CXO of the Week: Subramanya C, Global Chief Technology Officer, HGS

CXO of the Week: Subramanya C, Global Chief Technology Officer, HGS, is an expert in Information Technology and Information Security

Ashok Pandey
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CXO of the Week - Subramanya C, Global Chief Technology Officer, HGS

Subramanya is an expert in Information Technology and Information Security and is responsible for implementing, maintaining and monitoring world-class technology and information security across the organization.


Subramanya has over 30 years of experience in the technology domain across various industries and handles various aspects of conceptualizing and commissioning of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and other IT Enabled Services operations including the transition of projects across our global facilities.

Your top priority while making decisions to improve tech infrastructure in your organisation?

Building or enhancing tech infrastructure in an organization is not an easy task. In the age of cyber-attacks, you have to be not just at par but ahead of all cyber security mechanisms. This essentially means that you continuously need to look at improving your tech infrastructure.


When it comes of decision making, my top priorities would be:

    • Working within the budget

    • Building an infrastructure which is highly scalable and reliable both in terms of availability and scalability… and includes a multi-cloud approach


    • Managing my stakeholders both internally (my peers and employees) and externally (clients and vendors)

What are some of the challenges you face in driving digital transformation?

Digital Transformation or DT, I must say, was amongst the most used or referred words in the corporate world and media last year. And I’m not surprised because digital is all about speed and everyone wants to move ahead swiftly in their respective areas.


We must understand that transformation is a given and digital is just a medium. Considering the medium has speed, everyone wants to use it and that is the way it should be. No one likes being slow, by the way!

When it comes to challenges, educating and adoption levels across my audiences as the skill & usage level varies across the board and benefits are varied based on the application. We all know that change is inevitable, but we still resist to accept it. My other challenges in driving DT are –

             • To ensure that our infrastructure environment (internal & Customer owned) is constantly secure and ready to enable transformation


             • Collaborating across stakeholders (both internal and external) & making them realize the value DT holds for them and drive collaboration… DT cannot happen in isolation!

Do you feel that freshers in the industry come with only basic knowledge, but don’t have the right skills to fulfil the job requirements? If yes, what is your suggestion to students and colleges?

Today, several corporates are going to colleges and investing in orienting students with industry knowledge. Colleges are also making conscious effort to include industry expertise in their course curriculum. While there has been a significant change in creating skill modules, there is still a long way to go. Companies like us are working with Nasscom to do more in this area.


However, students can also start taking up electives and short-term courses in new technologies or business-related subjects or do internships with specific objectives to proactively become industry ready. This can also give them an edge during placements or when they are in the job market.

What is your mantra to become successful in life?

The meaning of success varies from person to person, it’s never constant. My success mantra is to ‘say no to shortcuts’… In fact, this is my only ‘DON’T’ in my mantra list. Others will be:


    • Work Smart & Keep IT (Information Technology) simple

    • Collaborate equally with internal and external stakeholders

    • Treat every vendor as your partner

    • Value clients and vendors equally

    • Have your trusted lieutenant always near you and appreciate them for their good work

    • Rely on your teams because teamwork is a big key to success

How would you like to give back to the society?

I am a firm believer of HGS’ CSR philosophy of ‘Work to give for a better tomorrow’. I also strongly believe that it’s not always by means of money that you can give back to the community.

Apart from specific volunteering activities that I do with my family and colleagues, I would like to give back by helping build the next-gen CTOs and IT leaders in India. This is not just related to technology but teaching them my learnings and experiences of leadership… right from inferences of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana to tips and skills they can use in their leadership journey. By the way, Mahabharata to me is the best ‘Leadership’ book ever written.

Your favourite book and what are you reading now?

I’m not much of a fiction reader but it’s my habit to read books related to technology. Often, you’ll find me reading books or magazines on AI, smart intelligence, management, etc.

I just finished ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter and I must say it is amazing. This is definitely amongst my ‘good books’ list… all credit to my son who gifted it to me.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Weekends are a time to rejuvenate by spending time with family at home or outside. Additionally, I diligently go to the temple every weekend… I guess to make my spiritual side happy!

Achievements (Awards & Recognitions)

It’s been a long corporate journey and this journey has gained me a lot of recognition. I thank god and my hard work for this! Will not be able to list all but few for sure.

Firstly, growing from an IT manager in a small BPO company two decades ago to leading the entire IT team globally in the same company today.

Working with the Central Department of Telecommunications on some policies, which I hope will be more customer and business-friendly

Named amongst the top 100 CIOs in India twice

I have been part of several customer advisory panels for vendor companies – to help them build transformation roadmaps for their existing products to meet market requirements and also drive new age innovative solutions.


Well, again, let me start by saying that it’s been a long 30 years corporate journey and I have to admit that my industry experience has been interesting throughout. It’s been encouraging and joyous but at the same time very demanding.

First Job – Crompton Greaves, Head of Support Services (1989- 2000)

Education – An Engineering graduate in Computer Science from MEI Group of Institutions, India and has undergone short term courses in Customer Support and Finance from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore.

Strategic Management for CIOs, IIM Ahmedabad, EDP (2014)

MBA - BPO Management, ISBM (2013)

External Development Programme, Managing Services Business, IIM Bangalore (1999)

External Development Programme, Finance for Non-Finance Executives, IIM Bangalore (1998)

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