In today’s competitive world, proactivity is often used as a deciding factor when it comes to entrusting one’s business to others. The more proactive you are, the greater their trust grows in your ability to elevate their business. Raj Shekhar is one such gem from Tech Mahindra, whose proactiveness has won over our customers time and again due to his unfaltering dedication to finding solutions even before receiving a problem statement.
Raj has also popularised the art within his team by constantly urging them to proactively identify the gaps, which has strengthened the customers’ belief in our transformative solutions.
We met with Raj on the sunny shores of California to understand his thought process and how he creates change.
Taking on Massive Challenges
Raj’s client is one of the largest information technology companies in America. They were looking for an extremely time-sensitive S/4 HANA upgradation for their billing and finance business function. The industry norm for completing such projects is around 20 weeks, while Raj faced a timeline of only 12 weeks. The reason being they had a global rollout planned. The client preferred that the upgrades be completed before the launch rather than afterwards, which would have been a mammoth task.
But that was not all; more challenges came his way. Upgrading the old systems to the new ones required a service downtime of over 25 hours, which was something the customer just couldn’t afford. So, Raj had to figure out a way to lower the downtime as much as possible.
The Framework to Achieve the Impossible
Raj established a 3-pronged approach to accomplishing such an impossible task. First, he broke the problems down at the task level and executed them as a joint effort between his team and the client. Following this, he decided to use Tech Mahindra’s tools and accelerators like Epsilon, which turned out to be crucial in trimming down the time requirements for this project. And finally, he established a culture of oneness among his team and the client’s team so they could focus on the common goal of reaching the solution together while complementing each other’s strengths.
With the proper framework in place for carrying out the upgrade on time, Raj set his sights on reducing the downtime significantly. He started by carrying out multiple mock runs to figure out where he could find opportunities to implement parallel processing to shorten the overall duration. With every new mock run, Raj could spot new opportunities to improve, and after a few of these, he finally had a concrete approach set for the actual downtime.
Positioning the Client Better with Impact
Raj was able to carry out the upgradation in as little as 12 weeks, an extraordinary win for him as well as his client. And as a cherry on top, he also managed to reduce the downtime to an impressive 5-6 hours, a quarter of the time that is usually required.
As a true positioning pioneer, Raj’s solution also gave his customer a positive new look in the eyes of the end user. With the latest version of HANA now implemented, the customer got a boost in functionality along with an increased speed to market and reduced cycle time in closing any billing-related or financial issues they had.
Advice for Budding Techies
Raj believes that IT has become a necessity now. It will continue to become a more essential part of our lives and make things easier for everyone in multiple ways. With a rise in new technology like driverless cars and more, Raj sees a bright future for the IT industry.
He would also like to share valuable advice with every new techie in the industry.
“My advice is very simple and straightforward. Don’t follow the money; instead, follow excellence. Money will follow you.”
About Raj Shekhar
Raj has been working for Tech Mahindra for the last 15 years. He has donned many roles over the years, starting from being a QA Analyst in the beginning to now being a client partner for the strategic accounts of the media and entertainment business at Tech Mahindra. Raj loves to hike with his family almost every weekend and enjoys playing sports like cricket and racket ball.