How L&D drives business growth in Tata Consultancy Services

There were some 28 million learning hours within TCS over the past year, according to its CEO Deborah Hadwen

Having a strong local presence and strategy, backed by global capability and the ability to leverage global expertise through collaborative online learning platforms has been a key to the strong business success of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Australia, according to its local CEO Deborah Hadwen.

With a market leading position in IT services, consulting and business solutions across a number of sectors including banking and finance, retail, utilities, energy and telecommunications, she said the ability for TCS to bring innovation to clients through its people was critical.

“Being an IT company, the forums that people have for learning anytime, anywhere are immense,” according to Hadwen, who said there were some 28 million learning hours within TCS over the past year.

“Whether it’s through social networking sites that we have internally, online training through video libraries, traditional classroom training, virtual labs, video sharing portals or otherwise, training is a huge focus for us.”

“We have what we call a co-innovation network, in which we’re tightly aligned with various leading academic institutions that partner with our labs”

A good example of this globally is TCS’ social platform, ‘Knome’, on which employees from around the world have naturally formed more than 3,500 communities to come together to capture and reuse learnings and knowledge, collaborate, discuss and develop solutions to client and other business challenges.

Hadwen said the company had also made a “huge investment” globally in centres of excellence and research and development labs, to help customers get the very best of global learnings and experience.

“We have what we call a co-innovation network, in which we’re tightly aligned with various leading academic institutions that partner with our labs and other software vendors, for example,” she said.

“So we see what’s coming down the pipe when it comes to the technology. We get early insight into what we think is happening in the market.

“If you combine that with our ear to the ground and what we learn from our key customers, we get a pretty good idea of where technology is going before it actually lands, and that certainly helps us working with our HR team to make sure that in advance of need we have our teams appropriately skilled.

“That planning is very important to us.”

With a decrease in the shelf life of technology across the board, the ability to bring innovation to clients is increasingly important, according to Hadwen.

“That’s essential for our growth, and for our clients’ growth,” she said, “so talent management is very important to use because we need to make sure we have strong skills in place to deliver what we’re selling into our clients.”

For the full interview and story on Hadwen and the growth of TCS within Australia, see the next issue of Inside HR magazine.