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Hall of Fame - PULSE MAGAZINE
PULSE is the official global sourcing magazine of IAOP® and offers the latest advice, knowledge, and best practices to engage, inspire and challenge.
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Hall of Fame

Atul Vashistha

Outsourcing’s Big Advocate

Vashistha has fulfilled his vision of changing operating models and creating significant value for the businesses he has started.

Andy Walter

A True Strategic Partner

Andy Walter has achieved many professional accolades for the innovative changes he has brought to the outsourcing industry.

NV “Tiger” Tyagarajan

Digital Visionary

Genpact was best known as a traditional BPO services provider primarily delivering finance and accounting (F&A) services.

Atul Vashistha’s entry into outsourcing may have started by chance, but his rise to leadership in the field certainly hasn’t been accidental and is well deserved.

 

Fueled by an entrepreneurial passion, Vashistha has fulfilled his vision of fundamentally changing operating models and creating significant value for all stakeholders through the multiple businesses he has started: Neo Group, Supply Wisdom and SourcingBoard.org.

 

An early pioneer of globalization, he was the first to launch an advisory company leveraging global sourcing in services in 1999 by founding Neo Group with the mission of “Talent Without Borders.” Today, Neo is recognized as a leading global services and sourcing data, analytics, monitoring and advisory firm.

 

Vashistha has earned an international reputation as one of the top experts on globalization, sourcing and governance. A Certified Outsourcing Professional (COP) and a founding member of IAOP, he has been called the “go to” for everything outsourcing, and is always front and center in his support for the profession and the people who work in it.

 

His clients give him high marks for the success he achieves by asking probing questions, really listening, strategically analyzing and collaborately coming up with creative solutions. He leads by example and is considered an inspirational mentor and role model to many who know him.

 

Vashistha also is widely respected for the good he does for society. Under his leadership, Neo empowers its team members to make a difference in their local communities by supporting the education and healthy development of underprivileged children through technology and food donations, as well as volunteering computer skills trainings at local schools and orphanages.

 

If you’ve attended past Outsourcing World Summit events, you’ve seen Vashistha on the stage emceeing IAOP’s game show events showcasing the industry’s talent. The spotlight will be turned on him at the awards luncheon at OWS18 when he is recognized among outsourcing’s most influential leaders with his induction into the IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame.

 

Tell me about some of your personal highlights in your outsourcing career?

Interestingly, my outsourcing experience began by chance while I was working in healthcare for a Fortune 50 company. They had a need to speed up their go to market. As the SVP of International Operations, the required associated travel to multiple global locations representing the buy-side, helped me discover the market need and inspired me to start my own company. I had always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and here was my opportunity. My most satisfying highlights have been engaging on solution design when the three critical stakeholders: buyer, supplier and advisor have collaborated to arrive at the intended objectives. We started doing this in 1999, and it is indeed very satisfying to see many of these engagements and relationships stand the test of time.

 

How has outsourcing changed since you entered the profession?

The sourcing levers have changed. In the early years, the focus was on out-tasking, and then it moved to leveraging low-cost locations. The primary focus was on talent. Now, we have the additional sourcing levers of process/technology optimization, analytics and automation. As a result, advisors and suppliers have a lot more tools to leverage to help design solutions and realize value.

 

What is your outlook for outsourcing in the future?

Talent will always be critical, but less so from a cost arbitrage perspective. The future will be much more about expertise. The sourcing levers of analytics and automation are immense opportunities, and as a whole, the industry is in the early learning and experimentation phase. How to affectively apply these levers of analytics and automation is not currently the expertise of most sourcing advisors. The industry needs to focus more on gain sharing, collaborative solution design and governance. Success in the future will derive from collaborative solutioning, evaluating talent, analytics and automation simultaneously, all while ensuring proper governance.

 

What trends have and will have the biggest impact on outsourcing?

Analytics and automation will fundamentally change outsourcing. The impact on labor will be massive and will cause significant shifts in the supplier landscape. Domain, operations and tools expertise will become even more critical to the remaining talent.

 

What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned and best practices you have to share with others?

The best solutions are created when the three parties (supplier, buyer and advisor) collaborate to design the solution and share gains and risks appropriately. Transparency during this process accompanied by mutual respect trumps self-interest and leads to a better solution for all.

 

The best practices outlined in my second book Globalization Wisdom: 7 Secrets of Great Globalizers are all applicable today. These are:

  • Embrace it
  • Welcome it as a transformation lever
  • Adopt a lifecycle approach
  • Align objectives
  • Assign the best people
  • Implement a strong governance model
  • Continuous improvement

Interestingly, when I think about automation, the same seven practices apply with minor modifications.

 

What are you most proud of in your professional career?

