Channel chief: Ram Ramachandran at Tech Mahindra
Ram Ramachandran, Senior Vice President and Head MEA, Tech Mahindra

Channel chief: Ram Ramachandran at Tech Mahindra

Ram Ramachandran says it is crucial to build a strong team of high-performing and motivated professionals having the right mix of technology and soft skills. Most of Ramachandran’s efforts are directed towards achieving this.

Describe your current job role and a summary of the business model of your organisation?

The move to Dubai as Head of Middle East and Africa for Tech Mahindra was a memorable accomplishment for me professionally. After spending more than 16 years across geographies including Singapore, Atlanta, Sydney and Kuala Lumpur, we shifted to the UAE with a bundle of optimistic caution. With seven years gone by, me and my family feel more than satisfied to have taken that leap of faith.

An organisation’s biggest asset is its employees. The world of IT and digital is constantly evolving and improving for the better. Over 4,000 employees work in Tech Mahindra’s MEA region, which includes eight countries in the Middle East and 14 countries in Africa.

In order to provide better and futuristic services for our customers, it is crucial to build and sustain a strong team of high-performing and motivated professionals having the right mix of tech and soft skills. Most of my efforts are directed towards achieving this.

What are your strengths and abilities that you bring to the above role?

My management style is a mix of transformational, with shared vision across teams and democratic, freedom to act, perform and grow.

The region with its ever positive outlook, immense investment opportunities, vibrant dynamics, and an amalgamation of rich and varied culture, presents a welcoming vibe. During this tenure, I have had the honour of being ranked by Forbes in the Top 100 Global Locals for four consecutive years and also being among the Top 50 Indian Executives in the Arab world.

During my formative years, I was fortunate to have seen punch cards, early weather prediction modelers, and statistical computers that my father used. He was a PhD in Statistics working with the Government of India, and as early as the 80s and 90s was leveraging computers for the development of the nation. I think the fascination with technology rubbed on from him.

After completing my Engineering in the Mechanical stream, my passion and love for technology remained intact as I worked on all my final projects related to technology. In the year of Y2K, when I completed my MBA in Information Management, I knew I wanted to pursue both management and technology careers.

My dedication to technology only grew stronger during my MBA, where I truly understood and appreciated the immense potential it had to change the world. It defined my future, and I’m glad I took that step. What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?

Which technologies and innovations can make a difference to the channel market dynamics in the near future?

I do not think ever before, there have been so many game–changing and radical technologies hitting the industry simultaneously. My top 5 picks for technologies in vogue are AI, Generative, Cognitive, Autonomous; Omni-verse Ecosystem, Meta, Digital Twins, Blockchain, Crypto, Web3; Industry 4.0, IoT, Robotics, 5G, 3DPrints; Biotech, Drugs, Agri, Genetic; SpaceTech, Satellite, Manufacturing, Comms.

How can a channel partner disrupt the regional market and gain a leading competitive position?

We are witnessing the biggest investments in our industry coming in the areas of cloud, both private and public, data and AI, cyber-security, Open-Source and IoT. The region is very receptive to new technologies in an overall sense.

However, a big challenge and opportunity that we are trying to work on collaboratively across countries, for example Saudi, Oman, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, are systematically developing a local ecosystem of technology talent.

Adoption of cloud, which is happening in the country needs to be all-pervasive and move towards a hybrid cloud-model. IoT and 5G spectrum allocations to the private sector and most importantly, faster uptake and belief in open-source would also help the region further.

Alliances and partners have accelerated collaboration and joint value propositions across the ecosystem. For employees, de-cluttering the technology landscape and enabling them to pick tools that will help them and customers get the best ROIs.

Channel chiefs need to have a constant quest for knowledge, bring in clarity of vision, communicate across, think big, be a value multiplier, learn to stand alone, build and leverage networks, be a student of science as well as a connoisseur of art, work on soft skills and never compromise on ethos.

Which aspects of your job role do you find rewarding and which challenging?

I think I am blessed to follow a career that I enjoy and fortunate to be part of the organisations which have given me the freedom to perform and grow. I would not want to change any career decision from the past.

The biggest changes in my job role across three facets, customers, alliances and partners, and employees is to help them move from their multiple digitally-first endeavours to a digitally-native existence.

How do you best like to de-stress and re-charge off work?

Spending time with family, watching movies, and cooking are my most preferred unwinds. Also, I have recently started transcendental meditation. It truly offers much-needed calmness.

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