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Karthikeyan Natarajan Written by Karthikeyan Natarajan, He manages global operations and plays a key role in driving the company's transformation from a services to a solutions provider
on 22 Dec 2021

Karthikeyan Natarajan, Executive Director and COO, Cyient, in conversation with Kalavathi G.V, Head of Philips Innovation Campus, at the NASSCOM ER&D Awards, 2021.

The Indian ER&D landscape has grown by nearly 5X in the last 13 years and 2X in the last 7 years, and according to NASSCOM, India's share in the global ER&D market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12-13% to reach $63 billion by 2025*. I have been a part of the ER&D community for over 20 years, and I believe we are at a pivotal point where we can deliver exponential value to our customers with innovation.

Technology acceleration and softwarization will drive exponential growth in Global ER&D spends, and one of the leading industries that will be at the forefront of ER&D spending is healthcare.

I have had a very insightful conversation in this regard with Kalavathi GV, who leads Philips Innovation Campus in India and driving many initiatives towards continuous value delivery.

I began by asking what is essential to the next paradigm in healthcare innovation: software excellence or innovative thought leadership?

“Our focus going forward is going to be on transforming to solutions – this will help us reposition ourselves from being an execution powerhouse to a true value-leader.” – Kalavathi G.V, Head of Philips Innovation Campus, Bengaluru

Kalavathi responded that both are essential at the Philips Innovation Campus (PIC) in India as they grow from a Software powerhouse to a digital solutions leader for Philips, driving transformational solutions. This will further support their strategic position as an innovation partner – co-creating with customers to deliver continuous value with Quality, Speed, and Excellence. With over 4500+ associates, including engineers, researchers, data scientists, doctors, PIC India, Philips healthcare's software R&D arm supports over 50% of all software delivery and 80% of platforms for the company globally. Over the last few decades, it has grown to represent all business categories and cross-functional group's presence at PIC.

With software playing a crucial role in transforming solutions, PIC's leadership team applies a bottom-up approach to seamlessly transition from being an execution powerhouse to creating sustainable digital solutions and delivering continuous value for customers in the digital age. Here are PIC's top 4 strategies:

1. Sharpening customer focus by scaling functional excellence

With the rising demand for intuitive digital experiences, product development needs to shift from feature-centric to customer-focused. At PIC, functional excellence and the cross-pollination of ideas across teams are key to building on existing strengths and capabilities instead of reinventing the wheel. Organizations must ask themselves how well they really know their customers. This could be as simple as deeply understanding the usage profiles– for instance, identifying and understanding 20% of the features that are used 80% of the time. Understanding the customer pain points, qualitatively and quantitatively, will offer insights necessary to develop and customize features for improving the customer experience.

2. Co-creating with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions

Solution transformation cannot happen in silos and requires a collaborative approach to innovation. PIC is building frameworks that support co-creation and joint-value creation with the customers. This is especially important in a constantly evolving solutions and digital landscape. To enable continuous value delivery, it is crucial to involve the customer from the start and gain insights in real-time and strengthen the DevSecOps way of working. A continuous feedback loop results in innovative, market-ready solutions that provide mutually beneficial outcomes.

3. Delivering targeted, full-stack solutions to maximize value

As they continue to grow as value-leaders in software solutions, one of the important goals for PIC is understanding the needs of different markets - across geographies and domains - and delivering a complete solution with a spirit of local to local and later expanding to global solutions. At the same time, they are adopting a strategic approach by taking on fewer, bigger bets. The key is to focus on a few solutions aligned with overall organizational goals, making it easier to build the capabilities and skills needed to deliver sustained value for the customers.

4. Imbibing continuous learning organization culture and developing talent

The dynamics of talent have changed today. An increase in digitalization across verticals, coupled with an organization's quest for best-in-class talent, has created a rising demand for talent skilled in new-age digital technologies. Continuous learning, development, and upscaling talent within organizations are fundamental to digital transformation; as the ecosystem evolves, we need to innovate with regard to talent to stay ahead of the curve.

The demand for digital solutions, including those for remote diagnostics and Telehealth, has picked up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cloud adoption, IoT, and interoperability are all about delivering a connected and seamless customer experience. PIC believes in fostering a culture that encourages building a strong customer-centric mindset and digital capabilities to keep pace with these demands. One of the ways they do this is by creating collaborative opportunities between architectural capabilities, product ownership, and program management. The fourth and most crucial component that ties everything together is inspirational people leadership and how well they can build T-shaped skillsets. This means developing both the technical expertise and leadership abilities to create value at all levels. Having the right talent is vital, and PIC is forging industry-academia partnerships and training students with industry-ready skills. They are also collaborating with the global and the Indian ecosystem to drive innovation and transformation across solutions.

With its unique approach of transforming to solutions through software excellence, PIC is poised to expand on new growth opportunities and deliver on its promise of agility, quality, and continuous value delivery.


This blog post has been written based on a conversation between two industry thought leaders for knowledge sharing purposes only, views expressed herein are individual opinions and should not be construed as any form of endorsement or testimonial for Philips or Cyient. The contents are provided on an, ‘as is, where is’ basis and all liability is hereby expressly disclaimed.

*Source:economic times indias engineering research development market

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