On December 24, Simmi Dhamija, Chief Transformation Officer of Tech Mahindra, joined Simplilearn to talk about Digital Transformation. She spoke with Krishna Kumar, CEO and Founder of Simplilearn, about what every person in the workforce should know about building a career that can endure through changes in technology and the economy.

As Chief Transformation Officer, Simmi Dhamija is responsible for leading full-scale transformation for the company across multiple dimensions, including Profit Improvement, Future Skilling, Digitalization, Automation, Portfolio Companies Transformation, Financial Process Excellence, and Operations Excellence. The transformation program delivered large-scale Profit Improvement leading to increased market capitalization and investor/strategic attractiveness.

The Journey of Transformation

Simmi pointed out that Tech Mahindra is on a journey of transformation, which is a continuous change that has no foreseeable end. She has to consider all aspects of the business from end to end, from financials, delivery, automation, skilling, and operations to forecasting and fulfillment, and drive the transformation of each.

In Simmi’s view, digital transformation has had a broad impact on business models. Digital native organizations like Uber and Tesla were founded on a transformative business model that changed the way we think of and use transportation and personal vehicles. This has not only benefited consumers but has created huge savings and value for the companies. In turn, this has disrupted entire industries: ten years ago, Tesla was not a major manufacturer, and today it has the highest market capitalization of any automobile valuation.

Bajaj Finance is an Indian financial services company that has invested aggressively in digital technology over the last five years. When they began, they offered consumer credit decisions in three minutes, and now they can make decisions in three seconds. This is a result of “customer first” thinking about their products and how to improve them through technology. This is another example of how all of the elements of digital transformation work together:

  • Use of new technologies
  • Improvement of operations
  • Customer-first thinking
  • Disruption and innovation

Digital transformation was well underway in all aspects of business prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the effects of the pandemic and their impact on consumers and employees have accelerated the digital transformation process.  Change happens in response to a perceived need, and with the pandemic, the changes in the world around us made the need for changes in businesses undeniable. Organizations that were ready for digital transformation now had a push to make that transformation happen more quickly.

What this means for a technology professional is this is the time to make big improvements in your career. Things like work from home have increased the need for technology to enable our new ways of working. Industry needs the best technology professionals it can hire today. But Simmi calls this a “double-edged sword” because it means that technology professionals must make an effort to raise their skills to the best of their abilities. Rapid changes in technology and business models mean that legacy skillsets are rapidly becoming obsolete.

Krishna asked Simmi how traditional companies can overcome the desire to keep doing things the same way and adapt to new conditions. Simmi pointed out that many large organizations are adopting a tech-oriented approach to add to their business models and capabilities.

For a tech professional working in a legacy technology in a traditional organization, Simmi advises looking at the adjacencies to that technology.  Identify the new technologies that relate to and build on your legacy technology and engage in training in those technologies. Look for opportunities to do projects to gain experience with the new technologies. One resource is the AI project open community at https://nad.io/ (Tech Mahindra New Age Delivery).

She also stresses the importance of domain knowledge. It’s not enough to know and demonstrate knowledge of technologies: you also need to understand the domain in which your technology skills will be used. If you work for a financial institution, for example, you need to have an understanding of how finance works, and in particular, how it works for your institution and its customers - whether consumers, companies, or other financial institutions.

The third piece of advice Simmi offers tech professionals is to be conscious of how you present yourself when talking to potential employers, managers, and customers. The universal use of video conferencing means that you will interact more intimately and directly with the people in your career circle, so you need to ensure that you put your best self forward.

Ultimately, Simmi says, the responsibility for preparing a technology professional for the future of digital transformation falls squarely on the technology professional. You need to make learning and upskilling an ongoing priority for your career, and you need to block out the necessary time in your personal schedule to pursue that learning.

Simmi and Krishna covered much more in the webinar, including questions from the live audience. You can see it all in the replay video above.

For more Simplilearn career resources, including articles and ebooks, see https://www.simplilearn.com/resources. And if you are ready to become a learning individual by gaining specific skills and certifications for your career, check out the courses and Master’s programs Simplilearn offers.