S Ramadorai, Former CEO and MD, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
Mr. Ramadorai is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Tata STRIVE, which is the Tata Group’s CSR skill development initiative that aims to address the pressing national need of skilling youth for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise.
Tata Consultancy Services is a world leader in IT services, consulting & business solutions with a wide range of innovation & delivery centres. TCS is among the most valuable IT service brands in the world.
Every tech enthusiast has or wants to work there and get experience working in TCS. Today, we are honoured to have the former CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, S Ramadorai. Let’s listen to the episode and get as many insights as possible and know-how have tech companies put India on the Global Map?
About S Ramadorai
S Ramadorai is the former CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services. He is the former Chairman of the National Skill Development Agency and the National Skill Development Corporation. He has been recognised and honoured by the President of India with a Padma Bhusan. He was also recognised as the commander of the order of the British Empire.
What were some of your challenges as you made TCS into such a major global software powerhouse since you entered in 1996?
The key challenges in making the company a huge success was team building, learning and development, focus on the outcome and client focus. Collaborating, empowering and bringing together the team, were some of the ways they addressed and solved the challenges, says Ramadorai.
What goes into building a global company out of India and what are some of your cultural challenges?
S Ramadorai believes that the focus should be on delivering excellence and that’s what they claimed to deliver. “If we did not deliver on the promise that we made to our client, they would not make the next transaction with us.” The second important thing according to Ramadorai was delivering excellence by a clear differentiator in terms of technology absorption and what it takes through our delivery initiatives to align to the customers’ needs. The third thing highlighted by Ramadorai is the power of teamwork, which is delivering excellence not by an individual but rather by the whole team. This makes the clients believe in the organisation and makes them team reliable.
How did your leadership team manage across different cultures?
When asked about how their team works with different cultures seamlessly, S Ramodari credits many things including his education in the US. That and also being employed there for some time helped him understand the US culture. Besides, he emphasises the benefit of picking the right managers and leaders to help address the cultural nuances.
How have tech companies put India on the global map?
When the tech companies were shaping up, in the early 90s, the focus of Indian tech companies shifted to the outside world because the market was abroad. So they gained experience in India but the culture was built across countries as the market was out of India.
What makes Indians such great CEOs of large tech companies?
Ramaodarai says that some of the reasons that make Indians great CEOs of tech companies include their depth and technical competency to be relevant. The second reason is they have a collaborative mindset, and they see the value and the ability to build competency in their teams. In other words, innovation, learning and collective responsibility and humility are some of the factors that contribute Indians to the position of managing large companies.
Mr. Ramadorai was in public service from February 2011 to October 2016. During his tenure as the Chairman of the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), his approach was to standardize the skilling effort, ensure quality and commonality of outcomes by leveraging technology and create an inclusive environment to co-operate, collaborate & co-exist. He strongly believed that empowering the youth with the right skills can define the future of the country.
Mr. Ramadorai is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Tata STRIVE, which is the Tata Group’s CSR skill development initiative that aims to address the pressing national need of skilling youth for employment, entrepreneurship, and community enterprise. He is also the Chairman of Tata Technologies Limited and additionally serves as an Independent Director on the Boards of Piramal Enterprises Limited, Piramal Pharma Limited, and DSP Investment Managers. In March 2016, he retired as the Chairman of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE Limited) after having served on their board for a period of 6 years.
Mr. Ramadorai took over as the CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in 1996 when the company’s revenues were at $ 155 million and since then led the company through some of its most exciting phases, including its going public in 2004. In October 2009, he retired as the CEO, leaving a $ 6 billion global IT services company to his successor. He was then appointed as the Vice Chairman and retired in October 2014, after an association of over 4 decades with the company.
Given his keen passion to work for the social sector and community initiatives, he also serves as the Chairman of the Council of Management at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) and the Chairperson of the Governing Board at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). He is also the President of the Society for Rehabilitation of Crippled Children (SRCC) – which built a super specialty children’s hospital in Mumbai.
He is actively involved through various foundations, trusts, and philanthropic organizations from Health, Education, Skills, and Livelihoods for social impact at scale.