When Indian IT services company Mahindra Satyam formally completed its merger with Tech Mahindra in June, only two high level executives from the erstwhile Satyam team made it to the top leadership of the merged entity: A S Murthy and Hari Thalapalli (also known as Hari T.). At least, this is how it appears at the time of writing this piece.
In April this year, Hari T., who had played a key role in navigating the scam-hit company (then Satyam) in 2009 to a healthy state, had announced his move out of Human Resources (HR) of Mahindra Satyam. At the time of announcement, he had been handling both HR and marketing at Mahindra Satyam.
A few weeks ago, MIS Asia had an exclusive talk with Hari T about this move of his and what his new roles in the merged company would be.
Hari told MIS Asia that he wanted to move out of HR for a long time. He had been handling HR for 26 years now. Rakesh Soni, the company's COO, had taken over the role in his absence.
Under the new dispensation, Hari has kept the marketing function under him (as chief marketing officer) and has taken on a new role-Global head of Business Consulting for Tech Mahindra.
"The business consulting function consists of two functions within the group," he explained to MIS Asia over the phone. "One is what we call the tech advisory. The other is business advisory. The tech advisory focuses on the CIO's office needs, how they incorporate new technologies into their operations and so on. The business advisory is about the needs of other functionaries in the business like the CFO or the COO. The business consulting group addresses both these segments."
When asked what exactly he would do in this role, he said, "My role will involve talking to the end customers in, if you may, rearranging some of the relationships with the current customers and moving it to a higher plain. In other cases, it will be to open wide opportunities, to open up new conversations and then of course look at expanding the relationship to other technology areas."
Explaining the context of his new role, he said, "What's happening today is that a lot of organisations, if you look at their operations, could have invested in both hardware and software on a continuous basis. There are sometimes situations where it is not always that they have completely leveraged all the investments they have made. So there may be gaps in the way the investments are being leveraged within the organisation. The other problem is because you have made investments in the last two or three years, you really find it very difficult to make new investments into new areas and you know that technology landscape keeps changing. What we do is we actually work with the CIOs to see if there are some aspects that can help them optimise their investment better."
"The big challenge today (for most of organisations) is the whole emerging technology dimension like BYOD or moving to the cloud infrastructure," he added.
Even though he will be Global head of Business Consulting, he will still be based in India, he said. "Travel will be very high now. But I will be very much India based, that is one of the conditions I have had for a long time. I don't want to leave the country. I will continue to be anchored here."