Leaders are those who inspire others to dream big and help them find out the pathways to achieve those. He or she is the one who is there to give them the credit for the achievements and provide them with air cover when things are not going the way they should. The mind of a leader is always looking for solutions and opportunities even in the midst of challenges.
Strong leadership is the belief that people can make a positive difference in the world—and for customers, colleagues, the organization, and shareholders. One such passionate leader is Amitabh Ray, inspiring people through a shared vision and creating an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled.
A Luminary Leading from the Front
Amitabh Ray is the Managing Director at Ericsson India Global Services Pvt. Ltd. since July 2014. He joined Ericsson India Global Services in 2010 as Vice President and Head of Consulting and Systems Integration. Amitabh has previously held senior positions at both IBM and PwC.
“Leadership, in my opinion, does not come with an organizational title, but with the natural ability to empathize with people and to inspire them to find their own leadership strengths. I believe that my real responsibility is to create other leaders in the organization, leaders who can contribute not only to the organization but also to the society. My biggest responsibility is to inspire people and instill in them the spirit of curiosity, innovation, learning, to never stop dreaming and to give them a purpose in whatever they are doing,” says Amitabh.
According to Amitabh the only way one can keep growing as a leader is through the constant cycle of learning, unlearning and relearning. The ability to put this knowledge and information into perspective is what helps a leader to mature.
“I am continuously absorbing knowledge and new information, be it from my teammates, peers, customers or even competitors. What I value most and practice is the ability to admit that I don’t know or understand something. That helps people to open up and share with me their knowledge. “Help me understand” is my favorite phrase. I try to read whenever I find the time. I would think that my leadership will be successful when I leave enough people with the conviction and courage to carry on,” asserts Amitabh.
Amitabh’s Role Model
Amitabh reveals, “My role model would be my mother. She was the one who taught me to dream. She taught me to believe in myself to achieve the impossible and stay humble, rooted in my culture and principles. At every stage of my career, there have been people who have shown their trust in my capabilities and I, in turn, have tried to live up to their expectations. I am inspired by my country and at the same time excited by the creativity of the people around the world I work with.”
Ericsson: Transforming Mobile Communications through its Technology Leadership
Ericsson is world’s leading telecommunication industry player, providing equipment, software, and services to enable transformation through mobility. With more than 110,000 professionals and customers in 180 countries, Ericsson combines global scale with technology and services leadership.
As head of the four Global Service Centers, in India, China, Mexico and, Romania – Amitabh’s role is to deliver competitive advantage to the organization and customers by leveraging competencies, global scale, and standard ways of working with local capabilities. Ericsson does it through having the right skills, available at the right time and the right place for their customers. Going forward, these centers will play a critical role in delivering new skills and competencies around digital services, managed services – using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and analytics to the customers.
“Over the last 141 years, we have led the technological evolution of the communication industry in every decade. This is evident from the fact that we have nearly 42,000 patents. And of course, we enjoy an enormous confidence from our customers,” asserts Amitabh. He also admits that it’s the people and technology leadership makes Ericsson better than their competitors. They have always challenged the traditional ways of thinking, creating valuable connections between people, business, and society. Since day one, Ericsson has been committed to innovation and to the global ecosystems that support it. In the beginning, they revolutionized analog communications with new switching techniques and technology. When the digital revolution came, Ericsson thrived there too. When broadband was in its infancy, they were already working on technologies like 3G and 4G long before the smartphone became ubiquitous.
Now as the world is stepping into the Fourth Industrial Revolution where mind-boggling technological innovations like fully automated drone swarms, surgery from the other side of the world, robot coworkers, user data-defined shopping experiences will become ubiquitous – Ericsson’s industry-collaboration innovation projects will shape the future. In the not too distant future, everyone will witness how Ericsson’s 5G technology delivers on the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT).
Successful Customers Successful Company
The first thing that clients get from Amitabh is Transparency. That’s where the faith and trust between two people begins. As Amitabh served in different geographies like Asia, North America, and Europe during his career, he can see things from the various customer’s point of view with different demographic and market condition. Their clients are always looking for them to solve their most complex business challenges. Moving the discussions away from headcount to business challenges was perhaps the biggest step forward that Amitabh has been able to contribute along with his teams.
Amitabh says, “Every day is a new day, with new opportunities, excitement and of course challenges. All decisions are important, even those that appear insignificant can create a stir if not well thought. I have tried to make my office accessible to everyone, and I love the people connect. Our people are curious, and they are always seeking opportunities to do new things. My task is to create such opportunities and align those with our organizational objectives. For three years in a row, Ericsson India has been awarded by the Great Place To Work Institute as one of the 100 Best Workplaces in India, and it is the only company in our business, with our kind of scale in that league. People want to know that they matter and they want to be treated like a person; that’s the new talent contract.”
Future of Ericsson
Ericsson sees the disruptions and opportunities in new technologies around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Analytics. Their focus is to deliver 5G which will play a pivotal role in the Networked Society, and it will power the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud technologies, another big area of our strategy, will bring agility and efficiency to IT environment. The company believes that digital industrialization strategies are the key to turning your Network and IT operations from a cost into an asset. With 5G and IoT security will be and is already a huge concern and this creates a need for new security solutions. Their security portfolio is tailored to protect ICT infrastructures and the data it handles and builds a secure communication business.
Inspiring the Next Leaders to Emerge
Amitabh explains that a leader is like an orchestra conductor. The conductor need not be the best pianist or the most capable cello player, but he must understand how to weave the different sounds into harmony. Likewise, a leader in the corporate world must be able to intertwine the different talents, competencies, and aspirations of its people in a symphonic manner and deliver organizational objectives. The biggest challenge for today’s leaders is to harness the gains from automation coming from the innovative use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, analytics to deliver competitive advantage to customers, and at the same time create new opportunities for people.
Amitabh proudly states, “I am passionately curious to understand which way industry, technology, and economies are moving. I am also sufficiently paranoid about the future; about disruptions. Having an Orbital Perspective of things is important. It’s much like the way an astronaut views the earth from hundreds of kilometers away in outer space. It’s about looking skywards to set the vision, looking earthwards to stay rooted to reality and it’s about looking forward to moving ahead to achieve your vision.”