They advocate the power of certainty as a way to success. So the question becomes: Does anyone hold the key to certainty and how does one achieve it? For Vikram Singh, the answer is clear—certainty to success comes from working with a partner you trust to provide the insight, support and expertise to propel your business forward. He should know. Singh is the country manager for the Philippines of the Indian powerhouse Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The company is part of the Tata Group, one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates and most respected brands. According to its corporate data, TCS offers IT services, consulting and business solutions, delivered through their unique Global Network Delivery Model (GNDM), which is recognized globally as one of the benchmarks of excellence in software development.
TCS was originally established in India in 1968 as a division of Tata Sons Ltd. On January 19, 1995, the company was incorporated as a separate entity. Today, it offers a full-service portfolio that runs the range from application development and maintenance, business intelligence and business process services among others, including its newer services on connected marketing, social computing and big data. TCS’ industry clients also cover almost all of the biggest industries, including banking and financial services, retail and telecom. The company is also publicly listed in the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), as well as the Bombay Stock Exchange of India (BSE).
In the Philippines, Singh says TCS first came in September 2008. He explains, “We came in this market primarily to understand what possibly this market can offer on the part of our larger global delivery network model, where we can service the customer based on the capabilities of that particular market.” Singh further explains that they were initially looking to set up to leverage the Philippine market. They started to explore what they can do for the local customers first to get a feel of the Philippines as a country, the talent pool and its infrastructure.
In June 2010, TCS set up its first delivery center in the Philippines, which serviced both its regional and global customers. Singh says they initially started small then, as they were testing the waters to find out what are the competencies the country excels in. He recalls, “five or ten years back, the Philippines was primarily known as a contact center, with voice-driven capabilities. But we, as a company have a philosophy called full service play. It means if we go to a location, we want to build the competency which will allow our customers to leverage Philippines as a strategic outsourcing location.”
In the last two to three years, Singh says they have seen a significant growth, where their customers now have better confidence and with more appreciation of the Philippine market. “When we started, we had one or two customers as pilot, but today we have a significant number of customers which we are leveraging from Manila and servicing them across the globe.”
When asked which direction TCS Philippines is now headed, he replies that apart from customer centricity, which is a strong suit of the Philippines, they are looking to expand further. Today, “a lot of disruption is coming from digital technologies, lots of innovation, automation, robotics, and analytics are becoming a part of the emerging competency programs with the customer.”
To help propel the Philippine competencies faster, Singh says they launched their Academic Interface Program last year as part of their car program. This means TCS Philippines have rolled out initiatives to influence education by designing industry- oriented courses in partnership with several Philippine universities, to improve the employability of the local workforce. They also conducted faculty development workshops in major areas such as finance and accounting, as well as healthcare.
Singh admits that the challenges, including competition, become bigger with each passing year. He remains confident, however, that the Philippines is still well-placed to deal with these challenges, as long as they are constantly being addressed. For TCS, they will continue to leverage on their globally recognized delivery models, to help their customers achieve certainty in their success.
On achieving a work-life balance, Singh says he and his family have been perfectly adjusted to being global citizens. Prior to 2008, he was assigned to their US operations in Florida and North Carolina, and he says settling in Manila was also an easy one. In the end, he says his approach to life is one where he finds a lot of personal satisfaction in his work, new opportunities and a richer learning experience. That, and finding a place to call home, wherever he may be.