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A transformational journey

Zafar Anjum | Sept. 10, 2013
As HCL Technologies’ new chief productivity and competitiveness officer, Rajiv Sodhi’s role is to transform and globalise the workforce and workplace. He describes his journey with HCL where he has seen it grow from a million dollar company to a billion dollar one.

Rajiv Sodhi

Rajiv Sodhi, Chief productivity and competitiveness officer, HCL Technologies

HCL Technologies, one of India's top IT services companies, known for its philosophy of 'Employees first', has scored another first by appointing a chief productivity and competitiveness officer.

HCL Technologies is a $4.6 billion (August 2013 figures) global IT services company based in Noida, India with US headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and offices worldwide.

According to sources at HCL Technologies, Rajiv Sodhi, one of the most senior executives of HCL Technologies, has been given this new role.

Sodhi, mostly recently the company's Senior Corporate Vice President and Chief Customer officer, has been with HCL for 15 years.

Previously, within the company, he has held responsibilities such as Global Head of Operations, Global head for Retail and Consumer Service Delivery, Head Advanced Technology Center, Head of Offshore Delivery for HCL James Martin and Company and Head of Sales for offshore projects worldwide.

"In this role, Rajiv Sodhi is responsible to transform and globalise the workforce and workplace," said a source familiar with the matter. "He leads these efforts through Talent Acquisition and Mobility, Talent Skilling, Work Force and Facility Planning and Global Delivery Centers Strategy. He works closely with CHRO to industrialise these practices across the delivery universe and anchor new initiatives."

A few weeks before this announcement, this reporter met Sodhi in Singapore when he visited the city to attend a board meeting of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (he is a member of the advisory board of SUTD, set-up in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

We started off talking about his journey in HCL Tech, a company he joined in July 1997. "When I joined, it was a very small organisation," he said. "Our total business size was about US$60 million dollars, which is now about US$4.5 billion. I have seen that journey. As a company again, most of our business was staff augmentation initially. From that it has changed to project-based and impact-based work. We have added our services lines. We started with offering technology services, that was the core of HCL. Our second service line was custom application. We thought Y2K was a very small opportunity, and we did not venture into that. Our third business was infrastructure and fourth business was BPO (business process outsourcing) and last was packages."

"I joined as head of sales and marketing-was globally responsible for worldwide sales. We did our IPO in 2000. We had about US$150 million dollars. We invested the money in acquisitions. Then he worked in the area of joint ventures."

"In 2002, we verticalised ourselves," he said. "We specialised and became more industry-oriented."


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