Surviving Today and the Future - Sarv Saravanan, SVP/General Manager, EMC

About Sarv:

Sarv Saravanan is the Senior Vice President & General Manager of EMC Centers of Excellence in Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) and is based in Bangalore. With close to 25 years of experience in the IT industry, Sarv oversees operations for all EMC Centers of Excellence (COE) in APJ, currently across Bangalore, India; Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu in China. These Centers of Excellence play a critical role in advancing EMC’s vision and leadership in Cloud Computing, Big Data and Trusted IT, and in supporting its global growth strategy.
Sarv joined EMC from Microsoft where he held diverse roles, including, Director, India Enterprise Business and MD, Microsoft Global Services Center & Microsoft IT Center India. With 22+ years of experience, Sarv also had stints as Head of Retail Banking Technology for a major bank in the Middle East, Product R&D engineer in an MNC in the US and Lecturer in Computer Science at PSG Coimbatore. Sarv has a Masters in Computer Sciences and his interests include traveling, golf and community activities. He contributes to under-privileged children’s education and believes in the power of technology for socio-economic transformation.

"I clearly see Product Leadership as a huge missing piece”

What is the huge disruption happening in our industry?

We keep hearing that there are huge disruptions in the industry. The business model is changing, a lot of startups in different areas are disrupting the established players. Therefore the established players have to look at two things very seriously if they have to survive and be relevant in the future.
One is how they are going to create efficiency in their core traditional portfolio. Efficiency means looking at more and more India. They have to invest in products and services that will help them to be relevant in the future and do it faster.
Many of those investments in areas of technology are very futuristic. When I say futuristic, I mean that the scale comes through digital native skills. Where do they find that kind of talent in large numbers? The answer is India.
As we look at these two completely different opportunities to grow our teams and organizations here, we have to deeply look at what kind of capability or talent is missing for us to step up and take advantages of the opportunities that are before us.

What is the huge missing piece today?

I clearly see product leadership as a huge missing piece. I don’t just mean product management skills here. I also mean the General Managers, our senior engineering managers or directors with deep product knowledge and leadership skills. Without bridging these capabilities, I wonder if we would step up to the next stage in our ecosystem growth.

What does IPL do to fulfil this need?

What the Institute of Product Leadership is doing is very timely and I am very thrilled to see such a rich program helping us bridge the gap, the need I see in my own organization in a very large scale.

Key Take-aways:

- Different startups in all areas disrupt the industry for the established players.
- Investing in products and services that are future-relevant is the key to maintaining their stance.
- The scale comes through digital native skills and a large amount of this talent can be found in India.
- Apart from product leadership skills, other capabilities are missing as well.
- The program is bridging the gap between industry need and people’s abilities.

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