Introducing the Leaders of Tomorrow: Manoj Kumar

Taking advantage of SSON’s SSOPRO course to strengthen their skill set. Who are the people signing up for SSOPRO? What are they getting out of it? How are they applying what they’re learning? We’re delighted to introduce…

Manoj Kumar, Mascon Global (Europe)
Expertise in (1) Contracting & Negotiation (2) Customer & Stakeholder Service (3) Change Management
Would like to network with others in (1) Governance & Compliance, (2) Risk Management, (3) Project Management.

SSON: What is your key role?
I am currently working as Sales Director for Mascon Global (Europe) with direct responsibility for IT outsourcing business opportunities in the Europe region.

SSON: Who do you look up to in business and why?
Steve Jobs – for giving a new meaning to value and perception based marketing and for continuously re-inventing the Apple Brand over its 35 year old history. Also Muhammad Yunus – for channelling entrepreneurial zeal within an impoverished nation to create a transformational, profitable Micro Finance Entity, Grameen Bank.

SSON: What has been your greatest achievement?
I have worked at challenging assignments that usually involved setting up business for my employer in completely new markets. In all my stints so far, I have built a business base on which sustainable future growth can be planned. As a sales lead, all the business units that I have started for my employers in the US, UK and East Africa are still growing and profitable.

SSON: What is your greatest regret?
Not being able to work with a Tier 1 IT Services company within my vertical. This could change very soon, but for now this remains a regret.

SSON: Which management books/magazines/newspapers do you read?
The Financial Times, The Telegraph, The Economist. I don’t read a lot of Management Books.

SSON: Who are your favorite writers?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Somerset Maugham, Premchand (Hindi)

SSON: What is it that attracts you to the online learning forum?
I found the course content of SSON very relevant, professionally. We come across multiple instances where C-level executives, specifically within the mid-market sector, need guidance or seek our views on their preparedness for Outsourcing or Shared Services. Given our experience, we are able to add value to this discussion through our knowledge of identical situations and engagements. To complement this, SSOPRO provides a wider forum, course material, white papers and case studies that address customer situations we face during the course of our work.

SSON: What's proved most useful to date?
The Contracting and Negotiation competency area was particularly relevant and useful. There are very few courses that focus on Contracting for IT Outsourcing and Shared Services contracts, yet we always come across prospects who have been burnt by this critical aspect of the engagement process. It was very useful to go through the SSOPRO material available for this competency area while comparing the best practices with what we actually experience and conduct in a high stakes live scenario!

SSON: How useful is networking with other participants on the message boards?
This is one of the key advantages of joining a program like this. The SSOPRO forum has the potential to be a central networking point for professionals from the Shared Services and Outsourcing world. The knowledge repository that we have access to along with the course material is already impressive. Add to that the collective knowledge of all the participants and the opportunity to network … and you get outstanding value.

SSON: in which of the 10 competency do you feel you have experience/expertise to share?
I can share expertise/experience in the following areas (1) Contracting & Negotiation (2) Customer & Stakeholder Service (3) Change Management

SSON: In which of the 10 areas do you have most to learn? Ie which are the themes you’d most like to network with other experts in?
(1) Governance & Compliance, (2) Risk Management, (3) Project ManagementSSON: What have you set into action at your workplace as a result of this program?

MK: My current role has aspects that hand over into Project delivery and execution. Here I have been able to specifically share the knowledge that I have gained in the "Change Management" section with the offshore delivery team. Managing CRs has always been a challenging process for Fixed Bid Projects that run on an iterative waterfall model. Some of the templates provided for this and the best practices outlined are very useful for teams that encounter such problems during project delivery.

SSON: What would you like us to add?
I have not covered all the competency areas but it appears that we do not have a section focusing on project execution methodologies e.g; Agile, Iterative, Waterfall (their benefits, typical usage scenarios and pitfalls). The other area within contracting and negotiation is the overall structuring of a Shared Services and Outsourcing deal. This is an evolving field and customers and vendors often become quite innovative during negotiations to evolve an optimal structure for the engagement that will protect their interests and motives (T&M, Fixed Bid, SLA based, Output based, Profit sharing, Dedicated Operations centre etc.)

SSON: How does this compare to other training sessions you've taken part in?
This program is better paced and at the same time pretty intensive when one looks at the supplements that accompany the primary course material. Being one of the early adopters of this training has its own share of advantages and pitfalls. But we have a very helpful course coordinator who is responsive to suggestions and is very consultative in his approach towards progressing students through the competency areas.

SSON: What’s the greatest challenge to you in making this program work for you?
The biggest personal challenge of course is to keep up with the course in the middle of very busy work/travel schedules, but this comes with the territory. The other regret, if not a challenge, is the inability to go through all the supplemental study material that you provide along with the competency areas. Most of it is very relevant and make for very informative reading.

Want to develop your full potential? Go SSOPRO.