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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Mr. Rajesh Padmanabhan, Corporate Vice President & Head HR, Capgemini engages TAPMI with his noteworthy address

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T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal, Karnataka witnessed an interesting guest lecture delivered by. He is currently, Corporate Vice President Head of HR for all businesses at Capgemini India encompassing Application services, IT Infrastructure Management, Consulting, Sogeti & BPO. Prior to this, he was Executive Vice President and Global CHRO for Patni – Global IT Services Company. He holds an MBA degree in HR and Finance from the University of Mumbai. He started his career in systems on COBOL platforms in the eighties, and went on to become a corporate banker with ICICI group. During the era of financial liberalization in India, he worked as a Corporate Banker with ICICI. His specialities include Organizational excellence, Leadership solutions architect, Learning and Development, Strategic HR practice, Global Compensation and benefits, Organization Restructuring, Shared services, PCMM and Life Coach.

Mr. Rajesh Padmanabhan started by touching upon various aspects like importance of an individual’s goal setting and working towards achieving the goal. He discussed what sets apart an institution and its students. He expressed his opinion, that it is encouraging to see the number of students interested in taking up entrepreneurial initiatives increasing. This shows measurement of success is restricted not only to corporate but entrepreneurial initiatives as well. Research is the backend to drive excellence. Everyone wants a dream runway to raise ones patience in search of a dream run. Resistance and anxiety builds up when ones does not meet one’s aspirations.

Mr. Rajesh Padmanabhan highlighted the readiness of students pursuing Management education in India – which stands at a large number of 3 lakh students, in 2012. There are over 4500 B-schools in India catering to these students. However, only around 20% of these management graduates every year are employable. He emphasized the importance of research during a management graduation course. He also underlined that beyond academics, the number of research papers from B-school students is declining sharply. This eventually results in lack of global business perspectives amongst students. According to him, there exists immense talent in the country and it is this potential which needs to be tapped appropriately.

Mr. Rajesh Padmanabhan analysed the gaps in the current system. Few of his assessments in this area were that practical hand on experience is necessary and so is leadership grooming. Cross cultural skills and new models of team effectiveness are areas that need improvement as well. He stressed on the value of employability skills – never to sacrifice ambitions. Change and transformation is constant. Group dynamics helps in channelizing and making winning teams. Effective communication, adaptability, willingness to learn and apply, and dealing with ambiguity are few of the very important aspects in today’s corporate world. The avenues to learn and explore consists of cloud, big data analytics, predictive modelling, mobility & convergence, social media and industry interface set up.

The speaker rounded off his speech by mentioning that the world today is moving towards virtual space without one being physically present. This session was followed by an interactive round where in the students of TAPMI asked questions, much appreciated and answered by the speaker. It was indeed an enriching address by the Corporate Vice President & Head HR of Capgemini – Mr. Rajesh Padmanabhan.

The Great Indian MBA Blues

Did you know, that the most common GMAT applicant profile is IIM?

IIM has become an acronym for “Indian IT Male.” Hardly surprising then, that the largest chunk of students in any Indian B-school today comes with some experience in the IT/ITeS industry. A glance at the placement records of the premiere B schools reveals that the IT/ITeS industry still have a heavy appetite in terms of number of students they recruit. Put the two together and B-school seems like a shunting in your career in the IT industry, where you come out of one mass recruiter and go back to another just to be a better paid version of what you were even without the MBA. If you are one of those people who are looking to join a B-school, quitting your present job, because you feel that you don’t belong to that particular industry – then this particular piece of information would definitely induce a fair amount of fear and doubt in you. After all, what you really want to do is investment banking or branding.

The main reason for this fear is the misconception about the kind of profiles a company may offer to fresh MBAs. For example, will an IT company recruit only for IT (pure systems) profile? Why not let’s think otherwise.

In any organization, all departments are present, and each one is important in their own way. Look at it this way – what is a consultant at KPMG (IT) doing? Is he in the IT industry? Or is he in the Financial Services domain? If you were doing brand management for IBM, are you an IT guy or a cool brand-guru? If you were coding for the next version of EA Sports’ Soccer game, are you a cool gamer or are you a programmer? The finance team of Larsen & Toubro Limited is bigger than some of the smaller banks in India. The marketing team at BMW works in tandem with the Product design team.

In any organization, there are no water-tight silos in which Marketing, Finance, Operations, HR, and Systems work separately. The higher you go up the corporate ladder; there is a greater demand for cross-functional knowledge.

So where does this fear originate that your job would not be what would make you happy?

The reason for such fear is that when we join a B-school, we come in with some vague ideas about what the terms Finance, Marketing, Operation, Systems and HR imply. As students gets exposure to all the various portions (it would be unfair to call them branches – all of them are the stem) of Management in first year, the lines that separate them smudge a bit. In fact in our experience at TAPMI, at the end of the first year, we have realized what we did not know about every portion far outweighed what we did know. Based on these partial ideas about different streams, students come in with preconceived notions about what they shall specialize in and what subjects are going to shape their futures.

Hence, while it’s good that B-School aspirants come with some preference about the stream/portion they want to specialize in, it is strongly advised to them to look for quality education in all specializations and a healthy learning environment before they look at the placement figures.

The world is yet to figure out the way to stop a person from doing well at what he/she is passionate about doing.

– Subhayu Roy & Sumit Saurabh (Batch 2009-2011)