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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.

When he headed the retail segment, retail and financial services were the big verticals. In 2005, he became the head of operations and worked with the CEO's office. "At that time, we were about US$700 million," he said. "Now we have grown to about US$4 billion."

"Currently, I am looking after all the non-financial services (including enterprise transformation services) and custom applications" he said. "Custom applications is about 33 percent of our business or US$1.5 billion."

Prior to HCL, Sodhi was with TCS for 16 years. "TCS again, when I had joined, it was a million dollar (revenue of Rs.4 crores) company in 1981," he reminisced. "At that time, there was hardly any communication-no lease line, no Internet, etc. We had to go and work on customer premises. Or we had to do project work on our computers and implement projects. So for about 10 years, I worked in different countries."

At TCS, he was responsible for managing Offshore Development facilities in India as well as Sales and Marketing operations  in USA and UK. He provided Business and IT consulting for Global MNC's and led several large engagements.

In the last 31 years, which he has spent in the IT industry space, he has spent 10 years in eight countries overseas including US, UK, Switzerland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Malaysia and Bahrain. 

Custom applications

"If you look at our size of business of custom application, it is US$1.5 billion," he said. "We may not be as large as Infosys or TCS, but if you look at how much work we have done in transformational areas-events based processing, service-oriented architecture, you won't find a match here."

"We are well-positioned in research area (product engineering). Outside the captives, we are number 1 in India in product engineering."

"Other than BPO segment, which is turning around, we are in leadership positions in our four service sectors in terms of capability to address the market."

Changing business model

"Business models are changing," he said. "If you look at the business mix, it is moving from time and material (T&M) to outcome-based pricing. We get paid only when we perform in terms of outcome."

HCL now has more revenues coming from this new business model-others still have higher T&M revenues, he said.

"Besides the traditional services, we have a new service called the Future Gen Service and very few companies are looking at that service," he said. "This service is targeted at the CMO while the traditional services are targeted at CIOs and CTOs. Today, social media creates more brand value than print and broadcast media. The CMO has a problem because he is a non-IT person. Now he needs help in leveraging the social media. That is a huge focus for HCL".


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