Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anjan Lahiri, President of IT Services at MindTree inaugurates 15th batch of PGSEM

On May 25, 2012, the fifteenth batch of Post Graduate Programme in Software Enterprise Management (PGSEM) was inaugurated. Mr. Anjan Lahiri, President of IT Services at MindTree was the Chief Guest this year and delivered the keynote address. PGSEM, started in the year 1998 is a general management program offered exclusively to IT professionals. The incoming batch represents participants from 30+ companies and professional experience ranging from 2-15 years. The inauguration was followed by a guest lecture by Mr. Mansoor Khan on his topic Peak Oil and End of Growth – The Third Curve. Watch out for another post on what we heard from him. Orientation for the incoming batch was for three days which included ice breakers, industry talks, faculty sessions, sports and more fun. 

Mr. Anjan discussed the topic - ‘Challenges of managing LOW growth for the Indian software industry’. He shared his views on why Indian software industry may not grow in the pace it had grown and what can mid-level professionals in the industry can do to manage their career in this ‘low’ growth industry. He started off with data which cannot be disputed to show how much Indian Software Industry has achieved. From a modest beginning of $2 bn dollars in the late 90’s; it has now grown into a $70 bn industry. Anjan put some comparisons in place to make us think what each of this ‘billion’ figures mean. He opined that India’s success in IT industry was the major factor in helping out an Indian professional to stand out in the global stage. McKinsey and NASSCOM are expecting the industry to grow to $250 bn by 2020. He didn’t contest these figures and in fact agreed that we can expect such growths going forward. But will this growth rate reflect the same for a mid-career professional in the industry? – His view was NO. He backed his view with solid quantitative analysis comparing the growth of the industry from $2B in 1999 to the present figure of $70B. This had CAGR of 30%. This means we had the opportunity to grow professionals also at a rate of 30% or more of personal growth. But if we consider the growth to $250B in 2020 – it indicates a YoY growth of 15%. Considering that there will be new domains to look for growth, the actual growth rate relevant to the current leadership will be even lesser which could be dismal. 

Now, if that is the case – what can a mid-career IT professional like a PGSEMer do? 

Mr. Anjan had his guidance. In his view, the concept of senior managers and what is expected out of them will change. Due to the accelerated growth the services industry witnessed, the responsibilities of senior managers got limited to serving the needs of employees and team members – forgetting customer. Utilization, attrition and billing captured prominence losing customer from the picture. In the nascent stages of the industry, experience means more capability to solve customer problems. Even the senior most professional was billed and customers were ready to pay for his experience. But this is not the case today. Anjan discussed the contemporary paradigm of ‘The New Normal’. 

“The new normal for managing one’s career is that we should consciously remember that we are in the services industry in which we have to directly deliver value to the customer. Not support someone who delivers value, not manage someone who delivers value, not facilitate, encourage, enable -- but directly deliver value.” 

So how can we keep us relevant? 

A low growth means reduced number of requirements for General Managers. Anjan opined that however good ‘general management’ capabilities are even scarcer. Hence the requirement can come down even more. Mr. Anjan shared four guiding principles to tackle this challenge. 

1. Think externally – Think about the customer and provide direct value to them. 
2. Don't get into the delusion of management – Management, except at the highest level, is a support function in a services company. 
3. New responsibilities will no longer just come to you – With growth opportunities just came to you in the past. Now it will not 
4. Customer must want to pay for your time – If not, you are not relevant to either the customer or to your own people 

Mr. Anjan urged the incoming batch to come out of the ‘senior’ delusion and reflect on "what do we not know?” to stay relevant and proper in this industry. He wished every success to the incoming batch for enrolling in this program to embark on the journey of exploring ‘what you don't know’!! 

It was indeed a privilege and a wonderful opportunity for us to hear and interact with Anjan and on behalf of the PGSEM community; we thank him for taking time from his hectic schedule and addressing PGSEMers.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Leadership: Words Of Wisdom From Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The follwing interview was conducted as part of course work by Jamshida EM, Sudhindra Kadur Keshava Murthy, Anusha Rajagopal, Remya Roy Zachariah Cherian and Gaurav Rastogi from the PGSEM 2011 batch.

