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Turning the tide

Zafar Anjum | Nov. 21, 2011
From facing a near-nemesis to basking in the afterglow of growth and success, Mahindra Satyam has come a long way trekking through a rough terrain. How did this Indian IT services company achieve this turnaround? Hari Thalapalli, Mahindra Satyam’s chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief people officer (CPO) shares with Zafar Anjum his side of the tale of adventure.

"With senior management, we were connecting every two three days; now, we connect every two three months," he said. The company's leadership council is around 100 people. Mahindra Satyam's APAC leadership council had 18 members. "Even two and half years later, 16 of them are still working," he said.

As a turnaround strategy, a Shadow Board was constituted, drawing in younger employees. "The thought behind the Shadow Board was to bring in unconventional solutions to unconventional problems," Thalapalli said. A move like this empowered the grassroots level worker.

Other measures included making the staff mobile-enabled-time-sheets, leave application, NFC-enabled recognition system, the whole nine-yards.

According to Thalapalli, social media is being used extensively within the organisation. Twitter is allowed in the office. There are Internet kiosks on every floor for employees to access Facebook.

Now that the company is back on its growth path, Thalapalli is looking forward to the Mahindra Satyam and Tech Mahindra merger, which is on the cards for next year. "The combined Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam will have the most mobile workforce in the world," he says.


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