In an enlightening conversation with Sohini Bagchi of CXOtoday, Bikram Dasgupta, Chairman & CEO, Globsyn Group explains the integral role IT plays in Globsyn, and the CIO, like all other department heads in his organisation is expected to play a leadership role to steer business.
You played an important role in India’s IT revolution since its early days. Please tell us something about your journey so far.
I always wanted to do something different and worked towards that goal in my own ways. I passed out from IIT Kharagpur and then went to the Harvard Business School in the US. I started my career with HCL in the early 1980s. After being one of the main forces of the company, I quit HCL in 1984 and co-founded Pertech Computers Ltd (PCL) with five other people, looking after major operations including sales and marketing, international business development and new strategic project. PCL became one of the leading names in the Indian PC market and an attempt to bring PC to the masses. It was there that I bagged an export order of $50 million from Dell Computer that still remains a landmark deal in the Indian hardware industry.
When the industry was going through a transition, I felt this was the right time to start a business model built around the fundamental concept of infrastructure and institution. In 1995, I returned to my home town Kolkata and founded Globsyn that emerged as an innovative institution in the field of education, training and software. An important part of my career journey was creating Infinity that played the role of being the catalyst in bringing the IT revolution in West Bengal in terms of manpower and growth.
In a career spanning close to three decades, it had been a wonderful journey being at the forefront of founding organisations, mentoring people, particularly yourngsters and spearheading industry associations, thereby, putting India on the global IT map.
What role has IT played in transforming the organisation? What new technologies are you planning to explore?
IT is synonymous to the Globsyn culture and values. We believe in doing everything here the IT way. From the very beginning, we at Globsyn hired a team of experts who can manage everything from storage to security and various enterprise applications within the organisation. At Globsyn, IT focuses on building add ons that offer our customers a competitive advantage. Our IT systems, be it our servers or web applications always ensured operational efficiency and spurred innovation and are strongly aligned to our business goals. We have four major divisions including Globsyn Business School, Globsyn Crystal, Globsyn Infotech and Asian Institute of Family Business. To manage all the operations seamlessly, we have implemented a centralised server system. We have deployed an in house CRM to strengthen customer relations and a software system to track new business developments. We further invested is high definition IP cameras for surveillance that allows us to monitor what’s going on in the classrooms by sitting on the desk. We have also invested in a digital library that is the first of its kind in the state.
What are the new technologies you are toying with?
We are a highly technology driven company and believe in constantly exploring new technologies and innovate with IT. Currently, we are upbeat about cloud computing as it has a huge growth potential, especially being in the education domain. The need for large and expensive hard-drives and processors are reducing by the day. I believe that everything will move to the cloud in the days to come. And this is one area we are toying with especially with connection to photos and videos.
Social media is another area we are aggressively working on. Our student portal ‘Kommunity’ which is soon to be launched will be one of the leading platforms to connect and share with education as the primary theme. We are also exploring the various advanced modern tools and techniques of ICT that can be integrated into our learning system. With the help of new technologies, we are taking our information to the rural level and this I can tell you in going to be a landmark project.
What is the role of CIO in your organisation? What are the traits you believe a new age CIO should possess?
The CIO like all other department heads has a decisive role to play in Globsyn. There was a time companies hired technology heads to look after technology infrastructure and management. But change is inevitable you see for example, look at the media industry itself and the way technology has changed news reporting. Similarly, CIOs role started changing with the change in the business landscape and the evolution of new and emerging technology. Today a CIO is no different from any department head, especially in Globsyn, where he assumes a leadership role. And like any other leader, he should have the vision, the power to mobilise and inspire groups and have the integrity to win the trust of his team and the management.
Most importantly, the new age CIO should use technology as a mean to drive business growth and therefore he should be extremely business savvy. He should have a thorough understanding of business operations, work closely with business and navigate the management in IT related areas that can bring maximise business value within the enterprise.
(The interview has been published in cxotoday.com. For more information, log on to: http://www.cxotoday.com/