Mr. Rajesh Sahay, Sr. VP & HR Head, WIPRO Consumer Care

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On 31st August 2017, Mr. Rajesh Sahay engaged the students of TAPMI in an interesting discussion on the rapidly evolving corporate world. He opened the discussion by asking a thought-provoking question, “What would happen in the next 40 years? And what would you do to remain relevant?”. He answered that 40*40*40 is the mantra behind the question. 40 hours per week, 40 weeks a year and 40 years of experience are the total finite resources which we have, and the way we utilize it, will mark our relevance.

He described how professional well-being is directly linked to physical health. He said, “The intellectual horsepower comes with physical momentum”. A leader is someone who inspires people, motivates them, earns their respect and is a trailblazer. But the hallmark of a good leader is his ability to take the right decision at the right time, and this alone distinguishes him from all others.

According to him, the first step towards decision making is to develop a sense of healthy curiosity. This is achieved by asking questions to seek information, to form counter logics, to gather viewpoints and to question the status quo.

The second step is to analyze the demographics of the audience you are catering to. Citing an example, he mentioned that in future Europe, Australia, France, Germany might not remain Christian dominant countries due to the rapid immigration of refugees into these nations. With changes in culture and demographics, the politics also changes. This, in turn, changes the market structure and the economy.

He elaborated by saying that we are living in a world of exponential technology where the future holds the power to replace human labor by artificially intelligent machines. A person needs to enhance his conceptual skills to remain relevant. Anyone who imagines beyond the normal conceptual level would sustain himself.  We need to be prepared to be disrupted at every stage. He explained how the concept of Google driver-less cars disrupts the entire automobile industry. Similarly, the lighting industries like Phillips, Surya, Wipro, which made simple streetlights are disrupted by companies like Siemens and Cisco who are integrating CCTV, water dispenser, solar panel and charging point into the same streetlight pole.

He expanded the context by telling us that the RMB currency of China would soon become world currency of exchange. China is becoming world’s largest economy with its One Belt One Road policy, and it is slowly disrupting the use of dollar to promote its own currency in many nations. Once China becomes the market leader, people would immigrate to China, adopt their culture and learn their language. This is the biggest global disruption which is soon to happen and we need to be ready for this.

He concluded by saying that in this era of immense technological advancements, “Data is the new OIL”. In this rapidly shifting market structure, it is imperative for us to adapt and stay relevant to survive in the industry.

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