CEO of HCL technologies, C Vijaykumar, recently had an interview. And through this interview he revealed the reason behind the success of the company. Let us have a look at this interview.
As compared to your larger peers, what is working for you and where do you see the opportunities?
It’s really the evolution into the next-generation services which has accelerated and is visible in our results. If you look at our Mode 2 and 3 business (non-traditional spend), that has really grown by 30%.
We are very focused on being relevant to the client and increasing the wallet share. When traditional spend is going down, if a client sees you as a services partner who can provide the next generation services, then it is a much easier transformation and evolution. In the last nine months, my focus has been how we can excel on our Mode 2 and 3 services. This industry is going to transform itself in the coming four to five years. Only those people, who are really able to transform and evolve into the next generation, will be successful.
What challenges do you see in the market?
One challenge would be to see how your employee-base gets reskilled, the speed at which we want them to get reskilled and the time they will take to get reskilled. The whole supply-demand equation has to be balanced in a very granular manner; otherwise you will have the mismatches like what you are seeing in the industry. The next-gen services also require an extensive level of client interface.
So, we will have to increase the talent capability to do that. The third element is that a lot of spend and business conversations are happening outside the CIOs. So, our ability to reach out to non-IT executives in an organization is very important, especially in the next-generation kind of offerings.
So the mismatch of talent is the reason behind these mass layoffs?
I can’t comment on specifics, but I think that would be one the reasons.
Do you think HCL too needs to reorganize in line with other firms?
We have been constantly looking at this. We are a very lean organization, and to some extent that has been helpful. Lean, as an operating principle, helps in such times. The fortunate thing is that we are growing, and that makes it a little easier. If the growth comes down, then it’s always going to be a challenge.
What do you think of the traditional employee pyramid?
The pyramid has to change, because if you look at the lower end of the pyramid, almost 25-30% of the industry workforce is in that range, and those are the tasks which are getting automated, being machine learning- or artificial learning-led. I think that pyramid structure will change, the bottom layer will slightly thin down, and the middle layer will be bigger because you will have to be multi-skilled people, for instance, people who have a combination of infra and engineering skills. The top layer will pretty much be the same.
What will be your strategy to guard against the protectionist tendencies?
Well ahead of time, we have been investing in the global delivery centers. We have 12 centers in the US; almost 12,000 people and greater than 55% are locals. This is something that we started several years back, and we will continue the same approach of increasing the local presence.
So friends, the ultimate reason of success for all the companies is to be lean at tough times.