Interview with Vinod Pahlawat, the Chief Growth Officer at CMS IT Services

Vinod Pahlawat

An exclusive interview with Vinod Pahlawat, the Chief Growth Officer at CMS IT Services, a Bangalore-based technology company

Welcome to an insightful conversation with Mr. Vinod Pahlawat, a distinguished leader and the Chief Growth Officer at CMS IT Services, a prominent System Integrator and Managed Services provider. With a career marked by strategic vision and extensive experience in the IT industry, Mr. Pahlawat has played a pivotal role in driving growth and innovation for CMS IT Services.

As a thought leader, his expertise spans across diverse domains, from technology trends shaping the industry to effective strategies for navigating the dynamic landscape of IT services. Join us as we delve into his perspectives, experiences, and valuable insights, shedding light on the trajectory of CMS IT Services and the broader landscape of technology-driven solutions.

Can you provide an overview of your role as Chief Growth Officer at CMS IT Services and the key responsibilities that come with it?

Vinod Pahlawat: To expand CMSIT’s reach and revenue streams while continuously conducting thorough market analysis, competitive intelligence, and long-term planning, as CMSIT’s Chief Growth Officer, I am responsible for developing and implementing CMSIT growth strategies in identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, new markets, partnerships, and forming strategic alliances and at the same time further strengthening existing clients’ and partners’ relationships.

This entails providing dynamic sales leadership to foster a cross-functional and risk-adaptive sales culture and marketing leadership to create and execute effective campaigns that generate businesses, enhance brand visibility, and support sales efforts.

These need to be balanced well with financial viability of growth initiatives ensuring strong positive EBIDTA and revenue growth while enhancing customer experience & stickiness. To achieve that, I am leveraging my entire 3 decades of experience working with some of great organisations like HCLTech, Airtel, Xerox, Mphasis-HP, Motherson etc…

CMS IT Services is a leading System Integrator and Managed Services provider. What strategies have you employed to drive growth and market expansion for the company in recent years?

Vinod Pahlawat: CMSIT is diligently engaged to acquire new clients and they choose us because of our client centricity, technology expertise, and cost effectiveness. To retain and expand existing client relationships, we are intensely committed.

CMSIT is continuously enriching and expanding the range of offered services in new technology domains, innovative solutions, and digital transformation initiatives involving cloud, cybersecurity, data analytics, and other digital technologies. To provide access to new technologies and solutions, we collaborate with technology solution owners through strategic partnerships and alliances.

For increasing visibility through targeted marketing campaigns and brand-building activities to enhance CMSIT’s reputation and attract new clients, we conduct both online and offline marketing initiatives.

To deliver high-quality and top notch services through a skilled workforce, CMSIT invests in recruiting top talent, providing training programs, and fostering a culture of innovation and high on agility.

In the competitive IT services industry, what do you see as the biggest challenges and opportunities for CMS IT Services to maintain and enhance its market position?

Vinod Pahlawat: Keeping up with the rapid changes in technologies and ensuring that the workforce is skilled in these rapid continuous technological advancements while grappling with acquiring and retaining skilled professionals, differentiating services and demonstrating unique value propositions in highly competitive Indian market, adhering to the highest security standards and helping clients stay ahead of emerging cyber threats, and negotiating global economic uncertainties and fluctuations are primary challenges we face continuously.

Market always presents a growing demand for digital transformation services and with more than forty years of delivering business-aligned transformative IT services, we capitalize on these by offering expertise in areas such as cybersecurity, automation, and cloud computing.

Our industry- specific solutions are our key differentiators and attracts clients looking for specialized expertise. With the rise in cyber threats, there’s a growing need for robust cybersecurity services and CMSIT, with multi-vertical deep cybersecurity services’ experience, excels in providing comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to protect client digital assets.

Digital transformation is a prevalent theme in the industry. Could you share some insights into how CMS IT Services adapts to emerging technology trends and leverages them to drive growth and innovation?

Vinod Pahlawat: Our Centres of Excellence on cybersecurity, cloud, and automation continuously engage in research, development, and innovation. This helps in building new and tailor-made solutions and services catering to evolving client needs. To build sustainability in these areas, our Technology Services Group provides deep technology consulting and implementation expertise to clients.

To stay competitive and meet client demands, we focus on managed IT & OT cybersecurity, automation, and cloud services, leverage on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, and develop intelligent predictive and preventive solutions derived from actionable insights in our engagements.

As Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, CMSIT services, with expansive IT & OT services experience in large Oil & Gas and Manufacturing corporations, is developing expertise in creating solutions to connect devices and leverage data from the IoT ecosystems to drive efficiency and innovation.

CMS IT Services offers both System Integration and Managed Services. Can you elaborate on how the company maintains a balanced approach between these two core offerings to meet client needs effectively?

Vinod Pahlawat: Different clients have varying needs. Some clients need comprehensive System Integration for the development, deployment, and integration of complex IT systems. Others prioritize ongoing support and optimization and demand a stronger focus on Managed Services. Understanding client requirements and a thorough analysis helps in tailoring services. CMS IT offers flexible service models to adapt to diverse client requirements.

