Categories
persistence

Pushing through challenges to come out with flying colors

A major telecom player with presence in Europe and the US was under our radar for some time. And a few years ago, we got an opportunity to engage with them.

Based on our success and illustrious work with one of our existing clients, we won a small project with this company which involved deploying a three-member team to Croatia, one of their less risky geographies. The message was clear: “You may have done great work elsewhere, but you still need to prove yourself to us.”


Instead of following the careful and conservative approach of building a rapport with the customer first, we decided to be bold! It meant either go big or go home. Instead of starting slow, we started challenging them and their way of doing things. We told them, “Things are not being done the right way in your program. Probably, that is why the project is going downhill after two years. But we can turn it around for you!” Of course, this upset a lot of people. Though it was a risky approach, we wanted to make the best use of this opportunity!

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“There was an elevated sense of panic among our people; but somehow, the human spirit persisted.”


Lakshmiprasad A Associate DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2016

“You may have done great work elsewhere, but you still need to prove yourself to us.”

At the same time, we also faced several challenges in setting up our team in a new land. We did not have any experience of doing business in Croatia. It was a completely unfamiliar territory. Hence, we faced challenges in terms of technology, language, HR processes, immigration, travel, and whatnot. And just as things were getting a bit stable and we started sending more people, the pandemic hit.


The lockdown was difficult for our people in Croatia. Not only were they young, but most of them had also not travelled beyond their hometown. And there they were, stuck in a foreign country where hardly anyone spoke English, the weather was cold and dark, and the food and customs were different. Unlike Netherlands, Croatia does not have a significant Indian presence. Moreover, there were frequent earthquakes around the area where our team was based. In fact, one of the premises was also damaged in one such incident, but luckily no one was hurt.


Through all of this and the unpredictable nature of their work, our team was persistent. Our team back home supported us in every feasible way. In the end, our persistence paid off and we proved our worth as capable technology partners. As a matter of fact, our work with this customer in Croatia is used as a case study in respected industry circles.


Our credibility has gone up significantly, and we have been able to take our work in Croatia to the next level. We have even been able to pitch the client’s RFPs (Requests for Proposal) in larger markets based on our Croatia success. The future looks bright.


All because of our never-say-die attitude and our persistence in getting things done.

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persistence

Focusing on getting the basics right

In 2018, we were desperately exploring ways to break into the Latin American business of one of our key customers. Around that time, the client called proposals for a small website support project, and we decided to pitch for that at a very reasonable rate, hoping that it might lead us to bigger opportunities. Many big vendors placed their bid but at the end, we got the project as our pricing was extremely competitive. And we started with a small five-member team.

We ran into problems almost immediately: the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) kept pushing us to go above and beyond and we realized we did not have enough in-house UI-UX (user interface-user experience) expertise. As a result, there was constant friction, and for almost two years, most of our delivery calls ended up red. The team morale was low, resulting in high attrition. But we hung on, determined to make it work. Slowly but surely, things began to turn around and we started delivering well on baseline expectations.

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“It’s still early days for Data Lakes and Machine Learning, but we’ve managed to get ahead of the curve.”


Mehraj Gulzar Senior Vice PresidentJoined Prodapt in 2016

“You don’t even know the basics!” to “Why don’t you tell us how to put our framework together?”
In 2020, the CDO left. As the new one took over, there was a whole new team. The new team found us to be very competent, capable of delivering what we promised. The CDO said, “You have been managing the website for two years now; do you have any ideas about what else we can do?”


With the help of our colleagues from the product consulting team we produced some innovative ideas that created a lasting impact on the client. Within six months, we went from, “You don’t even know the basics!” to “Why don’t you tell us how to put our framework together?”


Towards the end of 2020, they decided to form their own digital CoE (Center of Excellence). Though they evaluated multiple vendors, they selected us due to the strong impression we had on them already. Our sheer grit in the face of adversity and focus on getting the basics right won us a $9mn contract to deploy a 50-member team!

