HCL Technologies, India’s fourth-largest technology firm, is planning to send around 10 senior executives to universities like Insead, Wharton, Harvard and MIT to create and strengthen its second level of leadership. Selected executives heading verticals and service lines will attend strategic management programmes in foreign universities and Indian management institutes like the Indian School of Business.
“With succession planning being done, we need to train our senior leaders and people of a similar vintage who directly report to the CEO. So we are planning to send them for programmes to receive broader leadership experience,”said Prithvi Shergill, chief human resources officer.
Steve Cardell (head of enterprise application services), Rahul Singh (president of financial services and business services division), GH Rao (president of engineering and R&D services business) and Sanjeev Nikore (president of consumer and manufacturing services) are among executives likely to be sent for such general management programmes.
The move is timely and aligns with the recent succession planning which elevated Anant Gupta as CEO. Gupta who headed HCL's infrastructure services division was made chief operating officer last year. He took over from Vineet Nayar, who will continue as vice-chairman and joint managing director till July 2013 and as vice-chairman thereafter.
The leadership change was announced last week when the company turned in a good set of numbers for the second quarter ended December 31, 2012 with a 3.6% sequential increase in revenues (highest in five quarters) at $1.15 billion and a net profit at $177 million which was up 59.1% year-on-year and 9.7% sequentially.
The programmes for which the senior leaders would be sent, according to Shergill, would be cross-functional management courses and not specific to any profile like sales or delivery.
“This is for the first time time that our senior leadership would attend such programmes in universities as it will make their learning more applicable and give them the baseline level of competency,” Shergill added.
HCL already has internal programmes to groom its leaders. The 'Top Gun Next Generation Leadership Academy' has a 12-month programme to create world-class leaders and has an existing pool of leaders who take a turnkey role and help other programme participants.
There is also a seven-month Advance Leadership Programme meant for identified potential leaders who are likely to step into strategic roles in future and is delivered through international faculty.