INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
INTERVIEW WITH MR. RAVI PYNDA,
Head-GBS at GMR Group
With shared services evolving from a transactional based environment into multifunctional models including knowledge centres making it more complex, how according to you should companies look at their current governance structure?
In a matured shared services set-up, multifunctional models are pillars on which a GBS (Global Business Services) knowledge centres are built. The GBS set up would be globally integrated and highly centralized that cut across functions, business lines, channels, geographies, etc. and the Governance structure is very critical in bringing alignment and synergies among various stakeholders working towards the common objective of bringing superior customer experience.
The governance structure cannot be one size fits all and would be unique for each organization keeping in view GBS vision and alignment to the business strategy. Any business model we see today should not only include the organization and the GBS but also inclusive of the partners, stake holders, vendors and the customers and similarly the GBS governance model should also be collaborative, help organizations mitigate risks efficiently and should accelerate the entire GBS value proposition.
So, one has to structure & design the Governance very carefully keeping in view –
- Vision & purpose of the GBS
- Clearly defined roles & responsibilities (RASCI)
- Clearly defined measurable data points to review the performance of GBS
- Relevant and right set of people
- Risk management and control framework
- Technology landscape for measuring relevant, accurate and insightful information
Technology is a big enabler for Shared service model. What is your advice to business leaders on adoption of technology in business functions?
There are a lot of existing thoughts around the adoption of technology in business functions. Earlier it was all about achieving cost savings and process agility. Now the thought process has evolved and the key factor the business leaders are looking at is how collaborative is the business model. For example, one should look at whether the workflows are restricted between the communication between the retained business and the GBS or it extends to the customers and the partners as well.
One of the most important learnings for me has been that we tend to ignore our existing technology landscape. One should assess how new technologies integrate or replace the existing technologies, how will it accelerate the journey towards the GBS strategy, and how it fits into the organization’s overall business model. GBS is going to be a catalyst for the organization’s business transformation journey and make the whole change process seamless and fast.
The technology adopted might be looked at in three phases i.e., digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation. If you look at the 90’s and early 2000’s trends, digitization was merely adopting computer tools. Now it has moved leaps and bounds as organizations are looking at holistic technology adoption which fits into the end-to-end process stream, collaborating with everyone in the business. Secondly, digitalization and digital transformation are different. Digital transformation is a journey, and it should get seamlessly embedded into the business model and it should make the leaders look at the current organogram, skillsets, etc. It’s very easy to adopt new technology but creating the right culture is more difficult but certainly more important. There is a myth that digital transformation is the primary responsibility of a CIO. I think the CIO is key to enabling digital transformation but the whole organizational culture should drive the transformation.
Digital transformation should not be any single function’s responsibility rather it should be the culture of the organization. As they say data is the new ‘oil’ and GBS can provide powerful data that can enable key insights for better decision making.
With the landscape of talent demand changing in the shared services space, how should organizations gear up to this change?
With the rapid pace at which the business models are changing and technology is evolving, I think, the right talent therefore would be someone with the right mindset with clear alignment to the organization’s vision followed by the functional or domain skillset. Organizations should gear up on both the aspects of attracting talent and as well talent retention.
Attracting talent by adopting out-of-the-box talent acquisition methods looking for target skills in the alternate or adjacent industries (ex. Airport customer support skills from the Hospitality industry), acquiring companies or boutique firms having such skillset or adopting the different strategies of partnering with educational institutions for junior level positions.
Retain talent (reskilling, upskilling) by strategically designing the structure, defining job roles aligning to the CoE framework, career mapping, and L&D opportunities. With the post-pandemic scenario, providing a flexible work environment and enabling an inclusive work environment has become inevitable for talent retention.
The three critical components of GBS are Process, Technology, and People. built Hiring talent should be driven by top-down sound HR policies defining what kind of talent should be brought in, organizational structure, and career mapping. These policies should be aptly aligned with the business model, business strategy, and organizational goals.
What have been your key learnings and what is your advice to other organizations and business leaders?
The transformation from Shared Services to Global Business Services or choosing a Hybrid model should be done after careful evaluation of the Goal and purpose of setting up the GBS. Today’s GBS is a great source of powerful data that can be transformed into useful information and insights for better decision-making, driving ROI, delivering on the P&L, and giving the organization an opportunity to collaborate better with the stakeholders. One of the key learning for me has been that the insights from this information can be leveraged for bringing alignment among the business, GBS, partners, and other stakeholders.
For instance, in an airport there are about 100’s of stakeholders such as government agencies, retail outlets, F&B counters, taxi services etc are involved in operating and maintaining an airport. In this context bringing collaboration and cultural alignment of all the stakeholders is critical to ensure operational excellence and passenger safety. Therefore, GBS is a business partner than a mere service provider in an organization’s business model.