Few have the focus and dedication to do more within short spans of time. This, backed by the right perspectives and attitude towards personal and professional growth, has made Veena integral to Capgemini’s fast-paced growth model. The pandemic has certainly brought a lot of alterations, but Veena thinks of this as an opportunity to explore new possibilities and paths to growth. This is her story.
- What are your views on the culture at Capgemini?
The culture at Capgemini SEA is what I would describe as startup-like – highly energetic and empowering for anyone who is hungry to learn. Apart from the various client projects, there are so many exciting initiatives happening at any given time. From #Womenlead workshops that facilitate female empowerment in the workplace to brown bag sessions by fellow graduates to share their project learnings, one can always find something to be a part of.
Our people are passionate about what they do and how they can make every client project a success. One can easily reach out to another team that has worked on a similar project, to tap into their expertise and experience. The people here are very open to sharing their know-how and advice, especially with graduates. Our culture values the new perspectives, ideas, and energy that graduates bring to the company.
- What was it that drew you to a career at Capgemini?
Having previously worked at one of the largest e-commerce companies in the region, I knew that I enjoy working in the technology space and empowering people with technology that can increase efficiency and customer satisfaction. Joining a technology consulting firm allows me to take on a more active role in helping companies embrace new technologies and create extraordinary user-centric digital customer experiences for their end-users.
Capgemini stood out to me, particularly for the diversity of sectors, the international clientele, and the strong ethical foundations upon which it is built. Also, I wanted a program that offered the flexibility to explore different functions and offerings to gain exposure. Capgemini’s graduate program was a great fit as it allowed me to rotate between service lines and roles based on my interests, giving me the chance to experience different lines of work and gain a more holistic understanding of the company.
- What is your current profile at Capgemini?
I am a Business Analyst under the Digital Customer Experience service line at Capgemini SEA & HK. I am working on my first project, which is in the process of UAT testing. I can’t wait until the product becomes available to the general public next year.
I am also part of two Graduate Interest Groups (#GradGIGs), which focus on Employee Engagement and Diversity and Inclusion respectively. As someone who is passionate about female empowerment and creating the best workplace possible for everyone, GradGIGs allow me to make an impact on the organization while championing my beliefs. Together with my GradGIG team, I am in the midst of organizing a workshop series that focuses on equipping women with pro-career skills and mindset shifts to help them take charge of their career narratives better.
- Pre- and post-pandemic scenario and your adaptability to changes
Before the pandemic, the entire project team was located in the client’s office, benefiting from the proximity and the convenience of being able to clarify any doubts on the spot. We could easily go into a brainstorming session by scribbling on the whiteboards or draft a solution with illustrations. During lunch, we bonded over trying out different food establishments and cuisines in the area.
Fast forward to the pandemic and working from home – the project team needed some time to adjust to the virtual modes of communication. The team realized that we needed to have an extra stand-up session every day to increase visibility on the tasks at hand and be prepared to receive spontaneous calls from each other throughout the day. While we needed some time to become comfortable with the changes, the team has coped well overall and there was little impact on the project. We also have regular lunch video calls within the sub-teams to inject some fun and interaction into the many project meetings and maintain team spirit.
- Tell us about your adaptability to new work models
The initial phase of working from home was a little uncomfortable since I had to transition from working with the project team in the client’s office to working remotely. I had concerns about whether this new work model would affect productivity and efficiency, but I think that everyone in the team has grown accustomed to the need for more frequent sync-up calls to ensure alignment and leveraging on tools to better convey ideas virtually. Personally, I have taken extra care to adjust how I communicate, focusing on making things easy to understand to make up for any potential reduction in clarity in virtual meetings. This new communication style was part of my adaptation to the new work model, and I think it be very useful even after the pandemic ends.
- Could you talk to us about your current project and its impact?
I am working on a Sitecore Content Management System (CMS) digital project for a statutory board in Singapore, which kicked off early this year. Capgemini’s role is to revamp the client’s existing website to enhance the digital customer experience, bring more offline transactions online , and allow more people to enjoy the organization’s product offerings.
The revamped platform addresses several key issues that the existing website has. In the revamped platform, we are introducing a more robust search engine that can streamline the number of product listings and help users find products. Also, the checkout process will be simplified, with fewer steps and a more intuitive flow. The revamped platform focuses on being more user-friendly, catering to users of all ages and proficiency levels in technology use. The revamped platform will allow a greater number of Singapore residents to find relevant product offerings and check out quickly and easily.
- Could you tell us about your learnings from the project?
Since this is my first project, I would say that the learning curve was rather steep. In a short span of time, I needed to grasp the capabilities of the CMS that we are implementing while picking up key skills to contribute to the project. On the CMS side of things, my biggest learning was how to best meet the client’s demands within the system limitations, since there are many ways for a solution to be crafted. Sometimes, this means having to understand what the must-haves and good-to-haves are from the client’s perspective, before making some trade-offs. Also, a good business analyst needs to be flexible in order to manage the stakeholders and the internal team, and a strong communicator to ensure that everyone’s expectations are aligned.
- Could you highlight how Capgemini has armed you with the latest learning and development tools?
On top of the many virtual insight-sharing sessions that graduates can join to learn more about industry-based domain knowledge, there are many online learning and development platforms available, including NEXT (a digital learning platform that provides curated content based on indicated interests) and Capgemini-sponsored Coursera classes (an e-learning platform that offers online learning courses with certifications).
My favourite has to be the technology training plans specifically crafted for Capgemini SEA graduates for the various functions we can pursue, for instance, UX/UI and DevOps. These are highly useful in equipping graduates with the knowledge and understanding needed to take on a new role.
- What is your advice to fellow graduates who wish to join Capgemini?
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable! Being in such a dynamic environment involves taking on tasks that you will have not taken on before or taking the initiative to drive conversations towards a certain cause that you believe in. The amount of trust and autonomy you are given allows you to truly make a difference, as long as you are willing to take the first step. Therefore, be ready to challenge yourself and watch yourself grow!
- How are you exploring the possibilities of the compatibility of future technology with existing tech stacks or frameworks?
With the many learning and development tools provided, I can keep myself abreast of the newest technologies and upcoming methodologies. Since Capgemini works with many partners, such as Salesforce and SAP, regular training sessions on their latest capabilities and developments are also available to the teams as and when they arise.
If you would like to find out more about the Graduate program at Capgemini, click here.