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Sriram Radhakrishnan

With more than a decade at GAVS, Sriram Radhakrishnan, VP – Customer Success, shares his secret sauce on how to climb the ladder and grow professionally and personally.

He says, “My leaders at GAVS helped in aligning me to the vision and they set examples on how to go above and beyond to deliver at par excellence.”

1. Tell us about yourself and how you chose GAVS as part of your professional journey

I was born and brought up in a town called Udumalaipettai where I completed my schooling and then later moved to Chennai. I started my career as a Mechanical engineer and later moved to Customer Success Roles. In the early years of my professional journey, I have worked with various customers in the retail domain. This accounts for nearly 12 years of my professional journey. Later when I moved to GAVS, I got a chance to work with various leaders in the publishing and healthcare domain. I would describe myself as being more technology-oriented and having an inclination toward setting up teams and people for success. I started working in VB and later worked on C++ and then on data warehousing projects.

I followed Srikanth from Cognizant into GAVS. Some of us here at GAVS at that time were old-timers when we moved into GAVS in the 2011-12 period. At that same time Balaji moved into GAVS and quite a lot of senior folks too. So, when I joined here, there were no strangers here in GAVS.

I continuously look forward to cherishing relations on the work front where I can add value and not only what I can gain from it. I preach to my team as well to foster relations that can enable us to develop stability rather than having to redefine relationships. This ensures that our efforts can be put to good use towards customer needs.

2. What are the core values that you can relate to GAVS?

When we work together here, we know that we are here for a long journey. And we emphasize on the RITE values of Respect, Integrity, Trust & Empathy. We hold the same values with those who have planned to move on or have already left.

3. Could you share what has been until now the best experience at GAVS?

It is difficult to narrow it down to one. There is one when I had just joined GAVS and was assigned to work with a customer working in Bay Area which was quite a challenge. I traveled to USA to present this very proposal to the client. On that business trip, I came across a very humble person who happily accompanied me to Sumit’s place and was interested to learn more about my experience. Later when I asked him about his role at GAVS I was completely taken aback to know that it was Dharmendra Vasant, Founder of GAVS. His humbleness spoke volumes about the organization and the culture that has been built. To date whenever it comes up in my conversation, it shakes me up to the core.

4. You are known as an excellent problem solver. How do you handle complexities in solving problems, especially while working with customers on deadline-bound projects?

There is no one solution but rather an approach. The first thing is to identify who is affected by the problem, understand the stakeholders, and make a process of continuously appraising people of the progress. We always look for a tactical solution that can provide immediate relief and a strategic solution that can sustain us for longer periods. While there can be many ways of solving problems, I prefer

  • Weighing the pros and cons
  • Working for a suitable and sustainable solution
  • Aligning solutions to the budget and feasibility

To further add to this, there should be someone for consulting as well. It can be a leader or even a customer. The solution to many of my problems came from some of our customers as well.

5. Every person learns something before their professional journey which stays with them lifelong. Is there something from your early experiences that have drawn a huge impact on your professional journey?

I was an average student if I have to talk about my academics. In my college days, I was very active in NCC (National Cadet Corps). It was at that time that I got to play my first leadership role. I was responsible for the Engineers’ wings which were quite popularly known as Under Officer who leads the entire wing. Now that I recollect, this was the place where I picked up a lot of leadership traits and got a chance to lead multiple initiatives. I would credit extracurriculars over my curriculum for adding value to my day-to-day decision making

6. What are your hobbies and how do you take out time amidst busy schedules?

I am an avid reader of fiction and a movie enthusiast. My attention to detail skillset helps as I love reviewing scripts to get across aha moments. I have indeed come across some lessons through these readings. Over the last few years, I have been occupied on my weekends working quite aggressively on my apartment.

7. You mentioned your interest in reading. Who is your favorite author?

I am a big fan of Tom Clancy. His work specializes in storytelling on warfare and strategy. His plot lines are so intrinsic and that played as one of the factors behind understanding how strategies are been drawn. Over the past few years, I don’t go by my favorite author but rather read on various subjects across genres.

8. Coming to Movies, which movies have taught you the biggest lesson of your life?

I like Enemy of the State starring Will Smith. It was very fast-paced and showcased beautifully how technology has invaded our day-to-day lives.

On a personal front, the real difference for me was added by a popular Tamil movie, Abhiyum Naanum. It came right at the time when I was about to be married. I can now easily relate to the journey of a married person and how time flies by very quickly when you are surrounded by your loved ones.

9. Which leadership message do you often find helpful in your day-to-day activities?

There are times when you get stuck in an analysis-paralysis situation. One of the things that Balaji told me at that time was that there will be pointers that might need to be fixed. Address first high-level pointers to get to a place that puts us in a state to start customer conversation. Otherwise, there will be scenarios where it will be stuck in a phase of what needs to happen next. Not everything will be detailed on day 1 but it is more of a progressive evaluation. Challenges encountered on day 1 will differ highly from challenges on day 7. You will learn as you go through the problem on day to day basis and eventually cross the bridge

These inspirational words helped me in taking small steps which led to exponential growth eventually.

10. What do you look for in a leader?

The first one is a go-getter who does not need to wait for instructions but rather decides on the go and moves forward even if it is a plan. And second is allowing people to let go of their fear of failure.

A message to the GS Lab | GAVS family

“When I look back, I look at all the opportunities I missed to capitalize. In retrospect, there are a lot of things that come to light. And I hope that I am learning from it and minimizing missing such opportunities on a day-to-day basis. So, do accept opportunities that come your way whole heartedly”