March 12, 2016

Creating Successful Offshore Teams: The Techolution Story

“I have had a lot of positive experiences of India,” said Luv Tulsidas, CEO of Techolution, “As my family originate from India, I used to travel there frequently growing up. Having this experience, I was always curious why Indians who left India seemed to rise to success faster than those who stayed in India. I wanted to help change this. So, I began to think about what could make Indians succeed.”  

While Luv worked in his 9 to 5 job before starting Techolution, he was busy creating his dream or as he put it, ‘his Facebook on the side.’ While doing this, he interacted with many more successful Indians (both American born Indians and Non-Resident Indians, or NRIs), and a light bulb went off. He realized it wasn’t that the people weren’t capable or interested in success, but that with small tweaks in team structuring and management, people could flourish and succeed. This is his approach to working with and building globally minded, successful Indian offshore teams. Point number one here is not to allow people to wait to be told what to do. He’s always encouraged his employees to work proactively to do things on their own. He finds that he has been able to instill this work culture in the teams he’s built.  

In building great teams, location is a key element that Luv considered. While he was familiar with Mumbai and Delhi, he chose to set up shop in Hyderabad due to lower cost and a less mobile workforce. The team in India provide two key business solutions- back office support for running the administrative side of Techolution (which keeps costs down), and, of course, the IT consultant team. While Techolution is a small company, it attracts high performers and skilled talent, some of them willing to move out of the Hyderabad high rollers (Multinational American companies) to experience something more cutting edge. When I asked one of the team members who decided to forgo a career in one of those companies how they made that decision, I was intrigued to find out that in this person’s case, he felt Techolution could provide him the career growth, opportunities and learning experiences that his previous employer was unable to. And, he was ready to grab this opportunity with two hands and make the best of it! 

Another up-and-coming employee also is forging his own path. As he is interested in particular elements of the IT arena, he takes time out of his busy day to learn and grow in the area. Because he is interested in reading and talking to others with the same niche interest, this which surely would enhance his work on the team, helping to spark innovative ideas.

While Luv is proud of the team he has built and provides learning opportunities for them to grow, he does understand there are still challenges of onboarding and market knowledge.

Onboarded or Offboarded? 
The first challenge, which is the case not just for Techolution but a problem all over India is attrition. When changing jobs, most Indian companies require a three month notice policy. This policy hurts companies in at least two ways. The first way this policy is harmful is that the wait time is often too long to onboard employees in IT consulting companies to work with US client projects, as US clients tend to want to get things started within weeks, not months. Secondly, this policy allows prospective employees with offers in hand to negotiate better offers at other companies, often at the expense of the initial employer’s offer. In such cases, the first employer who has promised the candidate a job is left holding the bag because that candidate will not only take up the other job, but not even inform the company they are not joining. More time is lost in recruiting, hiring and onboarding. 

“Working in a Vacuum”
“When working for a major car rental company in the US,” Luv relates, “I had to go to India to train our offshore team about out service. When talking about it, I realized no one could understand what I was talking about. I then stopped in the middle of the presentation and asked the team how many drove a car…. No one raised their hands… Then, I asked them how many have ever rented a car… to this, I received a lot of blank stares. It was at this moment I realized they had no idea about the service- and how could they? They had no connection to it. They were developing solutions in a vacuum.”  

Of course, this challenge is not unique to Techolution, it’s an industry wide outsourcing dilemma. This is often considered one of the hidden costs of outsourcing, sometimes an expensive one! According to Luv, the one sure-fire solution is to get the employees trained and groomed, then send them onsite to see how the solutions they are creating are being used in the market. If they have the opportunity to use the product or service in the market, that’s even better! Currently, several offshore team members are successfully carrying out client requirements onsite in the US, and really making the most out of this opportunity they have been given.  

While Luv and the Techolution team continue to grow, more opportunities will present themselves which the team will tackle with confidence and determination. Authentic Journeys wishes Techolution a great and successful journey ahead!


To get in touch with Techolution, visit: http://www.techolution.mobi/

The Techolution team has been featured on the Authentic Journeys' blog in the post, Creating a Global Work Culture

Author, Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director of Authentic Journeys, based in Kochi, India helps teams like yours to bridge the US – India cultural gap for better returns on investment. Contact her here

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