Business Digest welcomes Vineet Nayar, former CEO of HCL Technologies

Management Innovations from the Fringe: Vineet Nayar

Business Digest had the honor of welcoming Vineet Nayar, former CEO of HCL Technologies, to its offices on April 16, in cooperation with Diateino, the publisher of the French edition of Nayar’s book Employees First, Customers Second. It was a rare moment for a few patrons of the corporate university and HR mangers to talk with Nayar about the huge transformation that he brought about in the Indian IT services company where he was appointed head in 2005.

HCL Technologies has a total turnover of $ 5 billion with 90,000 employees in 31 countries. But it is a success story that was almost cut short in the mid-2000s when, faced with the changes in the new technology sector, the company adopted a wait-and-see attitude that could have been fatal. One individual was behind the jump-start that enabled HCLT to regain its lost dynamism: Vineet Nayar. Appointed CEO in 2005, Nayar devoted himself to finding new drivers for mobilizing and empowering people in the company. He used his experience as a leader to show decision-makers not only that it was possible to overthrow the managerial structure but also highly desirable as a way of finding new growth levers.

“My philosophy is to put employees, the people who really create value, at the heart of the company. I think that it is necessary to invert the organizational pyramid, and that’s exactly what I did.”

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Based on Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down by Vineet Nayar, Harvard Business Press, June 2010 and the interviews with Chris Connors, head of France and Benelux at HCL Technologies, and Kathrin Dahm, HR senior manager, EADS, August 2010.
Business Digest N° 209, September 2010 .