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persistence

Not letting adversity dampen our fighting spirit

As one of the leading partners of global service providers in the connectedness space, we closely work with our clients on powerful technologies that accelerate connectedness. This has enabled us to gain deep insights into cutting-edge developments in the industry. Our detail-oriented and well-researched whitepapers, called Insights, are widely used by companies across the industry for first-hand information on industry challenges, path-breaking solutions, technology trends etc. Our combined expertise in connectedness and creating whitepapers gave us an advantage in winning the TM Forum’s Excellence Awards in 2020.

The value of the entire project was way higher than the current size of Prodapt itself and meant deploying close to 1,500 people on it! As the scale was much bigger than what we could support, we proposed to take care of our core areas, about 40% of the project, and leave the rest to another vendor. Unfortunately, the client was not convinced by our proposal. “Guys, you’re fantastic,” they said, “but we want one vendor who can manage the whole business.” And with that, we lost a huge chunk of our business.


Next year, one of their other business units decided to follow the same exercise. This time we decided to bid for the entire project instead of just part of it. And then the pandemic hit.

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“Undeterred by the setbacks and the oppositions that we faced, we put our heart and soul into it.”


Rechel Jamima Senior Technical LeadJoined Prodapt in 2015

“We don’t think we can trust you with this kind of scale.”
Despite the pandemic, the team collaborated on several fronts to bid for the project! Even though this was the first time we had prepared for something so big, we gave our best. In fact, the client loved our proposal and presentations, and we moved on from one step to another in the selection process until we were among the top three contenders.


Our final presentation went well, and they loved everything about it. And yet, despite all that, we still did not land the project! “We don’t think we can trust you with this kind of scale,” they said. Again, we lost a major part of our business.


Just then, their third business unit began consolidating its vendors. And despite falling short twice before, we were determined to go after this deal. Undeterred by the setbacks and the oppositions that we faced, we put our heart and soul into it. We never lost faith and kept chasing it. We gave everything we had.


And finally, despite failing twice, we landed one of the biggest deals of that year through our sheer persistence!

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persistence

Bringing together a cross-functional team determined to get things done

In July 2020, a major global telecom player announced a large RFP (Request for Proposal), calling for bids for a project in Slovakia. 

No doubt the project was lucrative. But it also meant testing new waters. The project needed some specialized capabilities that we did not have at that point of time. Some major transformation and transit excellence components were to be built into the programme, with higher cost implications. And finally, the project demanded at least a team of 50 people to be on-site in Slovakia, a country where we had no presence!


Initially, we all had lots of reservations. “How do we do this?” some of us asked. Others said, “Why would they give it to us?” And we all wondered, “Is this an RFP we should even be spending time on?” But after several rounds of internal discussions, we decided to take the plunge and swim with the sharks. And that is when everything started coming together!

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“We did our research with the intent of being ready for anything in the future.”


Malavika Sreejit DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2017


“How do we do this? Is this an RFP we should even be spending time on?”

What started as a team of four-five working on the RFP soon grew to a 10+ member team, with each one of us focused on understanding the project needs and finding feasible solutions around them. The group kept growing; colleagues from the legal team joined in, Prodaptians familiar with the geography pitched in and experts from the different practices, operations, delivery etc. came on board.


Finally, we submitted our response to the RFP in print. We then moved to the next stage and made an elaborate presentation. Our bid went from one stage to the next, and each one of us kept pushing to get it done. Finally, out of around 15 vendors who responded to the RFP, we were among the last two!


In the last stage, we had to deliver a POC (Proof of Concept) for the project. And while we were doing that, we were parallelly asked to start working on the contract! Once again, our teams rallied to figure out the various documents, subordinate agreements, and the SOW (Scope of Work) and bring the whole thing together.



Finally, after eight months of hard work, our persistence paid off: we were awarded the contract in March 2021! All thanks to the determination of Prodaptians willing to go beyond their everyday work to get it done.

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futuristic

Creating a first-in-industry solution from a routine problem

When I joined Prodapt in 2011, we were doing a lot of consolidation work for a customer, which involved bringing together data from multiple applications into one. Most of this was done manually, making the process slow and time-consuming. But at that point, that was the only known way of getting it done. There was no solution available in the market to automate these kinds of data migrations.

Though we were a small team at that time, we already had lots of experience in data migrations. In fact, we were one of the few teams that had access to the source code of the application to which the data was being migrated. Curious as always, we started to think beyond the immediate processes and wondered if we could bring in automation to play a role here. And knowing that there was no tool in the market to automate the process, we thought, “How do we ‘solutionize’ this, and how do we monetize that solution?”

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“Prodapt could beat industry heavyweights to win the NPG award for Best Solution in the Telecom Industry! “


Somasundaram Associate DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2007


We thought, “How do we ‘solutionize’ this, and how do we monetize that solution?”


After lots of brainstorming and iterations, our solution was finally ready, Accelo-Pro! The platform could automatically consolidate the data for our customers. But we had thought beyond the customer’s current requirements: we built Accelo-Pro with the ability to migrate data from any source to any target, something no other platform could do!


It was the first of its kind platform in the market. Gradually, it went on to become the core application around which we built multiple customer-centric solutions. As this framework greatly improved data quality and migration time, Prodapt could beat industry heavyweights like Deloitte and Dell to win the NPG award for Best Solution in the Telecom Industry!

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futuristic

Thinking ahead of time to become a global niche player

In 2017, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) was still in the nascent stage. Though there was a need to automate digital tasks, very few organizations had this capability. Sensing an opportunity, we decided to create an RPA team. “Why don’t we even create an internal certification process?”, we thought. And Bot University was born! At the same time, we also created internal job opportunities for anyone who wanted to be trained in RPA. We even started bringing people from our BPO services to be trained in RPA and certified by Bot University.

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Today, Prodapt is one of the leading players globally in the niche area of RPA and is considered an expert in the field.”


Paul Termijn Senior PartnerJoined Prodapt in 2014


“Why don’t we create an internal RPA certification process?”

Because we thought ahead and built our internal capabilities much before most of the players in the market, many organizations started reaching out to us for RPA. Prodapt became the go-to organization for RPA projects for top telecom players across the globe! 

Today, Prodapt is one of the leading players globally in the niche area of RPA and is considered an expert in the field. And all because we were futuristic and took a calculated risk that paid off.

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futuristic

Turning a small opportunity into something much bigger

In 2016, one of our key customers began a project to revamp their entire service delivery application. As part of the project, they were looking for an external vendor for application support. However, they limited the headcount to 10 people out of the 120-member team, which was even less than 10%. On all accounts this was a very small project for us. We wondered, “Is it worth taking up such a small project?”

Still, we decided to go ahead to set foot in the door, anticipating that this would eventually get a bigger piece of the pie in the future. And our gamble paid off.

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“We chose to start small because we knew we would do more in the future.”


Tanvir Singh DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2022


“Is it worth taking up such a small project?”

Two years later, the customer’s other two partners in the project had to exit. And as the customer did not want to lose momentum, they began to give us more responsibilities. Today, we have deployed a team of over 60 working on this project across delivery management, development, cloud migration etc. And it looks like the number will only grow in the future.


We could have decided not to take up such a small project but our ability to look at the bigger picture opened new opportunities for us. Thinking ahead did get paid off!

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futuristic

Entering a new market without ever setting foot in it

In 2018 when trying to enter the Canadian market, we did not have our own legal entity in the country. Our HR team did extensive research and explored different feasible market-entry models to find if there was a way to enter a new market without having a legal entity, not just for Canada but also for other countries, including Latin America. Our research helped us when we expanded to Panama soon after.

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“We did our research with the intent of being ready for anything in the future.”


MALAVIKA SREEJIT DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2017


“How are we going to do all this remotely?”

In 2020, as we were planning to expand into Chile, the pandemic hit. As a result, we had no choice but to on-board everyone in Chile completely remotely, without even travelling there. We thought, “How are we going to do all this remotely?” But our elaborate research on this matter paid off and we could quickly find a way to get it done. Later, we created our own legal entity and on-boarded everyone, again 100% remotely. Today, we have more than 45 Prodaptians in Chile. Recently, we set foot in Colombia.


Our forward-thinking research in 2018 helped us in expediting our expansion plans even during the pandemic. We did not limit our search to the Canadian market alone and did a solid groundwork covering many countries in different regions. And hence, we were able to achieve so much, so fast.

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depth

Our winning value of going deep gave us an advantage on the global stage

As one of the leading partners of global service providers in the connectedness space, we closely work with our clients on powerful technologies that accelerate connectedness. This has enabled us to gain deep insights into cutting-edge developments in the industry. Our detail-oriented and well-researched whitepapers, called Insights, are widely used by companies across the industry for first-hand information on industry challenges, path-breaking solutions, technology trends etc. Our combined expertise in connectedness and creating whitepapers gave us an advantage in winning the TM Forum’s Excellence Awards in 2020.

At the time, we were collaborating with a customer on an Insight on Autonomous Programmable Networks. We had several brainstorming sessions internally and with the customer to deep dive into every aspect of the case study. Though we had a well-researched draft, our internal review raised a lot of questions, which needed concrete answers. Hence, we dug even deeper to try and figure out the ‘secret sauce’ and the unique solutions that set us apart. And the result was nothing but a very high-quality story, ready for publication.

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“Our ability to go deep helped us beat over 100 other nominations, including many industry veterans.”

Sumit Thakur DirectorJoined Prodapt in 2018


“Why don’t we position this on the global stage and nominate it for a TMF award?”

At this point, our leader made a game-changing decision. “Why don’t we position this on the global stage,” he said, “and nominate it for a TMF award?”


As we had already gone deep in creating the Insight, we could easily satisfy the queries of the TMF analysts during the submission process. Almost every question had its answer in the Insights document. Of course, we needed some internal help in articulating the business benefits, which is a vital part of the submission. But most importantly, we also needed our customer’s approval to nominate for the award. The fact that the customer did not hesitate a bit shows the deep connections we have built with our customers.


Our ability to go deep helped us to stand out of over 100 nominations and win the TM Forum’s Excellence Award in the Autonomous Networks and the Edge category, beating many industry veterans in the process.

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depth

Embracing a drastic change to stay connected during the pandemic

When the pandemic hit us in 2020, it turned everything upside down, including work. It seemed like the entire world had gone into lockdown, and things that we took for granted—like going to the office and meeting colleagues face-to-face, were no longer possible. We had to quickly figure out a new way of working if we wanted Prodapt to survive.

And that’s when Sudha, the architect of our digital interconnectedness, came in as a saviour. Though she was not a technical person, she made it her mission to figure out how to keep us all connected through technology.

People suggested that we start using tools like Slack or Yammer, but Sudha suggested, “Why can’t we use the tools already available to us?” At that point, we were using some Microsoft tools for communication. Hence, after internal consultation with the IT (Information Technology) team and a thorough (not to mention painstaking) research on this matter, she realized that MS Teams would be the perfect tool for us. Sudha then made it her mission to use MS Teams to keep us all digitally connected.

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“We got it done, despite the pandemic, and within our original guidelines.”


Sudha Dinesh ManagerJoined Prodapt in 2019


“Why can’t we use tools already available to us?”

She spearheaded the process and created an organization-wide channel to connect everyone across the organization. To achieve this feat, she worked tirelessly with the IT team to integrate each and every email ID with the tool and immediately add the new joiners to the channel.


Today, Sudha is the go-to person for MS Teams across the entire organization, owing to her deep and extensive knowledge of the tool. And thanks to that depth, Prodapt was able to adapt and thrive even in one of the most disruptive events of recent times.