“Banking on skills”
Organic talent development yields results.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is an Information Technology (IT) company that was established in 1968 in India. The company believes that its investment in human capital by equipping employees with skills (soft skills, design skills, multi-technology skills and domain skills) has been one of the biggest drivers of value creation at TCS. Over the last five decades, TCS has navigated every technological change by investing in organic talent development, in order to align with its core value of fostering a culture of lifelong learning.
TCS crossed two important milestones in 2019. Its annual revenue surpassed the US$20 billion mark, a 20-fold increase over the last 16 years. It also became the first Indian company to achieve a market capitalization of US$100 billion in the last decade, and was on the list of the Top 100 most valuable companies in the world. This market valuation is the outcome of a better appreciation of TCS’ differentiated strategy, market success, capital allocation policy and most importantly, belief in the company’s ability to sustain its superior revenue growth and profitability in the longer term.
TCS has been certified as a Global Top Employer for four consecutive years by the Top Employers Institute. The only one among the Top 10 IT services brands to get this recognition. TCS was ranked number one Top Employer in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East, as Top Employer in 29 countries, and as number one Top Employer in 16 countries including the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia and India.
TCS pioneered the Indian IT industry’s Initial Learning program for fresh graduate hires, to train them in technical and business skills, and provide hands-on training even before they take on projects. All TCS associates must complete a mandatory set of courses based on the role. Many of these courses, like security awareness, need an annual refresh. The organization also innovatively ensures 100 percent compliance on mandatory courses; for instance, if an associate has missed taking an annual refresh on security awareness, the associate will face significant restrictions in accessing many functionalities in the internal company portal.
TCS’ Digital Learning Platform is an integrated ecosystem that combines virtual, physical and experiential learning infrastructures with high quality content. The integrated ecosystem is made available any place, any time and on any device. Subject matter ranges from nano courses designed to create awareness, to deep dive-based practice content for higher levels of competency and certifications. All types of content are available according to the needs of the learner.
Leadership training is another focus area for TCS, with different leadership development programs tailored for entry level managers and for middle managers. TCS’ Inspire2Lead initiative is focused on energizing employees in supervisory roles and helping them become better leaders. The company’s associates can benefit from a formal higher education policy. TCS has partnerships with universities and certification boards to offer customized courses for associates. The organization also has tie-ups with external training platform providers such as Udemy to offer curated courses to its associates. TCS encourages associates to become members of many professional associations, and it reimburses membership fees to employees who score well.
The ability to attract, motivate and retain talent is critical to TCS’ continued success. Its human resource strategy is focused on attracting the best talent, globally. The corporation holds great stead in reskilling and transforming the workforce. To this end, it goes to great lengths to provide a stimulating, flexible environment in which to nurture social contract, foster innovation, and build a result-oriented, high performance culture. TCS’ talent acquisition strategy is to hire the right competencies required by the business at the right time, a judicious mix of lateral hires and trainees.
The workforce capability and capacity needs for the short and long term are derived directly from the Annual Business Plans (ABPs) prepared by the Business Units. The HR team works closely with the Business Units, which translate the annual business plan of revenue growth to staffing requirements and skill demand. This is further drilled down to Quarterly Business Plans for each unit.
In Lateral Hiring, TCS has adopted the assessment-based methodology to evaluate the technical capability of experienced professionals. In addition to leveraging benchmark product offerings in the market, TCS has also leveraged its in-house testing platform iON with content designed by a team of technical experts from the business units. This design ensures a very competitive and customized methodology for assessment that renders the right fit for the given business opportunity. The online test is backed by a personal interview designed to confirm the role and compensation. Assessment based hiring has been instrumental in breaking the stereotype patterns of interviewing. It also offers a heightened digital and agile experience to candidates.
TCS continuously evaluates human capital management practices. There are always innovations to align TCS capabilities to market needs. In this digital era, TCS floated a new KPI at individual associate levels called T-Factor which ensures both breadth and depth of skills required for a role. TCS believes ‘there is only legacy technology; no legacy people.’
At the core of the resilience and sustainability of its business model is its customer-centric worldview that helps the company spot trends early and embrace business opportunities by continually investing in research and innovation, developing newer capabilities, reskilling the work force, launching new services, solutions, products and platforms, while discharging its social and environmental responsibilities.
In 2017, TCS unveiled its Business 4.0 thought leadership framework to guide customers in their growth and transformation journeys. Business 4.0 and its enabling technologies, digital reimagination of industry and society, and industrialization of software and computing continue to drive its industry leading growth. TCS commissioned a study ‘Winning in Business 4.0 World’ to survey 1,231 senior executives around the globe to understand the extent to which firms across industries and regions have adopted the behaviours of Business 4.0, the benefits they have seen so far, and the challenges they are facing in their transformation journey.
TCS has successfully navigated through multiple technology cycles over the last five decades, pivoting and adapting each time to build relevant new capabilities through organic talent development, and helping its clients realize the benefits of emerging technologies. The IT company’s responsiveness, agility, and adaptability to change have been central to its longevity.
“Over the last five decades, TCS has navigated every technological change by investing in organic talent development, in order to align with its core value of fostering a culture of lifelong learning”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group
“ TCS has successfully navigated through multiple technology cycles over the last five decades, pivoting and adapting each time to build relevant new capabilities through organic talent development”
Dr. Jayanthi Desan, Lead Jury, ACES Awards