Born in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, Natarajan Radhakrishnan, President and Global Chief Innovation Officer at Hinduja Global Solutions Limited (HGS)Natarajan Radhakrishnan, President and Global Chief Innovation Officer at Hinduja Global Solutions Limited (HGS) still has abiding memories of his village life and early schooling.

He still remembers appearing for the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) and ended up finishing the district topper (rather unexpectedly, he added). Natarajan’s father, who was a school teacher and a part-time agriculturist, was thrilled by the evidence of his son’s first major academic achievement. Natarajan later moved to a nearby town for his senior secondary studies.

An MBA degree holder from IIM Ahmedabad, recalls that “Back then, I didn’t even know about the IIMs till I met one of our family friends on a visit to my sister’s residence during my college days. There were not many training classes for MBA preparation – one mostly went by natural abilities and wit! It was indeed a pleasant surprise when I received the admit letter.”

“I am still deeply attached to my roots and visit my native place many times a year,” he further added.

Now a senior corporate leader in a BPM company, first job was in the consumer marketing space – with Ciba Geigy (now renamed as Novartis & Syngenta).

The experience of his first job left a very deep and positive impression on him. “In fact, I am still in touch with the person who recruited me out of business school into my first job.”

According to Natarajan, all his roles spanning over more than two decades have involved significant organisational change management.

“Needless to say, organisations take time to warm up to and embrace change! One must combine multiple things – reasoned arguments, influencing people, game theory, etc. The originally stated intent or vision often gets diluted during the transformation process with several compromises to address expectations and preferences of stakeholders. The change agent must have enormous patience and not all changes will be successful,” said Natarajan.

Talking about his biggest achievements in career, Natarajan says that he has always been the “chosen one” trying to work with a new idea or concept, which is typically way off from the core business of the organisation! “I was instrumental in setting up a business consulting organisation in an IT major, selling the concept internally and externally, and rapidly scaling it to a $500 million business with very good branding.”

The next challenge was to pioneer a “global consulting delivery model” pretty successfully – when the norm was to view consulting as “sitting next to the client” activity.

Similarly, in his current role, he has been working in the technology business of a largely BPM organisation, and in the process, the company is also making its core BPM services technology enabled.

Natarajan believes in always going with the flow and seeing where it takes you. “I have never been overtaken too much by positive or negative emotions.”

Talking about what he plans to do next in his life, he says that age is just a number. He plans to continue his professional career for many years – as an employee for some time and then as a mentor to start-ups and corporations.

Words of wisdom for aspiring tech leaders

Natarajan believes that the rate of change in technology is so rapid that even before one comes up the curve, another trend has set in. It is almost like one must keep running to be in the same place! So, it is imperative to stay on top of the latest technology trends.

“But then technology is a necessary but not sufficient condition to be a successful IT leader. There are a few other competencies such as domain knowledge, people management, organizational change management and financial acumen to succeed as an IT Leader. It is about solving business problems and producing revenues – the IT function is not just about delivering projects,” he maintained.

The role of a CIO is no longer just to manage cost centres and get projects done in time. “I keep saying that the new-gen CIO is expected to be a Zen master capable of wearing a business hat along with their technology and project management competencies. I would say the CIO role in an organisation has to be run like a business PNL, clearly quantifying benefits. The more sophisticated CIOs are now starting to monetize their Intellectual Property assets,” Natarajan added.





Source link

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *