Digital Transformation Company Turns Ambitions Towards US Market
Robosoft Technologies Fortifies Strategy with Hire of US Country Head
Robosoft Technologies, a rapid-growth technology services company that has grown by 68% in the last 18 months, has successfully appointed a US-based leader to super-charge their expansion ambitions in the world’s biggest technology market. After an extensive talent search they have hired a US President and Country Head, Stephen Lathroum.
For Ravi Teja Bommireddipalli, Chief Executive Officer at Robosoft, the most important personal attributes when selecting the right US leader was to find someone who is honest, optimistic, and perhaps most importantly, can deeply understand both the challenges and opportunities that Robosoft’s clients face.
“In the digital environment, clients don’t always know what they don’t know,” he explained. “It is therefore important to invest in people who have the ability to offer unique and valuable perspectives on the digital market, and help educate clients on new models and outcomes, as well as avoid landmines,” Mr. Bommireddipalli said.
Along with these elements, the company’s chief executive said that of utmost importance throughout the search was evidence that the successful hire would be able to create widespread support across a client company, and ensure that Robosoft is a company that is easy to buy from.
Established in 1996, Robosoft transformed into a full-service digital experience company in 2017. They are a one-stop solution for crafting digital experiences, and offer end-to-end solutions in product advisory, design, engineering and analytics. Recent clients include Discovery Networks, the American Automobile Association (AAA), the British Standards Institution (BSI), Trusted Health, R.R. Donnelley (RRD), and Hewlett-Packard, among others.
At the start of last year, annual revenues totaled $25 million, but today the company has grown to a $42 million business. It has also been recently acquired by TechnoPro Holdings, a technology services and staffing company headquartered in Japan.
“Our acquisition by TechnoPro gives us confidence and structure around what we want the future to look like. Robosoft is now at an important stage of its growth, and our US ambitions are a huge part of that journey.”
The technology firm is not new to the US market. Two of its six global offices are based in America (New York and San Francisco), and the company has been working with a diverse set of US clients for the past 20 years. Fifty percent of their current revenue is US-based. However, the goal is to increase that number to 80% within five years. Whilst growing at a fast pace, their US marketplace ambitions present a unique set of challenges…and opportunities.
“Given the size, maturity, diverse potential and the need for digital services, it is imperative that we increase our revenue from the US,” Mr. Bommireddipalli said. “In a cluttered market with several players offering on-site, near shore or hybrid delivery models, our key challenge is to attract the right kind of enterprise who’d be willing to engage with us on long-term projects which call for end-to-end digital solutions.”
CxOs in the US are extremely sophisticated and understand expertise when they see it, and it’s therefore vital for companies seeking to penetrate the US market to demonstrate their expertise in a domain or specialty and back it up with results. Within the context of digital transformation services, senior executives in the US are quite advanced in terms of design sensibilities and project management skills, so it is paramount that companies looking to acquire US clients excel in these areas.
In terms of their strategic US hire, Robosoft was looking for someone who could see the big picture and vision for their growth, as well as someone who could build a team of local capabilities in digital transformation, design, consulting, engineering and analytics. It was also important to search for a world-class leader who had worked with global teams and was aligned to the company’s core values of humility, innovation, passion and empathy.
Mr. Bommireddipalli emphasized that “we hire people who have a different view of the world, understand the client’s business, and love to debate and challenge the client.”
For such an important and strategic hire, Robosoft engaged the services of NGS Global, favored to procure the successful candidate because of their global reach, their clear understanding of Robosoft’s vision and goals, and their advisory capacities around the nuances of hiring in the US.
“NGS Global was more than just a search firm to us. They were our business partner from start to finish. They ticked all the project parameters for us to engage with them and we trusted them to deliver. Our faith in their services was rewarded – they were committed to fully understanding every element and nuance of the search, the pace at which they worked was perfect, their conduct was highly professional, and their insights and recommendations were very valuable. As a result, we landed an incredible hire.”
From several candidates Robosoft interviewed, “Stephen Lathroum came out as the most honest, confident, optimistic and strategic leader. He could clearly articulate a 30-60-90 day tactical plan as well as a three-year strategic plan. Moreover, Stephen’s long-term view on achieving sustainable performance for Robosoft was commendable.”
In accepting the position as US Country Head, Mr. Lathroum said he loved the challenge of scaling up the organization to becoming a premium brand in the US, which is well on its way.
“With over 1,000 employees, the quality of Robosoft’s clients and work is quite impressive. The brand has great equity and reputation in India as a top digital partner – rightfully so. In the US, we are not in that league, but have worked with some of the most highly sought-after brands and executed many mission-critical projects for them. These projects are not behind the scenes, but massive public-facing projects that most of everyone in the US have seen or used the services of at some point.”
Mr. Bommireddipalli advised other rapid growth Indian companies who have US ambitions to hire a leader who has a global perspective, as well as someone who can see the future today and has an entrepreneurial mindset to get things done.
“A leader sets the vision and motivates the team to collectively achieve it. They create the right environment and culture for everyone to give their best. Since we deal with knowledge workers, a true leader will listen to the ideas and inputs coming from his teams closest to the clients and implement them.”