I am most proud of the culture we have built together at Neo Group and Supply Wisdom. We have incorporated corporate social responsibility into our core values of People First, Customer Next, Better Place 360. I love and value my team and they give back every day by being creative, speaking their minds and making great contributions. Our unusually low attrition rate and high engagement is a reflection of our dedication to making Neo a great place to work that empowers team members to contribute and grow as individuals, professionals and global citizens.

 

What does this honor mean to you?

For me this honor is truly a recognition of the thought leadership and impact that the Neo team has made on the industry. It reaffirms for me that ideas are powerful when they are supported by co-creation and collaborative execution. Our team has made a significant contribution to the industry. It all started in 1999 with my passion to be an entrepreneur and to find an industry where my team and I could fundamentally change the way the operating models worked and create significant value for all stakeholders. It helped us build a company focused on and itself a symbol of “Talent Without Borders.”   I am very grateful for this honor.

My most satisfying highlights have been engaging on solution design when the three critical stakeholders: buyer, supplier and advisor have collaborated to arrive at the intended objectives.
At a Glance: Atul Vashistha

Current Roles:

  • Founder and CEO of Neo Group, which has been advising leading companies on accelerating savings and new capabilities by leveraging global talent and suppliers since 1999
  • Founder and CEO of Supply Wisdom, which has been providing supplier and location data, alerts and real-time risk monitoring since 2010. (supplywisdom.com)
  • Started SourcingBoard.org, a buyers-only curated peer-to-peer organization focused exclusively on leaders who source technology and technology-enabled services, in 2016

Background: Born in India and completed undergraduate degree in engineering at Indian Institute of Technology. Earned his MBA from Arizona State and has taken executive training at Harvard Business School. Holds IAOP’s COP designation.


Prior Roles: Senior Vice President of International at Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH) where he led the international operations of the Fortune 25 Company. Vashistha and his seasoned team at Cardinal expanded profitable operations to Australia, New Zealand, Spain, UK, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and other global locations


Books Written: The Offshore Nation: Strategies for Success in Global Outsourcing and Offshoring; Globalization Wisdom: The Seven Secrets of Great Globalizers and Outsourcing Wisdom: The 7 Secrets of Successful Sourcing


Board Involvement: Serves on the Boards of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Business Board (dbb.defense.gov), LatAm Alliance, Shared Assessments and IAOP’s Strategic Advisory Board. Formerly, was a Chair of YPO Norcal and is currently a member of the Northern California Young Presidents’ Organization Gold


CSR: Vashistha and Neo Group support numerous economic development, youth development and corporate social responsible initiatives such as Echoing Green, GreenStart, World Education Foundation, One Girl, Sri Rakum School for the Blind and Jnana Mandira. Half of all royalties from the sale of Vashistha’s publications are donated to educational organizations such as Because I am a Girl, a global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. In 2014 alone, Neo Group’s contributions helped educate 11 girls in Sierra Leone.

For me this honor is truly a recognition of the thought leadership and impact that the Neo team has made on the industry. It reaffirms for me that ideas are powerful when they are supported by co-creation and collaborative execution.

IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame inductee Andy Walter has achieved many professional accolades for the innovative changes he has brought to the outsourcing industry during his 25-plus year career at consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble.

 

But, he says, he couldn’t do any of it alone. Breakthrough strategic partnerships and a core belief that people and relationships make a difference has been the key to his success.

 

Walter led the Commercial Services & Delivery Organization made up of more than 1,500 IT and multifunctional professionals for P&G’s Global Business Services (GBS). He was responsible for IT & Shared Services for all global business units and markets around the world, where his team developed cutting-edge digital capabilities for P&G to win with consumers, shoppers and retailers.

 

While other companies historically had relied on outsourcing solely to drive efficiencies in back-office processes, Walter’s vision expanded the model to front-office services such as marketing, sales and virtual solutions.

 

Walter created a Network of Excellence with GBS’s strategic partners, which led to collaboration across shared services such as commercial and employee units, IT infrastructure and scaled project management.

 

Among the partners he has collaborated with are Accenture on outsourcing P&G’s digital marketing campaigns, e-retailer content and virtual reality centers, and Infosys to develop a first-of-its-kind service for P&G called Reporting Shared Services.

 

His vision also inspired a new model for launching GBS service, where the service is first tested in a small pilot to quickly create value and scale.

 

Respected for his leadership by example and commitment to helping those around him succeed, Walter empowered his team at P&G and is viewed as an inspirational coach and mentor.

 

Tell me about some of your personal highlights in your outsourcing career at P&G.

The success I achieved in my outsourcing career was all the result of strategic partnerships. Working with Accenture, we created the first business models around front office sourcing: digital marketing services, CRM business models, enhanced data management and more. We developed break-through new models in content management, trade funds and business reporting for Infosys. We used Fractual Analytics

as the sourcing and strategic engine that drove the analytic transformation of P&G.

