INDIA: At the core of his profession, Ram AKA Ramachandran Sundararaman is a customer experience manager, but also being a business leader, technology and upskilling are a few other fortes from his multifaceted personality.
Coming from a middle-class family and growing up in the 1980s and 90s, IT (Information Technology) was seen as an upcoming field of choice for many youngsters. Ram says that he still remembers the day when he was at the dinner table, having a conversation with his parents and sisters on what career path he should take up. Eventually, it was agreed that it would be Engineering in Computer science.
As a computer engineer, he was always obsessed with the endless possibilities of problem-solving that came along in this field. He was a recognized virus programmer during his academic days as he saw that by exploiting and exposing the flaws of a system, the systems could be made better and more robust. He later took up infrastructure as his core field within IT and become an accomplished leader in the space.
IT and Global issues
The first thing that comes to Ram’s mind when talking about global issues, is undeniably “Global Warming”. He feels that technology and technology leaders have not done a lot with regards to coming together as a group and creating the infrastructures, the software, the networks, the consortiums that can together help create enough awareness and more importantly help tackle this global menace, which is very “real”. He strongly feels that there is some progress in education, science, and commerce, but these are mainly disruptive solutions that monetize a lot while solving some of the real-life problems. Ramchandran says a lot can be achieved in areas like making technology and products more reachable to third-world countries and in areas of health care.
“We are living in the time of self-driving cars, space missions, mars visits, bitcoins. So there couldn’t be a better time for a technologist as well as a customer to be alive. Cheers to that!” said the IT leader.
IT in the coming years
Ram feels that the IT industry has taken giant leaps in the last 23 years he has been there in the space. From servers to standalone networks, to middleware to SOA (Service Oriented Architecture, Java, data centres, unbelievable compute capacity at dirt cheap prices to private and public clouds; the way we see IT has completely donned various complex dimensions.
He feels that we are at a juncture, where there are at least 3 generations of the workforce currently at play. The Generation X (or Gen X), the millennials, the Generation Z (or Gen Z). It is imperative for leaders and managers to acknowledge this fact and gear up with formal qualifications to address handling this disparate workforce.
“Opportunities are galore and employee employer “marriage” no longer exists. Leaders must keep innovating to not only attract but also retain work force. As technology gets deeper and more complex, a paucity of a particular skill could skew the market in favour of the few who are available and create demand in that space.”
As far as new professionals entering this space, he strongly advocates them to pick the right stream of technology and constantly look at innovative ways of problem-solving. Automation is the key, no matter what line you choose within IT. He also urges everyone to be customer experience-focused, result-oriented and tenacious. Work hard, play hard is also his “Mantra”.
Ram quotes “We as a workforce, can no longer retire without a specific skill set. Generic managerial jobs are going/gone.” He emphasizes that one should develop a strong skill set and keep upholding the upskilling mentality. Learn – Unlearn – Learn – Repeat!