Belief:Simplicity is the best sophistication


I am an Electronics Engineer with 20+ years of industry experience in the field of Information Technology(IT) , Information Systems(IS) & heading IMS Business Unit of which the past 10 years I have been in CXO position

Apart from heading IT operations in Ericsson, I was successful in merging Test Infra with IT, which in turn resulted into improved efficiency, cost savings and new innovations. I am known for the implementation of cutting edge technology and have received many awards for the IT implementation projects across different industries.
I have been a vocal force on several expert panels on national media like NDTV profit and a Speaker in the worldwide CTO Forum.

Portfolio

I am an active & Influential CIO among my peers and my thoughts, whitepapers & articles has been published in all leading magazines and national dailies like Voice & Data, Dataquest, PC Quest, CTO Forum, Network Computing, Business Line and CIO World. I have been a vocal force on several expert panels on national media like NDTV profit and even as a speaker in the worldwide CTO Forum.

Visit to Madhya Pradesh

The coverage of our end-customer events in Dataquest magazine

Network Computing News Network, July 2 2009

IT Applications relevance for SME's in the current market space

First Article in CTO

Infosys CIO Panel

Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce

August 06'2009 Economics Times

Network Innovation Award

About Me

Experience

  • Global CIO & SVP & Head Global IMS Business (P &L)
    Hexaware Technologies
  • CIO
    Aztecsoft January 2003 - October 2008 (5 years 10 months)
  • Chief of -IT/IS & Test Infrastructure
    Ericsson 2001 - 2003 (2 years)
  • Head -IT/IS
    Hughes Software Bangalore 1999 - 2002 (3 years)
  • Team Lead
    Wipro Infotech 1996 - 1999 (3 years)
  • PCL
    Senior Engineer (Customer Support/TSG) 1991 - 1996 (5 years)

Awards

  • Innovative CIO-100 award from David Hill President & CEO
  • International Publishing Services (IDG) and Global CIO award (2011) from Information Week

Other Activities

I am involved with various community activities, with a focus on education. At Niyam-06, a techno-cultural fest organised by the Dr Ambedkar Institute of Technology which witnessed the participation of top the 25 engineering colleges in Bangalore, I shared the Chief Guest honour along with Karnataka's IT Secretary Mr. M.N. Vidyashankar.

Jain Engineering College Inaguration

Dr. Ambedkar Niyam 06 - with IT Secretary

An article as published in Information Week

My Inspirations from LIFE

A fast rising performer, N Nataraj, Global CIO, Hexaware and Head (SVP) IMS Business, Hexaware, has been one of the rare CIOs to leverage IT to create business opportunities for his firm. He incubated the IMS service line within Hexaware and now it contributes approximately 5 percent of revenues in a short span of time. He has also been instrumental in developing Hexaware’s private cloud platform, which is now opening the doors for his firm into several businesses. As President, CIO KLUB, Bangalore Chapter, and an active and influential CIO among his peers, and winner of several prestigious awards such as the Global CIO award from InformationWeek, there are several important lessons from his career and life, which are inspirational for emerging CIOs and other IT professionals. He shares with InformationWeek's Srikanth RP his key inspirations from life, and the lessons he has learnt from every individual. Here is Nataraj in his own words

I am who I am and where I am, because of the decisions I made in this life’s journey of 42 years; influenced by my experiences and lessons learnt from those who inspired me, or those I followed (as Twitter describes it, today). What you learn in B-school and professional colleges could be subject knowledge or dopes on strategy, planning tools, conceptual/ application oriented understanding on people, financials, markets, technology, etc. Being a learner, what I learn from life, through experiencing the moments & inspirations from people form the school that I choose to never graduate from. Inspirations and learning from others be it family, teachers and professors, colleagues at work, friends and many achievers who have been influencers in my life has been the school for me.

