AiThority Interview with Venu Lambu, President of Global Markets at MindTree
Hi Venu, tell us about the most enticing milestones in your professional journey before heading to Mindtree. Would you have chosen any other profession if not leadership in the technology business?
Throughout my professional journey I have navigated through continuous trends in the technology industry. When I started my career, the industry focus was on establishing delivery models to provide IT services cost-efficiently from global locations. My responsibility earlier in my career was setting up offshore global delivery centers to help our clients more efficiently run their IT systems. As digital transformation began to take hold, it was imperative for the industry to continue to evolve away from labor arbitrage towards value-based consulting and services. That’s when I pivoted in my career to more solution-oriented selling – developing more integrated offerings including infrastructure, cloud and edge computing services to help clients modernize their IT organizations and accelerate their digital transformation journey. Now, with Mindtree, I’m focused on helping clients transform their businesses with digital technologies at the core. My previous career experiences have been invaluable and have put me in a position to understand the entire enterprise value chain and the role of digital technology in driving the technology agenda across different industries.
I have always been excited by the continued evolution and disruption of technology and the role it plays in driving holistic enterprise growth. Needless to say, I can’t envision myself in any other profession besides IT services.
COVID-19 has significantly dented aspirations and business goals. How do you see the global cloud and IT/ITES markets responding to the lockdown?
Every crisis has proved that technology is a catalyst and accelerator for change and the IT industry has fully embraced these changes. Look at agile methodologies. Everyone used to entirely focus on onsite agile models, where the product owner, scrum master, developer and others were all primarily collaborating and running sprints from the same location. But onsite agile development has its limitations, including competition for talent in any one location. Then came distributed agile, where organizations brought together talented teams across geographical boundaries, relying on digital technologies to deliver projects efficiently. Yet even distributed agile was too siloed for some organizations. Today we have no shore agile, which expands on the concepts of distributed agile to be even more flexible and customized for each project, focused on quality of output.
One of the greatest lessons learned during this crisis is a greater need to scale up or down IT capacity with cloud as a driving factor to enable organizations to scale quickly and handle unexpected rapid growth. Enterprises are also reimagining their core systems with a cloud-first approach that will enable companies to drive their digital transformations forward. In response to these demands, the cloud market has become much more robust in terms of security, resiliency and infrastructure management.
Digital transformation is the key to survival and sustaining growth. What according to you amplifies the business value of digital transformation journeys?
In the current business climate, we believe digital transformation is the best force multiplier for businesses to achieve the following:
- Enhance time to market
- Bring in greater customer experience
- Innovate business models
Digital transformation used to be primarily driven by the CIO. Now, it’s the entire C-Suite, including the chief digital officer, chief marketing officer, and others who are buying solutions to achieve this vision.
To enhance customer success, companies need to enhance their digital channel experience and bring in integrated capabilities including design, digital marketing and digital commerce enablement. They also need to add advanced analytics and cognitive capabilities to generate actionable insights to drive business value. Enterprises also need to accelerate their cloud journey across infrastructure, application and data modernization, to add more flexibility and agility to their business. And they need to transform and modernize their IT operations and technology, including their applications, infrastructure and security.
Maximizing the value of digital transformation requires an end-to-end modernization of the business, with alignment across the C-Suite and all of the above elements working together in a complementary fashion.
How is Mindtree at the center of the digital transformation revolution?
At Mindtree, we realized the transformative impact that technology will have on businesses and society very early on. We have been building and strengthening our position in digital transformation services since our inception. We bring together large complex programs capable of creating new connected, contextual and cognitive experiences; building analytics systems that generate new and vital insights; integrating and developing ecosystem-driven value chains; and helping customers create and implement new business models.
Mindtree has recently re-organized its capabilities and expertise into four service lines which are not complimentary to each other, but they address the end to end requirements of clients’ digital transformation. The new service lines include:
- Customer Success – We enable our clients marketing and product organization to build and enhance the digital channel experience and digital resilience.
