Friday, January 12, 2007.
For our last day of company visits in Bangalore, we were fortunate enough to meet with Som Mittal, Senior Vice President for HP Services in the Asia Pacific region. I continue to be amazed at Mani’s vast and impressive network of contacts in India! The visit to HP was perhaps the most memorable visit and was definitely a great way to end the program in India.
The visit was impressive because of who we were visiting; Som’s incredible passion and energy is contagious. After talking with him and hearing more about how he builds a culture of innovation at HP in India, I was left with a passion to learn more about outsourcing and the incredible work being done in the area. Imagine how his employees must feel! After two weeks of visiting companies and learning about their processes, their extensive capabilities, their innovative ways of working with clients and their challenges retaining talent, it all came together when talking with Som at HP.
I enjoyed listening to Som Mittal discuss where HP is and where his vision for HP Services in the coming years. I honestly think if we were to visit with Som early in the trip, the impact of the visit would not have been as profound. I really needed to have a good understanding of the challenges facing these companies and the opportunities that exist. The earlier company visits provided great background to the meeting today.
We talked at length about the culture he is building in his HP facilities and I find this fascinating. Some of what he discussed is the fact that his employees need to be able to do business anywhere in the world and feel a part of the HP team. Maintaining consistent culture in a virtual team is difficult, but important. This is of great interest to me and will likely be the topic for my paper.
Our host took us on a tour of the facilities an told us how the campus really has many of the conveniences employees need – a gym, a convenience store, an outdoor theater for events where the families are welcome, and finally a great environment where they can relax and take a break. I notice that many of the most successful companies make every effort to ensure their campuses are comfortable and have opportunities for employees to relax and socialize. This is crucial since the employees are expected to work long hours often on monotonous tasks.
Before this trip to India, I wasn’t sure if I would be interested in working overseas on an ex-pat assignment. However, after visiting the many companies and talking with the people, it could be quite interesting. I would enjoy the challenge and new adventure.