TCS country head: ‘Ireland is a great place to do business’

2 Dec 2021

Deepak Chaudhari. Image: Tata Consultancy Services

TCS’s Deepak Chaudhari discusses his move to Ireland, the country’s ‘impressive ecosystem’ for businesses, and how he has become a ‘bit of a Teams and Zoom guru’ during the pandemic.

Deepak Chaudhari is the country head for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Ireland. In this role, he is responsible for strategy, sales and operations, bringing IT and business services to customers in a range of sectors.

India-headquartered TCS is a global player in IT services, including digital, cybersecurity, agile development, infrastructure support and data centre services. The company first established a base in Dublin in 2001 and significantly expanded its presence in Ireland last year when it acquired Donegal-based Pramerica. TCS now has more than 1,400 employees in Ireland.

Chaudhari has more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles across India, the US and UK. He has been based in Ireland for the past three years and now lives in Dublin with his family.

He studied engineering at Pune University in India and has completed executive courses at UCD Smurfit School. He is also the vice-chair for the Ireland India Business Association and a board member for Junior Achievement Ireland.

‘I came to Ireland three years back because of the opportunity that I saw to make a real impact’

How do you prioritise and organise your working life?

I have always led teams with purpose. We are here to solve challenges faced by our clients and we leverage our global experience to design and implement the most appropriate solution to meet our clients’ needs.

I usually divide my working week into three parts. Roughly one-third of my time is focused on my senior stakeholders, which includes customer CXOs, as well as my internal stakeholders. Another third of the time is spent with my industry peers, understanding the market, liaising with alliance partners, etc. The remaining third of the time I spend with my employees, understanding any challenges, identifying any mentorship that may be required, learning and development activities, etc.

This approach gives me a balanced way to stay relevant and connected.

What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?

The technology sector is rapidly evolving across multiple dimensions, including innovation, scale, complexity, cost to serve, time to market, etc. We provide a multitude of services in Ireland such as data analytics, application modernisation, agile services, digital transformation, infrastructure support, etc. We have a strong focus on cybersecurity services and cloud services, including the hyperscalers and data-related services.

Due to the strong demand of our growing business, TCS Ireland has recently invested in Letterkenny to create a technology and business operations centre. This centre has over 1,200 highly skilled people working in teams serving customers based internationally and in Ireland.

What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on?

The key focus for us remains serving customers in the areas of digital transformation, cybersecurity services, cloud services, and data and analytics services.

We are seeing tremendous traction with our customers in the above areas and we wish to continue to invest and grow these practices. Our key mantra for Irish customers is to ‘deliver global experiences locally’. 

What set you on the road to where you are now?

I have had a 21-year career across various TCS management roles in UK, US, India and now in Ireland. I came to Ireland three years back because of the opportunity that I saw to make a real impact.

Ireland is a great place to do business. It provides an impressive ecosystem of local companies, global companies, academia, innovation partnerships, Government support, high-calibre talent etc – and all of it in such a connected fashion.

I am proud of the impact that TCS has made in Ireland. We serve over 45 customers from our centre in Donegal, as well as other locations in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Athlone. 

How do you get the best out of your team?

In my experience, the priority is to develop a shared vision for what we are trying to achieve and a clear roadmap for how we are going to get there.

Within this context, I find that people achieve the best results when they are given the right mix of autonomy and support to help them achieve their personal objectives.

Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector?

With a workforce exceeding 500,000 people, achieving diversity within our organisation is a key priority for TCS. We were very proud that TCS in Ireland was recently selected by the Diversity in Tech Awards as the International Diverse Company of the Year.

Did you ever have a mentor or someone who was pivotal in your career?

I have taken inspiration from many people and leaders around me. I believe everyone is good at something and it is about getting to know that and taking that inspiration back into your life.

What books have you read that you would recommend?

My passion for books started in college with classics like The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Now I especially enjoy management books including 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. I believe that when great authors and leaders have poured their experience and expertise into a book, one should read and try to absorb as much of it as possible.

What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week?

I am a strong believer in the importance of face-to-face communication, but the global pandemic has forced all of us to rely heavily on technology for our communication needs.

I am fortunate to work for a global technology company that had invested in the required infrastructure to operate in a virtual world. Like lots of people, I have become a bit of a Teams and Zoom guru over the last 18 months.

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