Today was the first breakfast talk for this year’s series in Tamil Nadu branch of The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce. These talks are conducted under the title Meet Success First Hand.

Today’s guest was Mr.Lakshmi Narayanan (Vice Chairman, Cognizant), I have listened to his talks many times in the past, but he never fails to energize and motivate you. His talks are never tiring and always fresh even though he may be saying the (same) Cognizant success story.


Mr.Lakshmi spoke on how Cognizant (CTS) in the initial days (~1997 when they had about 500 people) itself consciously decided to focus on exceptional customer relationship & growth (in that order). He recalled how this focus was arrived after a management advisory firm shared an observation to CTS founders that firms can excel on only one of the three axis – Innovation, Operation Excellence (Low cost) and Customer Relationship.

And how CTS grow consistently every quarter except on two occasions (2001 and 2008), and Growth is pre-planned!. CTS is not the only company that has bet on growth. HDFC founded on the same year as CTS is another firm that has been growing.

In the earlier days of CTS, the motto or rallying cry was Building stronger business (internally it meant stronger CTS and for customer facing roles this meant helping the customer build a stronger business). Recently it evolved into Keep Challenging.

Mr.Lakshmi then touched upon the phenomenal growth that is happening in Healthcare (not only in Obamacare and insurance), how majority of the startups funded by Venture East are in Healthcare domain. About this firm NeuroTrack which can predict Alzheimers disease by showing you a series of images.

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