Chandrasekaran's favourite painting is that of a meditating Buddha seated near an elephant. "I like the way the peaceful Buddha can influence that giant creature," Chandra, as he is popularly referred to, had said in an interview in 2014. Three years later, Chandrasekaran
has quietly worked his way up to the top job at the Tata group.
The day began on a high note, with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the company Chandrasekaran
heads as the chief executive & managing director, surpassing Street estimates even in the face of a possible change in the policies of the US, what with Donald Trump's protectionist mission to "Make America Great Again". The company reported a 2.9 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise and a 10.9 per cent year-on-year gain in net profit at Rs 6,778 crore. Total income increased 10.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis for the quarter ended December 30 to Rs 30,927 crore from Rs 28,071 crore for the corresponding quarter of the last financial year.
At the presser, Chandrasekaran
exuded confidence when he said the industry would be able to tackle any headwind. It's probably the philosophy he has derived from his favourite painting, to maintain calm and composure in the face of a storm.
has contributed immensely to the success of TCS. He has not only managed to keep the company’s lead against competitors like Infosys and Wipro, but has also been core to the Tata Group’s expansion plans by improving its profitability and managing to generate cash for the group’s future plans.
now accounts for 56 per cent of the Tata Group's combined market cap of $116 billion, besides contributing 73.7 per cent to Tata Sons’ revenue, which comes from dividends of its listed entities. Chandra has also made TCS
the biggest cash generator for Tata Sons—contributing almost 90% to the Tata Sons
coffers in 2014-15.
Under his watch, TCS
has jumped three fold from Rs 30,000 crore ($6.34 billion) in 2010 to Rs 1.09 lakh crore ($16.5 billion) in FY16. Profits also jumped more than three times from Rs 7,093 crore to Rs 24,375 crore.
Despite the outcome of the US Presidential elections, Brexit and currency volatility and macro pressure TCS
under the leadership of Chandra has quietly focused on its growth agenda. It's not been all that rosy for TCS
through the year.
The recent macro environment pressure has had its impact on the firm’s performance. For the quarter ended September 30, 2016 TCS
US dollar revenue grew by a mere 0.27 per cent, at $4,374 million. In Indian rupees, topline grew 7.8 per cent year-on-year to Rs 29,284 crore and profits grew 8.2 per cent at Rs 6,586 crore.
The beginning of this fiscal year (Q1) saw, for the first time TCS’ margins came in at 25.1 per cent. The company has maintained that it will maintain margins in the 26-28 per cent band. This was primarily due to wage hikes and visa costs.
But Chandra, in midst of all these challenges, has managed to hold on to its position as one of the leading IT services players from India, he is also steering the company now to take a leading position in the digital deals as technology disruptions are impacting businesses. The company was among the first one to break its digital revenue to be $2.3 billion in FY16. Today these revenues are over 16 per cent of the firm’s revenue.
Under his leadership the company began an ambitious plan of training its employee base of over 371,519 in digital capabilities. It has set up a target to train 100,000 employees in digital capabilities.
For the first time TCS
also invested in building a world-class Executive Briefing Centre (EBC) that showcases the digital capabilities and projects that the company has already implemented. The executive briefing centre (EBC) which showcases TCS
journey, strength and expertise in the digital services, though sounds plan and mundane, is nothing short of a sci-fi movie. With motion-sensing walls, high-definition glass walls that work as projector, touchscreen tables and LED LCD display walls, the EBC is one-of-its-kind salesroom for customers.