OUR FO­CUS IS ON AC­CEL­ER­AT­ING OUR SHIFT TO DIG­I­TAL AND MI­GRAT­ING OUR BUSI­NESS MIX TO A HIGHER VALUE

De­bashis Chat­ter­jee, Pres­i­dent, Global De­liv­ery, Cog­nizant re­flects on the year went by

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What is your ap­praisal of FY 17 from an in­dus­try and Cog­nizant’s per­spec­tive? As the mar­kets we serve move away from the phys­i­cal and to­ward the dig­i­tal, our clients know they must build new cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences and au­to­mated pro­cesses on top of se­cure and scal­able tech­nol­ogy. Cog­nizant’s mis­sion and in­vest­ments are to pre­cisely ad­dress this shift: to help clients trans­form their busi­ness, op­er­at­ing, and tech­nol­ogy mod­els in tan­dem to de­liver the prom­ise of dig­i­tal at scale.

What are the 2 big chal­lenges that took most of your man­age­ment time dur­ing the last fis­cal? It was not a chal­lenge, but we spent con­sid­er­able time chalk­ing out a plan to ac­cel­er­ate Cog­nizant’s shift to dig­i­tal ser­vices and so­lu­tions. The plan was the re­sult of many months of care­ful plan­ning be­tween man­age­ment and our board that cul­mi­nated in Cog­nizant 2020 strat­egy, which we have been ex­e­cut­ing for sev­eral quar­ters now. As part of the plan, we have re­aligned our hor­i­zon­tal teams into three prac­tice ar­eas across our busi­ness seg­ments.

These three prac­tice ar­eas are de­signed to ad­dress the needs of our clients as they trans­form their busi­ness, op­er­at­ing and tech­nol­ogy mod­els. Cog­nizant Dig­i­tal Busi­ness helps clients ar­chi­tect and im­ple­ment new dig­i­tal­lyen­abled busi­ness mod­els. Cog­nizant Dig­i­tal Op­er­a­tions reimag­ines and man­ages our clients’ most es­sen­tial busi­ness pro­cesses. And Cog­nizant Dig­i­tal Sys­tems & Tech­nol­ogy sim­pli­fies, mod­ern­izes and se­cures client ap­pli­ca­tions, plat­forms, and in­fra­struc­ture. Con­sid­er­ing how clients are look­ing to run their op­er­a­tions more ef­fec­tively to re-de­ploy cap­i­tal to fund their dig­i­tal in­vest­ments we also care­fully an­a­lyzed and iden­ti­fied ad­vanced au­to­ma­tion and de­liv­ery ef­fi­cien­cies.

How would you place Cog­nizant right now given the pro­tec­tion­ist men­tal­ity in both Europe and the US and the dis­rup­tions hap­pen­ings in the tech space? As a global com­pany head­quar­tered in the U.S., Cog­nizant has al­ways hired the best tal­ent lo­cally and glob­ally. We be­lieve that im­mi­gra­tion pro­cesses across coun­tries need changes and are work­ing closely with re­spec­tive ad­min­is­tra­tions glob­ally.

Like else­where, in the US too, we have been ramp­ing up our re­cruit­ing and lo­cal­iza­tion ef­forts for a num­ber of years. We have been hir­ing tech­nol­ogy and man­age­ment stu­dents from dozens of U.S. cam­puses as well as ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als from the lat­eral mar­ket, we have made a num­ber of ac­qui­si­tions and also re­badged em­ploy­ees from our cus­tomer or­ga­ni­za­tions. In cal­en­dar 2016 alone, we hired about 4,000 U.S. cit­i­zens and residents. In 2017 and be­yond, we ex­pect to sig­nif­i­cantly ramp up our U.S.-based work­force by hir­ing grad­u­ates from cam­puses and ex­pe­ri­enced pro­fes­sion­als in the open mar­ket and by mak­ing more use of univer­sity, veteran, and re­lated pro­grams.

We are shift­ing our work­force largely in re­sponse to clients’ in­creas­ing need for co-in­no­va­tion and co-lo­ca­tion. As part of this shift, we con­tinue to ex­pand our U.S. de­liv­ery and op­er­a­tions cen­ters.

What would be the di­rec­tion for Cog­nizant in FY 18: the key fo­cus ar­eas and the growth driv­ers and your In­dus­try out­look? Our fo­cus is on ac­cel­er­at­ing our shift to dig­i­tal and mi­grat­ing our busi­ness mix to a higher value, dig­i­tally-ori­ented, IP- and plat­form-based rev­enue, while con­tin­u­ing to invest strongly in the busi­ness for growth. We will con­tinue to invest to scale our three dig­i­tal prac­tice ar­eas ag­gres­sively.

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