A wonderful insight into the three people who shaped up Cognizant. A nice article in Forbes by my friend Ramnath Subbaraman.
Here is the article:
The first time I attended a meeting at Cognizant was sometime in 2002. I went to its office around 7: 30 pm along with two or three other journalists. Then, its main office in Chennai was a few buildings away from the American embassy and a floor above the branch office of a local bank. We had already filed our stories, and were there to listen to Kumar Mahadeva, the CEO take questions from analysts on a conference call over the phone.
I had just started covering Cognizant. Until then, I knew Kumar Mahadeva only by his name. This meeting was the first time I heard him speak. His voice was self-assured and his answers were so precise and structured, he could well have been reading them out from a sheet of paper.
What convinced me though that he wasn’t reading the answers out was the occasional bursts of spontaneity. Whenever he got impatient, it showed. At one point, he said something to this effect: “We don’t want to benchmark ourselves against a tier three company like….” It would have been alright, except that the company he was referring was one of the top five in India then, and Cognizant half its size. In fact, Cognizant wasn’t on anybody’s radar then. Sitting in a corner, I tried to put a face… Continue Reading