In a digital world, companies are striving to bring speed, scale and agility to their operations by leveraging more advanced technologies. However, enterprises that create a difference in the future are not only focused on new technologies, but on how they assess and transform talent within their organization.
Raj Vattikuti, an American-Indian entrepreneur, business executive and philanthropist, believes that hiring great talent and creating a culture that fosters it is the ultimate key to the most enduring transformation of contemporary organizations who are gearing up to be future-ready.
A prominent name in the IT industry, Vattikuti founded a number of companies, from Covansys Corp., an IT services company, which was acquired by Computer Sciences Corporation , Davinta Technologies, Vattikuti Foundation, and Vattikuti Ventures, to name a few. His latest venture, Altimetrik Corp, founded in 2012 focuses on building and nurturing the right talent in the digital era.
In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Raj Vattikuti, CEO and Founder of Altimetrik, explains how he is trying to bridge the talent shortage in India, with the help of innovative techniques.
Tell us briefly about your idea behind setting up Altimetrik.
Today, we have reached a stage where businesses and consumers are completely driven by the millennial mindset. I have seen the software industry since 1985, and I believe that there hasn’t been a more exciting time to be in, than now. On one hand, we can see technology fundamentally impacting business models, productivity, investments and disrupting the way businesses engage with their consumers, while on the other, there is an increased demand for personalization and speed. This pressing need for speed and agility is pushing enterprises to look at newer and alternate business models, the reason why Altimetrik was formed. For me, it was important to look at how we can differentiate ourselves to the digital customers in terms of making sure this is exactly what they need.
However, it took us some time to understand this digital transformation. Today, everyone talks about going digital, but very few understand what it really means to the enterprise and the end customer. With the right talent and technology in place, I was trying to figure out what different can Altimetrik, as an entity, can bring to market, because I did not want to own just another IT company. I figured out most important thing was to bring the culture and the technology together. A digital consumer is what we were driving towards, just as the millennials understands it well – it is the experience that matters, not the device. From an enterprise viewpoint we needed to understand how to create a business model for this digital culture and plug it into the competitive market, where speed and agility were of utmost importance. Altimetrik does exactly that. Part of Raj Vattikuti ventures, with revenues above $100 million with over 2800 professionals worldwide, today, we have offices in New York City, San Francisco, Montevideo, Bangalore and Chennai, offering SMAC solutions to enterprise clients with a focus on technology and culture.
Can you explain how Altimetrik has made a difference is enabling digital transformation in the enterprise?
Altimetrik was incorporated globally and in India in 2012. The company used a scrum team to develop its own financial inclusion and digital platforms. We focus heavily on healthcare, banking, retail and hospitality. We see India as a big focal point for its solutions as it senses business opportunities in Digital India, Jan Dhan Yojna, and Make in India initiatives. While we were building innovative technologies and platforms, in the last one year, we are also prioritizing on building a digital culture. The enterprise and their IT team need to work together to bring down their time for bringing proof of concept to the market. So we create what we call playground – a place where we have the whole team working together, and it is now a powerful collaborative tool.
Can you elaborate a little on these experience centers that you have launched?
The unique ‘Playground’ ecosystem of Altimetrik that is strategically positioned to help enterprise customers go through transformation programs and achieve speed, accuracy and agility in their business. In other words, playground is an excellent platform for engineering talents to find themselves. This natural and scientifically developed talent transformation engine is an ideal proposition for engineers to rediscover skills and methods of building products. It changes the way software engineers have been working for decades and gives them a whole new outlook.
Please tell us about your plans to train 500 robotics surgeons by 2020? Do you foresee any challenges?
We want to be a catalyst in robotics surgery and is focused on helping surgeons carry out their operations with the help of advanced technologies. Keeping that in mind, we have founded a counsel of experienced surgeons, who have created a library of detailed videos of their surgeries. Through these videos or master classes these surgeons not only share knowledge, but also transfer knowledge and learn a great deal about research and new techniques of surgery. We have top tier institutes like Tata Memorial, AIIMs that are utilizing this technology. The challenge however is that it is still not accessible to everyone and we are trying to create awareness in a big way, so as to increase its adoption. We are also trying to identify other tools to level the playing field.
What is the plan for the next 1 or 2 years for the India market?
When we started Altimetrik, India had an export amount of half a billion dollars, today that number is closer to 140 billion dollar. India creates 1.5 million IT professionals, but If we don’t quickly adopt a digital culture, they will vanish very quickly. I would like to create an academy not only for Altimetrik employees, but the entire industry. The purpose would be to empower people on how they can become digital culture facilitators, leaders and coaches. We work closely with startups and big companies, specifically in the areas of IoT and wearables. We tie up with startups to see how we can actually apply technology in promoting some of their innovation. We also do academic innovation and encourage people to align themselves into Make in India. We will be focusing more heavily on mobile, enterprise integrations and connected solutions.
Finally what would be your leadership mantra for budding entrepreneurs in India?
Unfortunately, similar to Silicon Valley, the first thing these new entrepreneurs think of is how to make a lot of money. They do this before understanding the market gap, and what business model they require for their consumer and to create transparency and credit. Once they think through their business model, how to scale up, build the right talent, money follows automatically. Also Indian entrepreneurs should take lessons from South America and Eastern Europe that has a progressive outlook, such that each employee thinks of how he can contribute, and it is not just the task of the leadership to do so. In other words, they should work towards building a culture where they not only look to transform themselves, but also seek consultative strategy not just in technology transformation but in the area of transformation that will be truly seminal including talent and people.