My early years Born in a lower middle class family, shuttling along with my father across the Delhi – Haryana belt through my childhood, taught me lessons on hard-work; that there are no shortcuts in life, one has to earn and deserve every bit of what one gets. I still remember how my father used to travel 20 km on his way to office by bicycle even in the peak seasons of summer and winter in Delhi to save bus expenses.I saw my father as a standing example of hard-work, discipline, perseverance and commitment.

My elder brother and I didn’t have enough of luxuries; to be sent to the best of schools, colleges and formal training in our hobbies; however we were happy – a complete family of four, each of us unique and strong individuals. Learnings on differences in people thinking and behavior was an early lesson as a growing boy. I decided to be serious with academic and aimed at a successful career; worked hard, scored ranks, qualified for entrance tests of reputed engineering institutes; I believed that my high scores would take me to where I am today, professionally; but life had something else in store; we couldn’t afford the fees. I put up my case with a dream reputed institute stating, ‘I am an outstanding student!’ The response I got was every student here is outstanding. How true! I asked myself, what is my differentiator? I didn’t find an answer then.

Games teach you more than a sport and fitness I pursued normal education; gained subject knowledge more than earned a pedigree. Found ways to earn as I learnt. More importantly, pursed interests that didn’t cost much. Chess, the game that teaches you strategy, to make the right moves and how important it is to not make the wrong ones; my grandfather granted me this game in legacy. He has been a great source of inspiration, a government employee, man of principles and an ace chess player apart from varied interests in homeopathy, gardening, tailoring, music, electronics and mechanics that he pursued with passion. I learnt the passion that he personified and patience from him. I was also the college champion and represented my team in the Khurukshetra University Championship.

The other game that intrigued me over the last decade is Golf. Haven’t I been lucky? This game of the haves I played for the first time in Cupertino (California) Golf course in 2005. Till last year I have been playing almost every weekend in KGA & AGC (Army Golf course) in Bangalore. I also participated in couple of championships since 2005 (Cisco Golf tournament in Eagleton, CRY in KGA, ICICI in Eagleton etc). Didn’t gain enough proficiency to win a tournament. However, I managed to win a couple of prizes for the longest drive and putting. I learnt that it’s not the power but the precision, timing and tact that matters in every stroke. It’s the same ball, the hole being the goal; however one needs to choose the club, which can make the difference. I learnt that rules of games are not the same, sometimes the lowest score means winning. It is not only about a talented player who is the best in a sport. Eldrick Tont Woods, is it the player or the player plus his coaches that make him Tiger Woods (the giant of a man). The importance of a coach in one’s life to be the best, how important is that?

“Opportunity is not always obvious” and success is hugely dependant on what you do next. This is the big lesson I have learnt while playing Chess or Golf.

Learn from your roots; never forget your past got you to where you are History, mythology has interested me over the years. Well, am not a religious-ritualistic person; nor into any cult or formal followership. If I had a boon to be granted, Lord Krishna is a role I wish to play. Is it the epic Mahabharata, or the Bhagavat Gita or Krishna that mesmerizes me more? I don’t know. What I do know is that a portion of my mind and being is engulfed and guided by Him – call it the ‘concept’ or ‘the being’. We say the means take you to the end but to me it’s been the means to the means; the end is Karmanye Vadhikaraste Ma Phaleshu Kadachana…. You have very less a say on the end but everything to do with the means; all that one has in one’s circle of influence and control is what and how one thinks, does and communicates. Chanakya or Chankaya neethi? This guru from our history is an institution of governance, political science and management. He is a live example to emulate on how professors can play a role in nation building. How managers as coaches can enable high performance in organizations.

Sometimes television can be your teacher; I thank Dr. BR Chopra and Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi for enabling my deeper interests in Krishna or Vishnugupta through their ventures on Indian television, so simplistically directed, for every Indian child to relate to. And yes, Nitish Bharadwaj and Dr Dwivedi are people, amongst a few others, I will always be envious of, for enacting these roles. Movies influence lives; my cinema icon No one can be spared from being influenced by Indian tinsel town and its larger than life heroes. Is there anyone living who is larger than life? Well, I have only one image in my mind since my adolescence. The silver screen legend, Amitabh Bachchan!!