 

How has outsourcing changed since you entered the profession?

In the early days, outsourcing was focused on short-term tactical savings. Now it’s clearly about strategic partnerships for value, innovation and new business models. I’ve seen this play out with all of the partners I worked with as Executive Leader for P&G.

 

What is your outlook for outsourcing in the future?

With Digital & Analytic Transformation as a key priority for companies and boards, it’s clear that the move to strategic partnership and breakthrough business models will only accelerate. Players will need to be agile, and companies will need the right leadership to build and leverage these models. It takes a tango of partners!

 

What trends have and will have the biggest impact on outsourcing?

Clearly analytics — from the basics up to and including Artificial Intelligence — will have a massive impact. Those that continue to depend on warm bodies without bringing the innovation of AI and analytics will struggle. Folks will need to play to win with analytics.

 

What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned and best practices you have to share with others?

It’s all about the strategic partnership model. When a partner is struggling, I find it usually means both the partner and the individuals inside the company are failing. Very rarely is it a one-way street. The strategic partnership model is clearly the difference between winning and not in this domain.

 

What are you most proud of in your professional career?

I’ve always operated with a sense of urgency, focus on value and doing what’s right for the business and people (inside the company and its partners). When retiring from P&G, every partner and every individual I worked with who are now spread across companies and industries still wanted to partner. Folks are looking for leaders with a strong strategy, personal values they can believe in and who have their best interests in mind. I continue to believe how you do it as important as what you do.

 

What does this honor mean to you?

When I look back to the inaugural winners and those across the years, it’s an incredible honor to be associated with this award. It’s also important that partners and colleagues I’ve worked with supported me through the years and in winning this award are excited. We clearly did it as a team!

In the early days, outsourcing was focused on short-term tactical savings. Now it’s clearly about strategic partnerships for value, innovation and new business models.
At a Glance: Andy Walter

Current: Retired from 26-year career at P&G, founder of AJW-Advisory LLC


Former positions at P&G: Vice President, IT Global Commercial Services & Delivery; Vice President, Global Project Delivery & Sales Force Solutions; Vice President, Global Business Intelligence, Analytics & Consumer Solutions; CIO and Shared Services Leader for Western Europe Global Business Services


Awards: Under his leadership, P&G received the first-ever Excellence in Analytics Award by The International Institute of Analytics. His teams have also been recognized with CIO 100 Awards in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, P&G and Accenture won the Outsourcing Excellence Award in the “Most Innovative” category by the Outsourcing Center. Recognized by SSON with awards for “Excellence in Value Creation” in 2012, “Excellence in Culture Creation” in 2013 and “Excellence in Collaboration” in 2014


Non-Profit Board Positions: Cincinnati Museum Center Board of Trustees, Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati Board of Trustees and Vice Chair


Other Board Positions: Board of Directors, Digimarc; Advisory Board Member to Tricentis, RapidMiner, Virtualitics and Verix


Industry Leadership: 2017 RIS/CGT Analytics Summit Co-Chair; European Research Board of CIOs; WalMart CIO Council of Top 15 CPG CIOs


Background: Bachelor of Computer Science, University of Cincinnati, executive leadership training through P&G and the Disney Institute. Resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Folks are looking for leaders with a strong strategy, personal values they can believe in and who have their best interests in mind. I continue to believe how you do it as important as what you do.

Flashback to the early 2000s – A spinoff of General Electric and formerly GE Capital International Services, Genpact was best known as a traditional BPO services provider primarily delivering finance and accounting (F&A) services.

 

Fast forward to today – Genpact is globally recognized as an industry leader delivering digital transformation for its clients.

 

As president and CEO, Tiger Tyagarajan is credited as one of the industry leaders who pioneered a new global business model and reengineered Genpact for success in the digital era while staying true to its BPO roots. Tyagarajan will be recognized for his accomplishments by his colleagues and peers at OWS18 with his induction into the IAOP Leadership Hall of Fame.

 

By staying curious and taking risks, Tyagarajan led the company’s metamorphosis over the past seven years. He envisioned a company that integrated digital technologies and analytics with BPO solutions to ensure that customer needs were addressed in the context of total transformation.

 

Realizing early on many digital transformation journeys fell short of expectations (approx. $400 billion wasted each year) because they focused too heavily on the front office, and neglected the middle and back, Genpact developed a new “Lean Digital” approach that attacks transformation projects from end-to-end, including many business processes that companies choose to outsource, such as customer service, finance and accounting, and claims processing.

 

During his tenure, he has also shifted the company’s focus to growth in the developed markets, where the majority of Genpact clients are based. Tyagarajan incorporated digital into Genpact operations as well as integrated a number of key digital technologies to its services portfolio, such as intelligent automation, natural language processing, cognitive computing, machine learning, robotic process automation (RPA), and more.

