BVR's dreams to billion-dollar journey

BVRs dreams to billion-dollar journey

The Hans India presents BVR’s intangible dimensions of being an entrepreneur in India. BVR who offers practical lessons in customer centricity, people management and crisis management stands as an inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs to learn from his dream to billion dollar journey, dream even bigger and engineer their own success

B V R Mohan Reddy is the founder Chairman and Board Member at Cyient, Board of Governors, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Roorkee and Founder Director T-Hub. In a free-wheeling interview with VRC Phaniharan BVR gives an insight into his success story starting from evolving policies of human resources in contemporary times, the importance of mainstreaming women in the economy, education, the importance of society-success of companies, social responsibility and futuristic vision during the Amrut Kal of the country.

Tell us about your journey from Infotech to date

I call the transition from Infotech (1991) to Cyient a rebranding exercise. It is the same company. We did not change anything in terms of service offerings. 'Infotech' was very commonly used nomenclature. So, therefore, in some instances, it was an advantage for us and disadvantage in other instances. But, as we grew, we felt the need to change the name to get uniqueness in our name. We wanted a generic name for easy identification. So, we hired a prominent global company based out of London in the rebranding exercise. Since client is at the heart of the company and since we are focussed on research, science and technology, the word "client" was identified. We were proud of what we have done in the past and thought we should connect our past with present. Our ticker symbol on stock exchange was "ient." Since we were focussed on science and client the name Cyient emerged. The transmission triggered emergence of younger generation.

In this long journey of acquisitions and mergers making Cyient a global multinational entity, how many people have been with you since the beginning to date? What is the core team of Cyient?

In 1992, I started with four people. So out of the four, two Sunil Kumar and Sri Lakshmi are still in the company. The company is about 32 years old and we have 345 employees who have been travelling with us for more than 25 years.

Another important factor for Cyient was adapting ourselves to fast changing technology. We always believed in reskill and upskill of the existing employees more rather than bring new people.

Educating and training people is the strength of HR policy. How do you impart skill training? What is your HR policy during these changing times?

HR policies are very human-centric. I always tell my HR people to step into the shoes of the employees, and think about what would they do at that point of time? HR should understand that the Gig workers who are called as Gen Z have come. Their priorities are far different. So, HR policies too have to change. Hence several initiatives were put in place to for the Gen Z. We are one of the first few companies to introduce parenting leave about three years back. Which means men folk also get leave when there is childbirth in the family.

How did you get the idea of parenting leave?

Three months back I went to the office at 9 am. I saw a young man distributing sweets. I asked him why he was distributing sweets? He came rushing to me gave a laddu and said, "Sir, I am blessed with a son at 7 am today. It means within two hours of seeing his new-born child, he was at office. We then felt that the onus of taking care of the child should be on father as well. So, we introduced parenting leave. The company has about 26 to 27 percent women employees. We have an initiative at the board level something called Diversity and Inclusiveness initiative headed by a woman director Mathangi Gowri Shankar.

We also adopted initiatives like mid-carrier progression. We send our middle level managers abroad for training as it is the organisation that gets benefitted from such activities. There is always a threat that some of them may leave you. But, what can you do about it? That's part of life." We also celebrate all festivals with equal enthusiasm and fervour. In addition, we organise programs for children, their parents, and their grandchildren. The good thing is now we see them online. That is how we cater to the requirements of Gen Z.

Finally, he said, it is important to dream about what you want to achieve in life. Think about an idea you want to work on. It needs to be unique. If the idea is not unique, then the product just won't last. Most importantly, any idea or dream that is not backed by strategy and execution will remain an unfilled.

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