The man behind this actor is another hero of my life. More than the characters he has played on reel, I admire his real character. He to me is many virtues personified; however the fighter and pioneer in many areas that he has been, has inspired me over the years. How can a hero standing in front of a mike enact a 5 minute song with no change in costumes, scenes or dance movements, astounds me; isn’t this breaking the rules, moreover being a humongous box-office success for generations?! This Shahenshah, AB, has been my inspiration through life’s struggles and I feel child-like excitement even today when my sister Malavika (cousin but more than a sister) refers me as AB or Big B; Ajay Bhaiya! Big Brother to her. Ajay my name at home christened by my father; which means ‘unconquered’; has been a source of sub-conscious positivity and affirmation. In reflection, I believe this name of mine (Ajay) has been a source of tremendous resilience through my life’s struggle. Nothing in life has ever come easy, however everything that matters the most has been the best I could have asked for, including my family, friends at home & outside and professional acquaintances.

Four important women in my life Did my name (Ajay) have anything to do with my decision to marry Jay, my life partner?” Jayasree, my better half is the other woman behind me. The first being my mother - the bold lady with a can-do attitude, her leadership traits are the genes that run in me. Jayasree, my companion, is the source of my inner-strength, provides me unconditional support and makes me understand the meaning of life-partnership. Living with her, I have strengthened my lessons on humility, equanimity and selflessness and over the last five years. The third lady of my life; our little angel, Kritika helps me re-live my childhood and rejoice the bliss of sheer innocence. I am on travel right now and as much as I miss my family, I tell Jay, she comments that I miss home food more; Oh yes! Iddlis are my only weakness that I am bereft of in my trips to the west. Last but not the least, my little sister Malavika who has taught me the power of resilience.

Learning from my brother During my early years, I was a completely introvert person and focused more on studies, while my brother gave equal importance to extra-curricular activities. To me, anything other than studies was a waste of my time. However, over time, I learnt from my brother the importance of focusing on other aspects of life. I still remember his words “Mcdonald sells more because it is packaged well.” How true! Having content alone is not good enough until it is presented well.

Learning from others I have learnt from many I have interacted closely with; my teachers, colleagues and seniors – the likes of Ashok Soota, Chandra (VC, former President Wipro, CEO Mastek, e4e, Aztec),Govi (Founder member Aztec, CEO, Perfios), Chandra (KBC, Chairman e4e), Subroto Bagchi, RV Ramanan, Samir Bodas (CEO, Icertis), Atul and Sekar (my current Chairman & CEO) – They took the risk and gave me an opportunity to head the IMS business apart from my CIO role and today that is the fastest growing horizontal in Hexaware). To mention some achievers I read about – Gandhiji, Steve Jobs, Bill gates, Randy Pausch, to name a few. Several soft aspects of these gentlemen have moved me. Slumdog Millionaire was a story on how every experience in your life can make you a millionaire. My experiences have helped me become a richer human being and with all humility, I want to state that I certainly have not arrived; I see the journey as the reward. Well, and that’s what keeps me going.

The key to life, I believe, is to discover oneself and to serve; and this has been my journey ever since ‘the question’ appeared in my mind – Who am I? I feel blessed as I can see & connect with people beyond their degrees, titles, popularity & lifestyles. Who am I isn’t a bunch of interests and hobbies that I pursue and what I Think, Say and Do or often Don’t; it is the explorer enjoying the journey called Life….. This is the first time I have been asked to share my personal self (not sure if it is of interest to others). As Randy found his last lecture as an opportunity to leave a message for his children; perhaps, this is my opportunity to thank those (many of who I have mentioned) who have been catalysts in the lessons of life that I have learnt. For the person that I am today; I want to thank the many teachers. Here’s a heartfelt Thank you!”