FCG: Limitless Future
Date: Saturday , April 01, 2006
By profession, R Subramaniam is the Managing Director of FCG Software Services (India) Pvt Ltd. By temperament, he is a learner who learns from youngsters. “I learnt how to feel young in spite of being old!” says Subramaniam, who is popularly known as Subbu.
Pushing 50, he is keen to learn from IT professionals who are half of his age. This is the driving force that helps him manage 500 professionals to execute the operations of FCG from Bangalore. FCG Software Services India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Long Beach, CA-based healthcare, First Consulting Group (NASDAQ - FCGI). The company has specialized in the healthcare industry for the last two and a half decades. However, FCG diversified into software services after it acquired the Bangalore-based Paragon Solutions three years ago. And with this it marked its presence in supporting two key domain areas - software services for independent software vendors (ISVs) and the healthcare industry.
The healthcare business of FCG is divided into three core sectors - healthcare provider services, healthplan services and life sciences services. Healthcare provider services streamline the clinical, financial and technical operations of its clients. Its operations range from IT consulting, to implementation of hospital management systems, to operating systems for providers that use products like Cerner, Epic and Eclipsys. FCG’s Healthplan services include consulting, technology and outsourcing for customers’ leveraging FCG’s experience, resources and business model to help healthplans optimize technology investments. Whereas its life sciences services, is targeted at pharmaceutical companies dedicated to helping people live healthier, through industry expertise and innovative software and solutions such as its ‘FirstDoc’ Enterprise Content Management solution.
FCG’s Bangalore offshore center is responsible for handling all these operations in terms of software development, migration, maintenance and support. It is not only Bangalore’s processes which makes FCG unique, it is also its HR practices, which stand out as unique when compared to others.
FCG India’s HR model is based on an ‘appraisal and development system,’ which is well equipped to meet the challenges of attrition. This HR model is one of the company’s “best practices” that has evolved over the last 15 years within the parent organization. The current version of the system showcases the level of updates that it has adopted in the past. The company is still upgrading the system with all the latest trends in the industry.
This model enables individuals to understand and evaluate where they are currently positioned and what is needed to move up in the organization and provides a robust career plan as aspirations of an individual are mapped with the appraisal system. Furthermore, FCG India also believes “Great minds think alike.” Acting on this mantra, the company has taken a few conscious efforts to build teams within the company. These teams are not based on particular projects but instead, have interests across various projects, which helps in bringing “like minds” together to share in the best practices. “Today IT professionals are not only concerned about their domain area, they are also concerned about whether they are going to get enough challenges in the technical front, be it in good projects or good teams,” says Subbu.
In the growing IT world, industry projects and technologies are synonymous, whether it is a .NET project or J2EE project. And in the software services space it is the company that plays the role of a service provider to the ISVs or commercial software companies. The challenge here is to continuously upgrade the service line while managing the cost because, while the market demands high quality products with new features and releases, the investor community expects increased profits and earnings.
This kind of environment gives an opportunity to those who are keen on facing challenges and establishing their identity. And FCG India’s Vice-President, Technology, Vadeesh B, a former employee of Wipro technologies, is one among those. He says, “The reason why I joined FCG Software Services was I wanted to come out of the comfort zone of large organizations.” The general impression among people is if you are successful in a big organization then it is a smooth ride, whereas, in small companies it is a bumpy ride and one has to develop that safety net. In terms of culture and working conditions there is no difference between Wipro Technologies and FCG Software Services, he says.
This appealing working environment is reflected in the figures of its internal references for recruitment. “26 percent of internal referrals have been hired which reinforces the aspiration of FCG India,” says Subbu. This brimming internal attitude of the company is a measure of its aptitude and indicative of the altitude it will scale.