 

In the past few years Tyagarajan has spearheaded more than six key strategic acquisitions that have added deep expertise, talent, and digital and domain-led capabilities to Genpact’s portfolio. Genpact’s acquired Rage Frameworks in March 2017, adding significant artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to Genpact’s entire portfolio. Soon after, Genpact launched Genpact Cora, the first of its kind artificial intelligence-based platform that accelerates digital transformation for enterprises.

 

With the company at the forefront of innovative technologies, Genpact is poised to maintain this incredible momentum in the years to come.

 

Tell me about some of your personal highlights in your outsourcing career.

There have been too many to name in full, but one memory that sticks out in particular was last November when I had the privilege of ringing The Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) along with several members of our senior management team. It was a historic moment for the company, marking 10 years since our public listing. This was a great time for the company to celebrate how far we’ve come during this period, nearly tripling our revenues and expanding our global client relationships from 55 clients to 265 today. I credit this continued success to our ability to reinvent Genpact into a digital-first company while staying true to our BPO heritage.

 

How has outsourcing changed since you entered the profession?

The world of outsourcing has changed significantly since I first entered the space. We were just beginning to think about digital technologies when I first started, and now we lead with a digital-first approach. Our customers can no longer afford to look for outsourcing services that simply reduce costs piecemeal. Today you must integrate BPO services with digital technologies and analytics if you want to deliver real impact. Outsourcing, as a service, has become part of a larger package aimed at addressing client needs in the context of total transformation.

 

What is your outlook for outsourcing in the future?

I’m more optimistic than ever about the future of outsourcing. New technologies – especially AI, robotics, automation, the cloud, etc. – are paving the way for a new era of digital-led innovation and digital-enabled intelligent operations for companies. This will change how the industry operates, and that’s a good thing. The cost of labor will be reduced as technology takes over repetitive, time-consuming tasks, and current outsourcing professionals will find themselves taking on higher-paid, higher-skilled roles that will inevitably emerge as technology creates new opportunities.

 

What trends have and will have the biggest impact on outsourcing?

Without a doubt, digital technology has had the single greatest impact on the outsourcing industry. By integrating digital technologies and analytics with traditional BPO solutions, companies can now address customer needs in the context of total transformation.

 

What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned and best practices you have to share with others?

I think the most important lesson for any business leader in this age of rapid technological evolution is to stay curious and take risks. To put it simply: if you’re not curious, you’re dead. By staying curious, we learn not to fear change but to embrace it early on and constantly stay nimble. This allows us to experiment and take risks that could lead to incredible innovation or could end up costing the company in some way. Likewise, transforming and preparing your company for long-term success in a volatile, rapidly-evolving business landscape will inevitability involve a few missteps. The key is to not be afraid of failure – if you are willing to take the risk and fail fast, you can learn quickly from this attempt and pivot your plans accordingly.

 

What are you most proud of in your professional career?

I’m very proud of the progress that Genpact has achieved as a company. When I assumed the role of President and CEO of Genpact in 2011, the company was best known as a traditional BPO services provider primarily delivering finance and accounting (F&A) services. Since then, we have reinvented ourselves from being a traditional BPO company to a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation, now serving a quarter of the Global Fortune 500 companies and operating in more than 20 countries. Along the way, we’ve also been able to make a difference in the lives of our more than 70,000 employees and their predecessors. In particular, improving gender diversity has always been a passion of mine, and at Genpact we have launched programs that help bring women into the workforce, mentor them throughout their careers, and ensure that they get a fair shot at leadership positions. I’m proud to say 40 percent of Genpact employees are women, far exceeding the industry average of 30 percent, and that we are still pushing our programs with the goal of reaching true gender equality in the workplace.

 

What does this honor mean to you?

To me, this is an honor for Genpact as a company, not just me as an individual. Genpact has a deep legacy in the outsourcing industry, so it’s incredibly meaningful to be recognized by our peers for our contributions, innovation and growth. It also reinforces all our hard work over the years and inspires us to keep up the incredible momentum.

Outsourcing, as a service, has become part of a larger package aimed at addressing client needs in the context of total transformation.
At a Glance: NV “Tiger” Tyagarajan

Current Role: President and CEO Genpact, based in New York


Prior roles: Has held several global roles in sales, operations, risk and Six Sigma at Unilever, Citi and GE.


Education: Tyagarajan is an engineer and MBA by training.


Board Positions: Serves on the Boards of Catalyst and the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI); one of the founding supporters of the U.S. chapter of the 30% Club, an organization of CXOs focused on achieving better gender balance at U.S. companies. Also a member of the WSJ CEO Council

To me, this is an honor for Genpact as a company, not just me as an individual. Genpact has a deep legacy in the outsourcing industry, so it’s incredibly meaningful to be recognized by our peers for our contributions, innovation and growth.
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