CMS IT Services designs system solutions using integrated lifecycle approach built on scalability, maintainability, and manageability that are not only efficient and can be seamlessly integrated, but also optimized for ongoing management and operations.

We enjoy tremendous amount of trust & collaboration with global OEMs and partners. Strategic partnerships enhance CMSIT’s access to a broader range of solutions and expertise supporting both System Integration and Managed Services.

Talent acquisition and development play a vital role in a company’s growth. What strategies does CMS IT Services employ to attract, retain, and develop top talent in the IT industry?

Vinod Pahlawat: I have always strongly believed & practiced that if you take good care of your people, they will take care of your business. CMSIT offers highly flexible work culture, competitive salaries, and other benefits to attract and retain top talent. For this, we conduct regular salary benchmarking. To enhance employees’ skills, we implement professional development programs, including training sessions, workshops, and certifications.

Providing clear career paths and growth opportunities demonstrates CMSIT’s commitment to employees’ long-term success. We work with employees to create personalized development plans and pathways within the organization.

To foster a positive work culture, CMSIT recognises and rewards employees during regular townhalls for their achievements and contributions with spot awards, performance bonuses, and other recognition programs.

Prioritizing employee well-being by providing health and wellness programs, mental health support, and other well-being initiatives contributes to a positive work environment, and we regularly engage employees for these programs. CMS IT Services implements policies and practices that promote diversity and foster an inclusive culture.

How does CMS IT Services address cybersecurity and data privacy concerns in a world increasingly focused on these issues, and how do these efforts support the company’s growth objectives?

Vinod Pahlawat: CMSIT is ISO 27001 certified and GDPR compliant and has established and enforced comprehensive security solutions and policies covering data access, usage, storage, and sharing. We regularly update these policies to align with industry best practices and evolving threats. We have ensured that data is encrypted both in transit and at rest and have implemented strict access controls, role-based access, and regular reviews of access privileges.

As part of our regular cadence, we regularly conduct vulnerability assessments and implement timely patches and updates.

In an ever-changing and dynamic industry, how do you stay updated on industry trends and innovations, and how does this knowledge inform your growth strategies for CMS IT Services?

Vinod Pahlawat: CMSIT fosters a continuous learning culture. CMSIT leaders promote thought leadership by writing research articles for multiple think-tanks, joining, and actively participating in professional IT industry associations.

We always aim to stay ahead of curve in terms of how managed IT and digital services are transforming with more and more cloud adoption and newer technologies aided by GenAI/ML/RPA. We are investing in creating CoEs around various practices, hiring talents that are handpicked and putting processes in place, that are extremely supportive to growth trajectory set by the promoters and Executive leadership including myself.   

We keep an eye on the strategies and innovations of competitors and leverage research reports and analyses from industry analysts for valuable insights into market trends and emerging technologies.

CMS IT Services have clients from various industries. How does the company tailor its services to meet the specific needs and challenges of different client sectors, and how does this contribute to overall growth?

Vinod Pahlawat: Yes, you are right…We serve multiple industry verticals, not limited to BFSI, manufacturing, Retail & eCommerce, Travel & Hospitality, ITeS, Public Sector, Healthcare & Pharma, Energy & Utilities, Telcom etc.

After carefully studying & understanding the client industry nuances, CMSIT solution architects develops industry-specific solutions and services customized to the unique challenges and requirements of each sector.

For example, banking IT solutions and services are guided by Reserve Bank of India guidelines and compliance. We focus on implementing solutions that are compliant with all the regulatory and statutory bodies, while staying abreast of industry standards and best practices.

CMSIT follows a client-centric approach and prioritises the unique goals and challenges of each industry. This involves tailoring communication, project management, and service delivery to meet the specific expectations of clients in different sectors. We cultivate expertise in the specific technologies and processes relevant to each industry.

For example: For a large Retail customer, we have offered services and solutions that includes seasonal aspects of business, working shifts aligned with peak loads, soft-skills & grooming of resources etc..

For a large oil and gas and manufacturing clients, IOT and SCADA monitoring systems are critical. We have dedicated services and technology innovation teams to build solutions and customise services for both IT and IOT.

Today, CMSIT covers around 95% of PIN codes across length & breadth of the country and probably one of only IT company that has 100% people on its own rolls covering various industry solutions & verticals.

In conclusion, our conversation with Mr. Vinod Pahlawat has offered a deep dive into the world of IT services and system integration, guided by his wealth of experience and strategic acumen. As the Chief Growth Officer at CMS IT Services, Mr. Pahlawat has shared valuable insights into the industry’s evolution, emphasizing the importance of innovation, adaptability, and client-centric approaches.

His vision for CMS IT Services and the broader technology landscape provides a compelling narrative of growth, resilience, and a commitment to excellence. We extend our gratitude to Mr. Pahlawat for sharing his time and expertise, leaving us with a better understanding of the dynamics shaping the future of IT services.

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