“It takes an orchestra to build a crescendo”
Sudhir Agarwal puts people first.
Sudhir Agarwal strongly believes that success means nothing if you cannot celebrate your victories with your team and loved ones. That is why, as CEO, he puts people first, guiding them to work together coherently and seamlessly to achieve the company’s goals.
As Chief Executive Officer of Everise, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) company, he consistently differentiates Everise by puttings people first. He believes it takes teamwork and vigor in one’s work to achieve joint goals.
Agarwal graduated with a first degree in Commerce from Delhi University, and then attained an MBA in Strategy and International Business from Manchester Business School, UK. During his first job as a door-to-door salesman selling Category 5 (networking) cable, he learned resilience: “After getting so many doors slammed in your face and you finally make that first sale, you think you’ve done the best job in the world!” he recounts with a smile. Nothing beats real-life education.
Everise is headquartered in Singapore, and has offices in Malaysia, Philippines, USA, Ireland and Guatemala. Customers represent the health, wellness, smart homes, travel, hospitality, and financial services industries, among others. They include Fortune 500 and high-growth tech companies.
Everise delivers three main experience points: Customer Experience (CX), Digital Experience (DX) and Product Experience (PX). They have also acquired four leading CX transformation companies from the US and Malaysia: C3, Hyperlab, Trusource and Globee.
For being a leading Work-at-home CX employer, in 2019 alone, Everise won 26 industry awards. Due to their ‘people first’ culture, Everise’s Glassdoor (a workplace review site) ratings went up from 2.5 to 4.5 currently, with a 91 percent referral rate. Everise has also been awarded Best Company to Work For (by Stevie’s International), Best Place to Work (by HR Asia), and one of the Top 50 Workplaces as named by Silicon Review.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and to put in place social distancing measures to protect their staff, a core team at Everise worked feverishly for two weeks, to migrate 90 percent of their workforce to a work-at-home program, and soon achieved 100 percent thereafter. Everise continued to grow, to hiring people by the thousands to support enterprise business continuity plans, receiving thanks and gratitude from clients, and employees, expressed on social media;. They thanked Everise for going the extra mile.
Other examples of the lengths Everise goes to invest in their people include: the Everise University, which is a learning platform for employees, available 24/7;. the Everise Accelerator program, which is an immersive, instructor-led training program for high-performing champions, handpicked to fast-track their supervisory and managerial careers; and the Everise Career Development program for promising employees who are paired with department leaders to receive career coaching and skills development, enhancing their career development.
What makes a good leader? Agarwal believes that a good leader must, first and foremost, have good communication skills. Other qualities he values include passion, compassion, being a good listener, and “being able to have fun from time to time”. While dress code is has little importance at Everise, What is important, is that bias and politics are not tolerated at the workplace.
Agarwal has a keen eye for hiring the right person for the right job. One good example is their Chief People Officer, Sheena Ponnapan. He empowers her to do as she sees fit and her processes and inputs are highly regarded within the company. She has even been awarded CHRO of the Year (International Stevie Awards).
It has been 21 years since Agarwal played a game of golf with his mentor, the founder of Genpact, who convinced him he should move into the BPO business. Now, off lauded for his leadership, Agarwal says that, “being CEO is like a conductor in an orchestra, guiding the group in direction, towards success.”
“Sudhir Agarwal brings a sense of fun and lightheartedness to the leadership of a BPO company, establishing him as a top executive who truly believes in engaging with his people while leading them to greater heights.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group