One could say that Koushik Radhakrishnan was in the right place at the right time. The regional vice president and general manager for Asia at DXC Technology, a leading, multi-billion dollar end-to-end IT services company, started working in 1991 – the same year that the Indian economy opened up thanks to government reform. With his computer engineering education, Radhakrishnan was well-positioned to ride the wave of the country’s technology boom. “This is where preparation met the opportunity to converge into what some may call luck,” the 50-year-old shares.
Luck, however, has little to do with verve and ambition. Born into a middle-class family in India, Radhakrishnan grew up in a place where electricity was restricted and water had to be rationed. “Education was the only tool that could help me reach my goal of becoming a global citizen,” he shares.
Having spent almost three decades in the information technology industry, he has witnessed important milestones – from the time when software engineering was the focus to the nascent days of the Internet and the present massively connected, data-driven world where systems gain increasing amounts of autonomy each day.
It is also not often that one gets the chance to touch the lives of millions. One of Radhakrishnan’s most memorable projects was the technology solution DXC designed for India Post Payments Bank (IPPB), a pioneering system set up by the Indian government to bring financial services to nearly 400 million people – in a country of 1.35 billion – with no access to the country’s formal banking system.
“DXC provided the digital roadmap and set up the entire IT infrastructure as well as the business applications for this ambitious project. It brought the bank to the doorstep of the user by leveraging the existing trust and widespread infrastructure of the postal system, which has over 150,000 offices across the country,” says Radhakrishnan.
While helping to set up IPPB has been one of DXC’s more prominent projects, it is now faced with an unprecedented opportunity. “This period has been the most profound for digital accelerators and will occupy the annals of history for digitisation,” says Radhakrishnan.
“FOR EXAMPLE, GENETIC RESEARCH CAN BE ACCELERATED WITH CLOUD COMPUTING, SPEEDING UP THE TIME IT TAKES TO FIND A CURE FOR POLYGENIC DISEASES. WE ARE LIVING IN INTERESTING TIMES.”
Chief executives have had to re-examine their operations and undergo digital transformations to stay ahead of the game. On this front, DXC has played an integral role. Itself an industry leader in enabling its employees to work from home – 99 per cent of DXC’s employees currently do so – the company has successfully helped clients transition to remote working, provided support with cloud services and security, and shared best practices in roster management and business continuity planning. In one instance, DXC teams even lived on-site with a banking client and its staff in an isolated environment to provide essential services during a critical phase.
Even with the urgency of major operational changes, innovation has to be implemented in the right way. The company’s 2020 Enterprise Leadership Survey, titled Connecting Digital Islands: Bridging The Business Transformation Gap, showed that while many enterprises believed in the transformative power of information technology, many still face the challenge of having the right company culture for actual long-term change. “70 per cent say that more effective leadership is needed for successful transformation... making it imperative to address this gap between the digital dream and the digital reality.”
For Radhakrishnan, these digital dreams also point to an optimistic future, one where today’s burgeoning technologies are applied to improve life itself. “For example, genetic research can be accelerated with cloud computing, speeding up the time it takes to find a cure for polygenic diseases. We are living in interesting times, with strong technology influences at work and in our personal lives. DXC has the opportunity to be at the epicentre of facilitating this transformation.”
Text Weets Goh