- Data & Intelligence – We work closely with our customers data/analytics/digital teams to bring in advanced analytics and cognitive capabilities with a strong data strategy and architecture to generate actionable insights and foresights that drive business value.
- Cloud – We work with CIO and CDO organizations to enable faster acceleration to cloud services in areas of infrastructure, application and data modernization
- Enterprise IT – We work with CIO organizations in operations transformation and technology modernization across application, infrastructure and security services
Our strategy aims to reposition the company from a service provider with deep technical skills to becoming a business transformation partner.
Which technologies are you keenly following?
I am very excited about the possibilities in IoT use cases, especially as it relates to the connected workforce, supply chain and products. I expect the digital divide between the shop floor and board room can be bridged by driving transformation from edge computing to the experience layer.
Moreover, the innovations by some of the public cloud providers have developed robust, built-in analytics tools that help businesses to make data-informed decisions and accelerate business innovation. It is now possible to build intelligent apps that analyze real-time user data and use artificial intelligence to deliver richer customer experiences.
I am also excited about the expanding potential for intelligent automation to shift monotonous, repetitive tasks to machines, allowing human workers to focus on work that’s more challenging and more strategic involving more creativity and intellect unique to humans. Mindtree as an organization has re-skilled thousands of our employees to take on these higher-value roles for clients.
Hear it from the Pro: Friendly advice to all CEOs and CIOs who are struggling to keep tabs on their Cloud and IT security budgets:
A smart approach is to focus on time to value. If you can extract business value quickly from investments in your applications and operations, you can scale those successes further across the business and deliver a tangible impact on your budget. There is a lot of pressure on enterprises to focus on speed of innovation to achieve competitive differentiation. As you’re considering services and tools for growth and change management, time to value is a critical metric to keep in mind.
As a global business leader, what is the future of AI and ML in digital business?
To this point, the challenge with adopting AI and machine learning is scale. Many companies have had success piloting AI and ML projects – and are driving greater productivity and more personalized sales and marketing – but have not been able to scale those across the organization. Scaling AI and ML so that it is pervasive throughout the organization is key to accelerating your journey as a digital business. We conducted a survey of global business leaders last year and found that the keys to scaling these initiatives are (1) more alignment around the data infrastructure needed to implement AI, and (2) determining specific use cases that can deliver business value.
Once enterprises overcome those obstacles, AI and ML-powered solutions will become even more prevalent and more dynamic in the future of digital business, enabling businesses to more proactively and swiftly adapt to meet new expectations, preferences and unexpected circumstances.
During the pandemic, which podcast(s) / webinar has been your favorite and why?
In terms of podcasts, I’ve been actively listening to HBR IdeaCast. It features conversations with a vast array of business executives and touches on topics related to management, leadership and the evolving work landscape.
Thank you, Venu! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
Venu has previously held leadership positions at Cognizant, HCL Technologies, and IBM. Most recently, Venu served as President of Global Markets at L&T, Mindtree’s parent company.
As Mindtree and L&T continue their mission of engineering meaningful digital and technology solutions for businesses and society, his addition will significantly strengthen Mindtree’s industry position and accelerate growth. His experience at L&T enables him to understand the nuances, strengths and opportunities that both companies offer, and transform this knowledge into a real and measurable ROI for Mindtree across businesses.
Mindtree a global technology consulting and services company, helping enterprises marry scale with agility to achieve competitive advantage. “Born digital”, in 1999 and now a Larsen & Toubro Group Company, Mindtree applies its deep domain knowledge to 290+ enterprise client engagements to break down silos, make sense of digital complexity and bring new initiatives to market faster. We enable IT to move at the speed of business, leveraging emerging technologies and the efficiencies of continuous delivery to spur business innovation. Operating in more than 15 countries across the world, we’re consistently regarded as one of the best places to work, embodied every day by our winning culture made up of o