Wipro’s annual customer forum – Mandala, is not just an opportunity to take a look at the economic, technological and business realities, it is also a forum that brings together diverse leaders and those who engage in transformation and innovation. And we had just the right locale this year: Amelia Island, Florida.
The theme for the 3 day event that was kicked off on May 16 this year was ‘Transformational Ideas for the Changing Enterprise’, and I think that General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.) really set the tone for the conference in his opening keynote when he talked about both the personal transformations that he went through in his career when game changing events took place, and leading organizational transformations with the people that he worked with. He also stressed that the importance of an organization has a purpose above and beyond making money. The day ended with a welcome dinner during which everybody in attendance got a feel of the Florida hospitality and weather.
Day two’s breakfast session kicked off with a discussion on risk mitigation strategies. The CEO session on ‘Creating Competitive Advantage: Managing the Transition from Now to Next’ involved global industry bigwigs sharing their thoughts on the challenges faced the world over after the post-recession recovery of the IT industry. This was followed by an engaging session with Wipro’s Joint CEOs Suresh Vaswani and Girish Paranjpe on ‘Strategic Perspectives on Enabling Client’s Transformation Initiatives’, where the discussions revolved around
a) What Wipro is seeing in the market?
b) What investments Wipro is making to help our clients? and
c) What are the best practices for getting the most out of a partner like Wipro?
The founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence of Garage Technology Ventures, Mr. Kawasaki’s in-depth knowledge of the industry endorsed by his management acumen was on display as he overwhelmed all of us with his talk on ‘Think Radical: Creating Revolutionary Products and Services’. It was a perfect end to the day’s sessions.
Cisco’s Chairman and CEO, John Chambers, addressed the assembly via Cisco’s Telepresence and talked about how basic command and control structure has given way to much more distributed and collaborative enterprise. He also talked about how ‘video’ will change the way businesses (and people) operate. And, here at Wipro, we are working closely with our industry partners and collaborating with our clients to enable us to become a more significant part of our customer’s strategy and contribute more to their profitability.
The post-lunch leisure activities complemented the upbeat mood of our guests. The shotgun-start scramble golf tournament at The Golf Club of Amelia Island with the lush greens, strategically bunkered fairways and the ever-shifting ocean breeze ensured that everybody had a great time.
The third day started off with sessions on innovative models that can be applied to business transformation, the future of cloud computing, and business imperatives for CXOs, by Wipro leaders. The charismatic former NFL champion and broadcaster, Terry Bradshaw, then gave the keynote address on ‘Hidden Forces to Drive Transformation: Effective Change Agents, Teaming and Collaboration’. The feedback session held after the keynote address, and the lunch thereafter brought the eventful customer forum to an end. Evening entertainment during the event rocked with the help of ‘The Unexpected Boys’ with their award-winning tribute to ‘Jersey Boys’ Frankie Vali and The Four Seasons as well as customized theme parties arranged for our guests.
What made the event more special, were the several innovative technologies we used to enhance the Mandala experience:
- Cisco Telepresence – John Chamber’s speech and Q&A were delivered via a portable TP unit
- Unison – an interactive collaboration tool that enabled participants to submit questions or ideas at any time during the presentations creating a two-way dialog
- Sico – a wise cracking robot entertained our guests and kept everyone laughing during the breaks
On behalf of Wipro, I would like to thank all those people who made Mandala a success: our speakers, thought leaders, organizers (Wipro Teams), and most of all our clients. We look forward to reconnect with our clients for an even more memorable Mandala 2011.