The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

October - 2006 - issue > Tricks of a Good Manager

Way To Hell

Aritra Bhattacharya
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Aritra Bhattacharya
Taking a dig is probably our favorite pastime. It’s a malaise that affects even the upper echelons of the corporate world. “After a stressful day at work, I definitely don’t want to watch serials in which a few people keep crying day in and day out,” says Rangan Devarajan, Vice President, Product Engineering Services, Perot Systems, the tear-jerking sitcoms at the center of his indignation.

Once though, he happened to be on the other side of the fence: the subject of a dig. Making a presentation to a customer while at HP, he had casually mentioned that there were 25 people reporting to him.

How does it matter, the customer had shot back. It had made him think hard. In a matter of seconds, he understood that what mattered to the customer most was not the size of the team, but the value delivered. It was a phase of changing focus: From the headcount of engineers under him to the value for clients. “The transition took years,” Devarajan recalls. Considering that, isn’t three months too a short time to make 300 services guys at the component engineering cell at Perot Systems think like the product personnel!

“I have taken it up as a challenge,” he retorts. Since joining the company in June, he has been spearheading efforts to enable his employees create products and offer them as services to small ISPs and product vendors.

Central to his philosophy of ‘living products’ is focus; not on the headcount of subordinates, but on the value one brings to the customer. Time-to-market, cost and technology addition play a very important role here, notes the technologist-turned-manager.

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