1. What is the one differentiating factor (leadership challenge) critical to a spiritual leader's quest to bring about a social change/impact to the masses?
Sri Sri: The crisis facing the world today is fundamentally one of identification. People identify themselves with limited characteristics such as gender, race, religion and nationality, forgetting their basic identity as part of the universal spirit. These limited identifications lead to conflict both globally and on a personal level.
Every individual is much more than the sum of these limited identifications. The highest identification we can have is that we are part of Divinity. Then comes the identity that we are human beings and members of the human family. In divine creation, the whole of the human race is united. The work of a spiritual master is just this; to give you a larger picture.

2. Many instances of interactions with various classes in the society requires a spiritual guru to take a stand - how important and feasible is it for a guru to take an unbiased, unprejudiced stand? And how is this feasible?
Sri Sri: Spiritual leaders  don’t belong to a particular group. They stand for truth.and they keep forth that which is true and then suggest accordingly. When you are unbiased in your mind, compassion simply flows. When you have belongingness with everyone, irrespective of their class, economic background, intellect, if you can connect, then compassion flows. You could be anybody - Chinese, African - put yourself in different shoes, playing different roles, then suddenly you find that you are stuck as being somebody, and then you will see it is much more universal.

3. Is leadership a science or an art? Is there any facet specific to spiritual leadership?
Sri Sri: It is both! It is science because it requires planning and reasoning. And it is art as leadership is all about heart.A good leader should be 'satya-darshi' (truthful), 'sam-darshi' (equanimous), ‘priya-darshi’(pleasant personality), ‘par-darshi’(transperant) and 'door-darshi' (farsighted). A leader should have a mission and a vision and a spirit of sacrifice, compassion and commitment.

4. Corporate leadership is all about capitalism, what is your message to make the corporate leadership more inclusive?
Sri Sri: Capitalism per se is not a bad word. But it has to be applied with humanism. There is no problem in having an idea/asset and using it commercially for gainful returns. Problem comes when profit and returns become the only motive of capitalism. I would ask the Corporate leadership to take a few deep breaths, assess and analyse, and then move in such a direction where capitalism and humanism move hand in hand. Taking care of genuine needs of the work force, setting aside some part of the profit each year for Corporate Social Responsibility and  using green and non-polluting technologies can be some ways to move ahead. Many of the Capitalists and companies are already doing so and they need to be encouraged.

5. What inspires a spiritual leader and how does he/she convert the inspiring thought to actions?
Sri Sri: The thought of alleviating the sufferings of people inspires a truly spiritual person. The “sankalpa” (intention) manifests itself effortlessly when a person moves ahead with the motive of common good. Nature joins in to support anyone working for common good. Things start happening to support the sankalpa of a spiritual person which is always aimed at larger public interest.

6. How does a spiritual leader set goals, evaluate results?
Sri Sri: A spiritual leader sets goals in terms of how betterment can be brought to society as a whole. Of course there are also measurable goals which are set. The important thing is that although a spiritual leader sets goals, there is no “jwar” (feverishness) in it. The goals are set and surrendered to the Divine and actions are taken according to the goals but without fretting over them constantly. Results are evaluated not only in terms of achievement of those goals but also the empowerment and enrichment attained by those who are involved in the process of achievement of the goals.

For further queries/contacts - www.artofliving.org.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Drishtikon 2012: The CSITM-PGSEM Annual Conference

Last year, stalwarts from industry and academia discussed about 'moving up the value chain' in the one day CSITM-PGSEM annual conference.

This year, Center for Software and Information Technology Management (CSITM) at IIM Bangalore and PGSEM Students presents the second edition of its annual conference - Drishtikon 2012. This year's theme is  

Benefiting the masses profitably – An Opportunity for Indian Technology Industry

This year we have some of the best industrialists who have pioneered this concept in an out in their life taking about their experiences, vision, opportunities and challenges for Indian IT Industry. Stay tuned for more details...

Register for the event here

The day-long conference is being designed to highlight industry and the academician's perspectives on the opportunities that exist in leveraging Technology to benefit the masses and how Indian Technology industry can do so profitably. The conference is intended to enable dialogue between various stakeholders of the Technology industry, academicians and researchers.

Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner