Why executive sponsorship matters

Pooja Malhotra

Why executive sponsorship matters

Pooja Malhotra, Senior Transition Director, Capgemini’s Business Services

A new CFO helps get global buy-in from 26 global locations

This is a great example of collaboration and partnership. When we began working with a major materials manufacturer, we pledged our loyalty along with our global expertise and our digital understanding during a time when the business needed the support the most. The CFO also made a commitment to playing an active role in the transformation and securing buy-in across the organization.

We’ve since successfully optimized this client’s business and IT operations, and in doing so have eliminated much of their wasted expenditure and unnecessary effort. The result is a business that’s back on track, and an ongoing relationship that continues to strengthen with time.

In 2013, the company’s share price had reached an all-time low. New leadership had been brought in to oversee a radical transformation of the business, comprising in part the consolidation and optimization of the company’s shared services.

Enter Capgemini, who developed a plan that would help this client reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and use accurate analytics to help them improve their business insights across all 26 of the client’s global operations. But this transformation couldn’t all be done at once. These operations were fragmented and Capgemini needed buy-in from all of them for the transformation to succeed.

A series of conversations between the client’s top level management and their global operations was key. The personal commitment and endorsement from the executive team secured the buyin necessary from the internal teams, and was the first step in turning the client’s business around.

During the first four weeks of Capgemini’s due diligence for the initial RFP, the client was targeted for a hostile takeover. The new CFO of the company was transparent with the Capgemini team about the threat. While he encouraged them to continue with their work, he was also understanding when a few potential suppliers blanched at the news. All except for the Capgemini team.

“When I spoke to [the CFO], we made it clear that we didn’t just want to be service providers, we wanted to be partners. We were committed to walking the journey with them, whatever it took,” says Pooja Malhotra, Senior Director of Global Transitions, from Capgemini’s Business Services.

“Capgemini never flinched in their support, regardless of what was happening around them,” says the CFO.

Even with Capgemini’s digitally-enabled delivery centers in India, Poland and China, the next step—rolling out the proposed solution across the business’s 26 global locations—wasn’t as simple as it appeared on paper. The CFO himself played an instrumental role in securing global buy-in by speaking personally with each of the operations. He introduced Capgemini’s mandate in the context of the broader vision for the business, and encouraged full support of the team’s efforts.

“[the CFO] paved the way for us by addressing each of [the client’s] operations and letting them know what we were there to do, and what support we needed from them to do it. That endorsement from him was crucial,” adds Soundar Rangarajan, Engagement Director, Capgemini’s Business Services.

Pooja also indicated that, “based on the CFO’s sponsorship and confidence in the Capgemini team, he involved us in the mergers and acquisitions from Day 1. This allowed us to implement our Global Process Model for the client on these projects from the start, ensuring a robust, standard model for the entire enterprise.”

With buy-in secured, the next step was to relook at the roles and responsibilities of the remaining team members within the business. These retained internal teams were given the opportunity to develop their skill sets and to make an important contribution to the transformation of the company.

Capgemini undertook a consultative approach with these teams, helping them to discover new, more efficient digitally aided processes that helped them realize real business value. In turn, the internal teams now drive the transformation from within, and continue to help Capgemini to report on the transformation’s success to date.

“It’s a continuous, ongoing effort,” says Puneet Gill, Engagement Executive, Capgemini’s Business Services, “Not a one-off. We’re helping each other to provide more value to the business.”

As promised at the beginning, the relationship between this client and Capgemini remains a partnership. Each step on the journey to transformation has been a joint effort between the Capgemini team, who developed and deployed the solution, and the internal client teams who continue to help make it a success.

The results:

  • Successful, simultaneous digital transformation of 26 global locations
  • A reduction in IT running costs from $35 million to $18 million in the first year
  • A client relationship based on demonstrable, mutual value