In an exclusive interview with Valuebound’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Piyush Sharma, Content Manager Akanksha Mishra, discussed topics ranging from his views and approach towards building growth oriented teams, developing technical capabilities and technology leadership. He also shared his personal journey, hobbies and interests, which would inspire the youngsters looking to be CTO in future.
Hi Piyush, Glad to have you join us as CTO, Valuebound. Could you share something about yourself? What defines you? What is something you have been passionate about throughout your career?
It’s wonderful to join a growth-oriented company that is looking to solve the tech problems of clients through its high-performance team. Recognized as a people person, I love to lead from the front with accountability & ownership. Result orientation and empathy are something that I try to bring into my team’s approach towards work, be it personal or professional, and this has always helped me in building a sustainable and agile team. A perpetual learner, would not shy away from learning from anyone and everyone. I enjoy reading management strategies, business success stories & failures, and philosophy of life. I’m a poet and flutist myself.
Everyone has their idea of success. What is your measure of accomplishment as a technology leader? Can you share some incidents/examples about the same?
I’ve been associated with the successful delivery of multiple critical products on the server and client-side, desktop CPU space, delivery of Internet Banking systems, and various software projects around eCommerce, digital space, and client-server applications across multiple market segments. I’ve been recognized as a Star Manager at Intel. I also believe that my accomplishments include being instrumental in building the entire team from scratch at startups like Zigy, and AyurUniverse.
My measure of success as a technology leader would be to:
- Build and retain a smart team - which is well-versed in the current technology, focused, disciplined, committed, works with high integrity, and stays together
- Quality technology deliveries to customers - Define and execute a planned, robust, self-learning model which delivers.
- Create a learning ecosystem - which will enable people to cross-train and master emerging technologies required for the business. Have a career growth plan for every individual in the organization.
What is your management style?
With transformational management and a collaborative leadership style, I would strive for the organization to the best of its potential by bringing in changes that align with the present ecosystem and market dynamics. Also with my inclusive management style, I will work towards a cohesive, cooperative environment within the team.
What are the first few things that you came across when taking a walk-through of Valuebound’s service delivery, value proposition, and existing client success?
I see Valuebound as an organization, which has grown consistently and has created its own niche in the Digital Transformation space. With its deep-rooted capability in the Content Management Systems space, Valuebound has proven itself to be one of the preferred partners for the customers. The long-term relationships with the customers, timely delivery, and cost-effective quality solutions are some of the critical metrics that reflect the customers’ confidence and trust in Valuebound very loud and clear.
Valuebound has a strong technology backbone, and a committed & motivated workforce. I believe we have the right team with strong technical capabilities and the right attitude to craft the brand of Valuebound as customers’ choice. The organization with its focused attention on employee development and stakeholders’ satisfaction is rightly positioned for a steep growth harnessing the huge market potential going forward.
What are your views on the current IT services industry, considering the high growth trajectory at the moment?
The IT industry is waking up from the lull of the last two years of the pandemic. The business had been in the maintenance mode with a keep-the-lights-on kind of attitude and rare high-value investments.
Gradually we see growth in demands, and investments rising with tech budgets, which allows us to identify, and fill the missing skills in technology. The industry will be looking towards more innovations, diving into emerging technologies or digital transformation and new business models to support these. And, we must plug ourselves well enough to partake advantage by grabbing our slice of the opportunities.
What kinds of current technologies and solutions are we going to focus on delivering at Valuebound?
While we continue to focus on our existing capabilities around Drupal and other digital technologies, we shall be looking at building Cloud Computing, and DevOps capabilities in the mid-to-long term, like AWS for sharing storage and computing resources, Big-data for data-handling/analytics, etc.
Also, we see the trend towards low-code or no-code. So Spring and Angular will also be crucial. Machine learning / Artificial Intelligence is becoming much in vogue. Right now not very clear on how we can venture into this, but it will be on our radar for sure.
Where would you choose to invest your time more- ensuring that all current systems are running efficiently, or researching innovative and new technologies?
While we stay focused on our current delivery streams, we would invest our energy and resources towards creating new avenues in terms of technologies and product engineering beyond our regular Software Services and Delivery space. Process improvements and strengthening the technology organization in terms of skill development, career-focus, result orientation, and customer-oriented approach would continue to be our keen attention areas.
We would continue to be agile and vigilant to the changing dynamics of the market and customer requirements to align ourselves suitably as and when needed. Forming Valuebound Labs to trigger the creative side of the capable brains that we have and foster innovations would be an integrated and important part of our customer & market-centric growth strategy. Having the right business acumen, i.e. understanding the business impact of what each of us does, at different levels of the organization, is something that we would also focus on as needed.
What are your recommendations for professionals aspiring to be CTO?
As with any senior leadership role, technology leaders also have multi-dimensional activities. Senior leaders are best nurtured and developed over time. My sincere recommendations for young professionals out there would be so-
- Visualize with a 360-degree approach - The aspirant should have a holistic focus on the current market scenario, present organization’s placement, emerging opportunities, understanding of the pitfalls, emerging market technology trends, how an organization can have its share, what we need to be there, and how do we align with the future market.
- Be good with communication - Self-driven, disciplined, and very organized concerning stakeholders’ communications, to get buy-in, resolve conflicts, to inspire and encourage people would be a plus for any professional aspiring to be a CTO.
- Be able to draw a line between taking calculated risks versus taking bold and novel approaches.
- Translate strategy to execution, and a product, & create a cutting-edge ecosystem hierarchy- (S)he should be able to build innovation in the organization’s DNA, which is instrumental in formulating policies, conflict resolution, etc.