In this brand new episode of Tech Café, Ramaswamy P, Senior Vice President – Head of Applications and Digital Transformation at HCL Technologies, talks about how technology has changed in the last three decades and why he chose to join the information technology bandwagon in the early years of his career.
Ramaswamy (Rama) is a finance professional by qualification, cricket player by passion, and an IT expert by choice. He comes with 28 years of combined IT and domain experience. He has held senior management positions at Siemens, AIG, and HP before moving to HCL Technologies.
Listen to the full episode on our Podcasts page.
What is your current role and responsibilities at HCL Technologies?
Rama: I lead the CIO function for applications and digital transformation at HCL Technologies. All the business-critical applications, from order to cash, procure to pay, hire to retain, etc., are my managed by my team.
You have over three decades of experience in different facets of information systems. How has your journey been so far?
Rama: It has been a rocking and enriching journey of mega-IT upheavals from the good old MS-DOS and dBASE III+ to today’s technologies of AI, ML, IoT, Cloud Computing, and AR/VR. The common thread in my growing career has been the continuous learning to keep abreast of a changing world.
You started your career when the Indian economy was opening up, the internet was still to become mainstream, and computers had still not invaded our lives the way they have now. What are the major differences you see in the IT world then versus the IT world now?
Rama: In the late 80s and early 90s, computers were a rarity and typewriters were used to develop invoices which were riddled with errors. I developed a mini-ERP on dBASE III+ in 1991 to optimize inventory and invoicing. I had to motivate the staff to use it. Over the years, ERP solutions like SAP have ruled the world while computers have become the new norm. Today, technology has leapfrogged and the backend IT systems have been taken for granted. UI powered by AI and ML, and RPA voice-enabled solutions will become the new way of life.
Your professional education has been in finance at the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). How did this transition to IT happen?
Rama: I started with Finance and was strong in maths. In the late 80s, I realised IT excited me. I also realised that a pure IT or business background would not help in developing a good IT solution. That’s when I decided to add good IT qualifications. This helped in a long way in delivering excellent IT solutions and delighting customers and CXOs.
What three things would you recommend to students for them to have a successful career?
Rama: An IT degree alone will not be sufficient to achieve success. A patient mindset is required to understand business leads and needs. Students will also need the passion to deliver flawless solutions with the best of UI in mind. They will also have to maintain healthy relationships with their ecosystem. These are critical factors to succeed in the corporate world.
If you are a college graduate and you think your chosen career stream is limiting your possibilities, Rama’s story offers a fresh perspective of what life can offer. If you are willing to move out of the comfort zone. Here’s your chance to know more about what’s in store for you. Visit our career opportunities page for more details.