Last week I spent a week in Australia – without ever leaving home. This visit, thanks to the pandemic, was completely virtual, with a twist: Several members of my leadership team and I basically worked Aussie hours to participate as much as possible in meetings with clients, advisors, and employees. This proved quite interesting since we lived in New York City, meaning our biological clocks knew it was 1:00am locally even though we were prepping for a 4:00pm meeting in Sydney.
While many of us have become experts in virtual visits, there still are downsides: The lack of physical connections, not being able to read the room, and the inability to run one of the world's best running routes, among others. But there were a few things that actually made our week better than flying to Australia: No jet lag, being able to schedule more meetings given there's no commute, and better prep – possibly to overcompensate for the lack of physical connections.
Personally, I found the week to be more inclusive and a wonderful experience in the new normal. Being virtual meant being able to include people who work remotely or normally would not have been invited if a meeting room was too small. Our conversations were still genuine, as we saw each other and interacted. And, I realized that while nothing beats in-person conversations, the technology and tools exist for us to adapt and rise to meet any challenge. I will continue to view the glass as half full and focus on the positive aspects of my week as a “virtual Aussie."
Some further reflections on the week:
- Change is on every CXO's mind. One might think that in today's world the focus would be just on keeping the lights on. But my conversations with clients and advisors were exactly the opposite. Everyone is thinking of transformation: how they can leverage digital and analytics to drive massive change.
- Everyone is embracing technology to drive change. This is consistent with what we're seeing globally where our transformation business (digital, analytics, and advisory services) is growing at more than 20%. In a world experiencing negative growth, 20% growth is phenomenal.
- Our Australia business is growing in leaps and bounds. We have deep relationships in the banking and insurance industries and are expanding rapidly in the consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare segments. This energy is reflected and driven by our amazing team in Australia. Genpact Australia is a humming example of the yin and yang of talent – experienced Genpacters who have grown with the organization working alongside new talent who bring a fresh perspective.
- Our brand remains very strong in the market. Some of the longstanding relationships we've built remain stronger than ever and are pivoting rapidly towards transformation.
- We have built momentum in Australia with industry-leading solutions in the financial crime compliance and risk space. We serve some of the biggest banks in Australia with these solutions.
- We are on a path to set up an onshore delivery center in Australia. This will add tremendous value to our clients and will be a key part of our growth strategy in this region.
In summary, I come away excited by the relationships we have and the value we continue to drive for our clients. Most importantly, we have an amazing team.
I look forward to more virtual visits and sharing thoughts and insights with you as our new normal continues to unfold.