Appointed with the task of sourcing an ambitious yet seasoned President who would both embrace and succeed on a career pathway to CEO, NGS Global found a top-tier leader for a well-established product engineering services company.

BACKGROUND

Our client was a global leader in the digital product engineering services space, with a track record of over 25 years and serving marquee technology companies globally. Their award-winning services cover the entire spectrum of a software or technology product life cycle and product revamp.

They have over 8,000 employees, serve over 280 organizations, and 90% of their business comes from repeat clients. A unique aspect was that they have a data-driven model that demonstrated tangible ROI to their clients, conceived and developed over several years of serving a variety of client needs. 

THE NEED

As our client drew up ambitious plans for future growth, they were also actively considering a succession plan to their Founder/CEO. The COO of the company, who had spent 22 years with them, had no ambitions to succeed the Founder/CEO, preferring instead to make sure that their operations and client delivery ran well. 

The plan was to bring in a President who would be focused on the organization’s growth charter and future strategy, as well as market development. Subject to his/her performance over 3-5 years, a pathway had been established for that individual to become the CEO of the company, at which time the Founder/CEO would become the Executive Chairman. 

The need was for a senior, experienced, and accomplished leader from the technology services space, who not only came with extensive domain know-how and deep understanding of customers, but also carried a high order of technical and commercial acumen, sound people leadership skills, and the ability to chart future growth strategies, including acquisition of new clients. The individual would also be the face of the company with customers, analysts, and opinion leaders. Lastly, they were also expected to,  contribute as a key member of the global executive leadership team. 

OUR SEARCH PROCESS

Since this was a newly created position, the Founder/CEO wanted to follow an agile approach to defining the ideal candidate profile, i.e., based on the talent available in the market and who they saw. The NGS Global team had multiple discussions with the Founder/CEO to flesh out key success factors, cultural nuances, and the current state of the business, as well as his vision of what type of candidate would be most suitable.

We thoroughly researched the entire technology services sector, focusing on the top 25 India-headquartered global service providers, and went deep into these organizations to identify multiple potential candidates who came with relevant experience. Our team focused on candidates who had built and/or led a variety of businesses globally, led at least a US$1 billion business unit for at least 3-5 years, and preferably, led a product engineering services business (though this was not mandatory). We were seeking a candidate who demonstrated strong results-orientation and could engage effectively with C-level decision makers at client organizations.

When we interviewed candidates, we checked for cultural alignment and whether the leader could earn the respect of our client’s existing leadership team as well as their clients. We also checked for speed of execution, as that was a key success factor in the role. The detailed qualification process we followed ensured that only the most suitable candidates were interviewed by our client, of whom one was successfully offered the position.

OUR NGS GLOBAL VALUE-ADD

• Ability to understand the key requirements of the client and execute a thorough and structured research methodology which led to the discovery of candidates who were otherwise not obviously visible.

• Partner-led search execution, which was critical as most of our target candidates had spent a long time at their current organizations. A nuanced and sophisticated pitch was required to get them excited about joining a rapidly growing company, which was much smaller in size. We advocated the opportunity confidently and with passion.

• Minimal off-limits in the technology services industry, which meant that we could provide our client access to the widest range of talent that was available and, in turn, hire the best person for the job. 

• Presenting the client with our talent and market insights that helped the client, in an agile manner, shape their own thoughts on what would constitute an ideal candidate for the role.

 

Contact Soumitra Agarwal (Project Lead)

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