How does this recognition make you feel?
It feels truly rewarding to receive such prestigious awards and be recognized at this level. I’ve always been committed to pushing my own boundaries and challenging the status quo to achieve continuous improvement.
Your nomination came as a result of your leadership in a highly successful project in the Middle East. Can you share more about your role and how you tackled this challenge?
Certainly. I was leading a critical project in the Middle East where our organization secured a significant 7-year contract with Du, Dubai, for the complete overhaul and digitization of their revenue and charging solutions, including the setup of a data center. The challenge was to demonstrate readiness within just six months to secure the contract. As the program manager, I had to build a global team of over 150 professionals in various roles, from QA and Dev to Support and Analysts, within a short timeframe. We had to train them for readiness and work closely with the network and infrastructure teams to set up the necessary infrastructure. It was a race against time.
I followed a “divide and conquer” approach, dividing the readiness into seven streams and identifying leads for each stream. Stringent timelines and gate mechanisms were established, and daily scrum calls were initiated to monitor progress and resolve issues promptly. These meetings involved key stakeholders, including customer representatives and our own organization’s leadership.
The team’s accountability and empowerment were crucial, treating each lead as if they were the entrepreneur of their stream. We addressed one challenge after another, and we achieved readiness two weeks ahead of schedule. The final two weeks were used for demo tests and readiness tests.
Managing such a massive project comes with a lot of lows and highs, did you encounter failures along the way? How did you handle them?
Indeed, with the scale and timelines of the project, failures were inevitable. What matters is how quickly you bounce back. We faced several challenges, such as realizing that the data center capacity quoted was insufficient for Du’s 5 million end customers. We acknowledged this gap transparently to both our management and the customer. We also dealt with semiconductor shortages, working collaboratively to overcome these challenges. It taught me the importance of owning the outcome and wearing multiple hats when necessary.
Another setback was the readiness of clean rooms. Out of the required five locations, only four were available by the go-live date, and our hiring process in LATAM was slow. We adapted by switching our LATAM clean room location from Argentina to Brazil, a disappointment but a valuable lesson in preparation and adaptability.
You’ve led projects with remarkable business growth, such as a 200% increase. Could you tell us more about this achievement?
The 200% business growth wasn’t solely from the Du project, but rather from the Telefonica project. I was leading this initiative, primarily focusing on Incident Management and FSO dispatch. We recognized the potential to expand our services beyond the initial scope. With the help of my team, we delivered double the value to our clients, emphasizing analytics and NOC capabilities.
This shift in approach attracted our client’s attention, leading to an entire Telefonica project being awarded to us within a year. It was a significant contract, and the team’s visionary approach played a crucial role. This experience taught me the power of manifestation—a single thought can change the course of achieving a goal. The result was more than a 200% growth in the contract.
You mentioned achieving a 15% YoY financial efficiency. Can you elaborate on the strategies you applied to accomplish this?
The 15% YoY financial efficiency was achieved in a different project, one of larger scale with over 400 people and a $100 million contract. I led the operations for this project, and our primary target was achieving financial efficiency and profitability.
We placed a strong emphasis on automation, leveraging RPA, chatbots, next-gen auto-ticketing tools, and process efficiencies. The goal was to replace mundane manual tasks with automation to increase efficiency. This required constant collaboration with teams, finding new use cases for automation, and shifting the team’s mindset.
One of the key challenges was driving a change in mindset and maintaining a focus on performance improvement. I had the privilege of working with exceptional delivery managers who contributed to our success. It was a constant effort, and I draw inspiration and learning from these colleagues, including Gulshan Patiyal and Praveen Joon.
Great, You have also led organizations into digital transformation. Can you provide specific examples of how you’ve led digital initiatives that resulted in tangible benefits for your organization?
On a very high level,
Automated operations with RPA, Chatbot, CI/CDs, Low code solutions Agile delivery: Driving Agile framework – Had the priviledge to lead projects from waterfall to Agile as well as establishing it. Cloud Adoption and transformation : Moving apps to Cloud solutions SIEM: Security tools with AI based feature
Dynatrace and Nexthink: AI based monitoring tools for application/user journey and workplace respectively.
“In your experience, what are the key challenges in the IT service delivery landscape today, and how do you see them evolving in the near future?”
“In my extensive experience within the IT service delivery landscape, I’ve observed several key challenges that are shaping the industry today and foresee some exciting trends for the near future.
One prominent challenge is the ever-increasing demand for agility and scalability. In today’s fast-paced business environment, organizations need to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics. This necessitates IT service delivery models that can swiftly respond to evolving requirements. The future, I believe, will see a further emphasis on cloud-native solutions, microservices architecture, and containerization to enable this agility.
Another critical challenge is cybersecurity. With the growing sophistication of cyber threats, protecting sensitive data and ensuring the security of IT services has become paramount. In response, I see a continued focus on advanced security measures, including AI-driven threat detection and real-time incident response. Proactive threat intelligence will be instrumental in staying ahead of cyber adversaries. Moreover, the IT service delivery landscape is witnessing a shift towards automation and artificial intelligence. These technologies are streamlining routine tasks, reducing human error, and enhancing operational efficiency. However, they also bring challenges related to workforce reskilling and ensuring the ethical use of AI. I anticipate an increased reliance on AI-driven analytics for data-driven decision-making and automation for repetitive IT service tasks.
How do you balance your personal life, and who inspires you in your personal journey?
My family is my biggest inspiration. My parents are incredibly positive people. My father, in particular, is a bundle of energy who constantly challenges the status quo and encourages us to dream and take risks. I draw a lot from this heritage.
My wife is a highly accomplished data scientist with a strong math background from IIT. She has made significant contributions to the AI field. Her work provides me with mentorship and motivation. My extended family, including siblings and in-laws, comes from strong educational and teaching backgrounds. Learning, challenging oneself, and mentoring others for a better tomorrow are part of our shared values.
In addition to my family, colleagues and seniors have played a pivotal role in shaping my thought process, some of whom I’ve mentioned earlier.
And finally, what’s next for you in your career journey?
My commitment is to keep improving, learning, and delivering value to organizations and the IT sector in every capacity I can. It’s a continuous journey, and I look forward to contributing in new and innovative ways. The IT sector is evolving and that’s where the onus should be on people like us and many others who have seen best of both worlds to take the Service to the next level of customer first approach. It should not be about customer satisfaction but customer journey satisfaction. The measures for IT success should be business and revenue centric and not on just legacy SLAs. AI should be harnessed as much as possible but with a balanced approach. Cyber-security should be at your front-gate. True Digitization and Agile in each and every sphere to be driven. I am driving it in my capacity and would like to contribute even at a bigger scale.