A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ANUPAMA BUGATHA, 39, Assistant Vice President (Manufacturing)
After dropping her two kids at school, Anupama Bugatha is at Satyam’s Chennai office by 9 a.m. Straightaway, she ploughs through the 50-odd e-mails waiting for her in her in-box. That done, Bugatha gets on the phone to talk to her accounts department for some invoices that need to be raised. It’s the beginning of the month and she is busy billing customers for the work done the previous month. Some of her colleagues from the onsite team are here today and she goes into a quick meeting with them. It’s an action-packed day, and Bugatha is having a good time. One reason why she joined Satyam via Sundaram-Clayton (two years) and TCS (six) was that, back in 1998, “it was a smaller organisation that was growing rapidly and one that would offer enough opportunities for growth”. And grow she has. From a project leader back then to an Assistant Vice President in the manufacturing vertical, with 150 people reporting to her. A computer science student, Bugatha now works more like a venture capitalist, responsible for multiplying ‘shareholder’ wealth. As you must have guessed, she, as the ‘VC’, has five CEOs reporting to her. Their five units are among the 1,500 entities that are run like independent businesses with their own P&L accounts. But Bugatha wants to go farther. She is currently pursuing an MBA programme sponsored by her employer. So, by half-past seven in the evening, she’s walking out of the office door, but there may be a call or two to handle later in the evening. And going by her purposeful strides, you can tell that she’s eager to get back to work.
Importantly for Satyam, all its people initiatives seem to be making a difference. “I think the one thing we have achieved at Satyam now is making the entire set of people in the company aware of the business fundamentals. The focus has today shifted from a culture of manning a project to owning a project,” says A.S. Murthy, Director and Senior VP (Leadership Development Group). This is accomplished partly by an in-house handbook called ‘SatyamWay’, which forms the welcome kit for new employees and explains Satyam’s business fundamentals, and its aspirations and goals. The Leadership Development Group was created in April this year to give greater focus to leadership development. Murthy, who was earlier heading HR, was made its head and reports directly to Chairman Raju.
Like Hari points out, “It is important to generate business leaders at a pace that matches the business growth (which is 30 per cent per annum)”. Globally, he says, the industry tends to have only 50 per cent of the business leaders it needs at any given point. Satyam’s attempts at creating 1,500 business leaders, then, seems like a good strategy. Retaining them will require an even better strategy.