Sricharan Kuppam: The Changemaker of IT | Tech Mahindra

Sricharan Kuppam: The Changemaker of IT

It's not often that we meet someone who is determined to change the world around us. Sricharan Kuppam is one of the few who has been working towards making a positive change not just for his customers but also for society at large.

With a legion of like-minded colleagues behind him, Sricharan has been volunteering for charities, running food drives, cooking, and serving meals to the homeless, and doing so much more. He also made use of the occasion of Holi and converted it into a blood donation drive.

Sricharan is a believer in collaborating to win. As we delve into his processes and ideas of creating a difference for his client, here’s what we learnt about how he enables meaningful change in society.

Always Be Aware of the Root Cause

One of the world's largest consumer electronics manufacturers had tie-ups with Sricharan's customer as a telco partner in Canada. Every year, the manufacturer makes an announcement unveiling new features and phones. While the end-users expect to get these products on the day of the announcement, Sricharan's customer would take two days to update all the relevant systems resulting in significant delay in the sale of products.

As a collaborative challenger, Sricharan took it upon himself to make the processes as efficient and automated as possible to bring down the time-to-market so that the products could be purchased on the day of the announcement itself. He also had to keep in mind that the customer experienced low system operational stability which affected the transaction time at their retail stores.

A Common Goal Unites All

It was an ambitious goal that required a tremendous amount of collaboration across many teams. Sricharan focused on reducing the cycle time, delivering at a lower cost, and ensuring the optimum quality. 

Sricharan commenced the transformative journey by conducting an assessment to understand the situation of the systems. This helped him identify the baseline and create a roadmap on factors like automation, quality of checklist, project deliverables, communication, reporting, and other swim lanes. He used his leaders as a sounding board to leverage their experience in guiding him. He then set out to create the perfect framework to reach the end goal.

Piecing it All Together to Create Harmony

He realised that the entire process consisted of around 20-line items or swim lanes. The only way to meet the deadlines would be to shift each process to the left, hence reducing the number of swim lanes. The first lane he thought about was when the software was pushed to the testing team. Was there anything he could do even before that step? That's when he began collaborating with the development and requirements gathering teams. He asked them to review the requirements upfront and log the defects right then. This was to avoid waiting for the requirements to be finalised, the code to be developed, its deployment in QA and then finally finding the defect. This enabled them to save a ton of time and hence, shift left on the swim lane.

By identifying critical metrics, Sricharan started keeping track monthly. The data kept him honest regarding finding out where the customer was going wrong and where they were going right. Hence, he was able to course-correct based on the data.

Fruits of Labour

Sricharan's efforts paid off beautifully. In the last three years, by using simplification as a key factor, he has managed to increase the customer's operational stability by almost 200%.

Additionally, the number of tech-related incidents decreased from 1,500 to 400 per year, all thanks to each software now being certified by Tech Mahindra. His transformative approach also allowed him to reduce the cycle time by 35-40% and the costs by almost 30%. All this allowed his customer to deploy on the same day the manufacturer announced a new launch.

Advice for Budding Techies

Sricharan finds Dr. Satish Pai to be the source of his inspiration and lives by his advice that states: Own your business every day by continuing to make a difference to the customer every day.

Sricharan advises against being apprehensive of failure and instead suggests facing it one step at a time. He believes that together with a team, anyone can move mountains. He believes that up-skilling is very important for budding techies and everyone in the industry. He also believes that everyone has their own journey, success being relative, can be different from person to person.