To me, a quick look at our Q2 business results and my conversations with many colleagues across the globe was revealing. I had one simple takeaway. We have prevailed.
Over the last six months, the pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption across the world. It has displaced plans, derailed businesses, and dashed dreams. But it could do little to dampen the human spirit, much less discourage the zeal and enthusiasm of our colleagues. Our associates have proven a point with the impact we made as individuals, as a team, and more meaningfully, as an organization.
While business metrics are only one way to measure impact, they certainly are a reflection of our contribution to the global march toward recovery. Some of our organizational efficiency metrics are at their historical best. Customer satisfaction metrics have improved. And all this translated into our strong financial performance during these extremely testing times.
How did this happen? Or perhaps, more importantly: What have we done to make this happen?
In my view, here are the 10 things we excelled at as a team. Especially in the face of significant uncertainty, disruption, and a number of unprecedented challenges.
- Responsiveness: As the situation around us unfolded earlier this year, our response was swift, decisive, and structured. Control centers were set up, cross-functional teams designated, communication channels created, and priorities assigned. Associate safety was a top priority; business continuity for our customers came a close second. Starting with safety measures in our facilities, reconfiguration of our operating model to remote (WFH), and provision and logistics of IT assets, our swift response has ensured the safety of our teams while enabling us to transition to a > 90% remote-working model within just five working days. An amazing feat by any standards.
- Responsibility: While our swift response may have appeared intuitive, it was only made possible by the level of individual and collective responsibility demonstrated by our colleagues across the globe. Participation and contribution during these times were not just voluntary; it was spirited, committed, and passionate. This phenomenal display of individual and collective responsibility highlighted the strong moral fiber of our teams. And the vibrant fabric of Cyient.
- Resilience: Crisis management and transition were only the first staging post in our journey over the last six months. A number of unprecedented scenarios had to be managed, risks mitigated, and continuity ensured. The exceptional and deft handling of the kaleidoscope of scenarios as they evolved is testimony to our strong organizational fundamentals—and the resilient foundations on which our performance rests.
- Collaboration: The true essence of collaboration is at its fullest display when teams interact on a platform of shared purpose and first principles. This is less governed by RACI matrices, GANTT charts, and dashboards, indispensable as these are. This genuine collaboration was evident globally over the last six months as our teams put to the test an operating model that was evolving in real-time as it was deployed and ensured its success despite heavy odds. This probably puts to rest the debate on human consciousness vs. machine/AI. The former will remain the master and the latter a tool, as we have just shown.
- Courage: True courage is a state of mind. That which defies elements, doubts, and fears while discharging a responsibility. Our teams witnessed several heroic acts of colleagues globally who flew their/our flag high as they worked relentlessly to ensure the safety of our teams and the efficacy of our operations. Tales of those who braved long and lonely journeys across land and water (literally, in one case with a canoe to deliver an IT asset to a colleague in a remote location) will be a part of our folklore as we now march ahead.
- Engagement: We could have easily been absorbed in our own tune as we marched. But we consciously chose to engage with all stakeholders actively. Our proactive conversations with customer leadership enabled us to understand their priorities. Our engagements with forums such as NASSCOM ensured that we contributed our knowledge and lent our voice to the cause of the industry. Our sessions, such as CXO Cyience, where we invited thought leaders for a dialogue to learn from their insights, enhanced connections and visibility.
- Execution: The interplay of all the above elements hinged on our ability to execute plans, processes, and programs toward our collective commitments. This was one engine that purred so smoothly that, in retrospect, one can only marvel at the beauty of the individual effort woven into a mosaic of collective excellence.
- Entrepreneurship: From the day we were founded at the dining table of our Chairman with three of his trusted colleagues, entrepreneurship has always been our calling card. Even in the middle of this uncertainty, we ensured that we won new customers, ramped up several engagements, and even ratcheted our strategy to explore new horizons such as automotive to exploit the opportunities unlocked by disruption.
- Technology: This was an invaluable tool to enable our journey. From remote working approaches leveraging VPN/RDP models underwritten by contemporary security measures to remote collaboration tools, our teams have leveraged technology to its true potential while ensuring that the core ethos and culture of the organization is retained in our virtual mode. We proved that virtual could be another dimension of real. And have expanded Virtual Reality to Real Virtuality.
- Values: Our Values FIRST principle remained our strong guiding beacon as we navigated this unprecedented uncertainty. At no point in this journey, however challenging it was, did we have to test this tenet. To paraphrase an ancient Upanishadic thought, our values inspire our hope for our future and our pride in our past. They make us feel that the temporary privations of today and the transitory fortunes and failures do not touch the dignity of our soul. Values alone create sustainable value. And our values will remain at the core of our mission.
As we look to navigate what lies ahead, I believe it is time for us to acknowledge and appreciate the tremendous efforts of all our colleagues across the world whose courage, contribution, passion, and perseverance have enabled our journey over the last six months. They have proven Cyient’s tenacity to deliver against odds and prosper in challenging times.
We have prevailed. And I believe these 10 traits will ensure that we will prevail.
Here is to “Cyientenacity” as I hope this achievement will go down in the annals of corporate history.