Rekha Menon

Rekha Menon is tak­ing Ac­cen­ture into the fu­ture by re-train­ing the work­force.

Business Today - - CON­TENTS - By GOUTAM DAS

The IT in­dus­try, even a few years back, wouldn’t have imag­ined hir­ing cross-func­tional de­sign thinkers, peo­ple with ethno­graphic skills, an­thro­pol­o­gists, the “cre­ative types”. But they do now. The in­dus­try is in the mid­dle of a long dis­rup­tion and that means com­pa­nies have to hire new kinds of tal­ent while up-skilling their ex­ist­ing work­force. Transactional work is get­ting au­to­mated. Em­ploy­ees are ex­pected to do more value-added, more in­tel­li­gent work.

Sev­enty per cent of Ac­cen­ture’s tech­nol­ogy work­force in In­dia has been re-skilled over the past two years – that pivot was Rekha Menon’s No.1 pri­or­ity. Con­sider the scale of that task. In­dia is to­day Ac­cen­ture’s largest ge­og­ra­phy – by Septem­ber 2016, the com­pany em­ployed 140,000 peo­ple in the coun­try over­all. While it does not give a count of its tech­ni­cal work­force, that’s more than a sig­nif­i­cant chunk.

The Chair­man and Se­nior Man­ag­ing Direc­tor at Ac­cen­ture in In­dia says her com­pany led peers in that jour­ney to the dig­i­tal, part of it be­cause the tal­ent got ready in quick time. Cus­tomers, across in­dus­tries, needed to adopt to new tech­nolo­gies. Ac­cen­ture called it “Ro­tat­ing to the New”. In the quar­ter ended May 2017, the com­pany’s net rev­enues from “the New” – which in­cludes dig­i­tal, cloud, and cy­ber se­cu­rity-re­lated ser­vices among oth­ers – were ap­prox­i­mately $4.7 bil­lion, or 50 per cent of the to­tal.

“Glob­ally, we started call­ing out our dig­i­tal rev­enues two years ago. Part of this meant that all peo­ple are skilled in new tech­nolo­gies,” she says. SMAC (So­cial, mo­bile, an­a­lyt­ics, and cloud) skills, how­ever, are now hy­giene fac­tors. “We are start­ing on the next phase – cy­ber se­cu­rity is a big area. We are also ac­cel­er­at­ing big data and an­a­lyt­ics, AI, and Vir­tual Re­al­ity,” says Menon.

Her other highs over the past year in­cluded en­sur­ing that in­no­va­tion re­mained a top pri­or­ity. Re­cently, the com­pany opened an In­no­va­tion Hub in Ban­ga­lore. Menon says Ac­cen­ture has also ac­cel­er­ated its col­lab­o­ra­tion with star­tups over the past one year. “We have en­gaged with 50 start-ups. We are open­ing up the bound­aries.” ~

REKHA MENON Chair­man and Se­nior Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Ac­cen­ture in In­dia WHY SHE MAT­TERS Her com­pany led peers in the jour­ney to the dig­i­tal, part of it be­cause the tal­ent got ready in quick time

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