Knowledge Institute Podcasts
Prasad Joshi on the Journey of Innovation
Prasad Joshi, Senior Vice President- Emerging Technology Solutions at Infosys, traces the journey of innovation and the development of “toys” that shape the future.
Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.
“We need to get to that crowdsourcing capabilities curated well so that the crown jewels that come out of it are the scale ideas. They need to be properly harvested. That's where there is a role for the central team, but otherwise it's everybody's business.”
- Prasad Joshi
Prasad talks about his professional career and background
What has Prasad seen with Infosys over 14 years? What’s been the thing that’s really stood out?
Infosys had a name for being a services company. What's it like trying to incubate or grow an emerging technologies unit within what is traditionally been a services company?
Prasad talks about one of the key trends – virtual reality.
What are some of the challenges that Prasad have had to face? When trying to set up a technology group or at least thinking about that in your own business or whatever size it is, what's it like trying to get the funds and get this going and nurture it?
About crossing the chasm and trying to bring technologies to market. What's that like managing that part of the cycle and actually thinking about things like a product and not just a service?
Prasad has had the unique perspective of looking across geographies, India and different parts of Asia, North America and Europe. Does he see anything emerge especially relative to Silicon Valley versus other innovation areas and maybe contrast those?
What's his take on Europe?
Prasad mentioned a village of innovation, the global village. What does that really mean? Is it possible for all these remote places that are working more or less face to face to somehow be distributed for these larger companies? Is there a way to get a handle on that?
All these wonderful things that are happening with technology and innovation in this village, that maybe there is a bifurcation. These two levels, the people that either are benefiting from it, have access to it. And the ones that either don't know, don't have the access or somehow the code is being left behind. Prasad comments on what he sees out there and can we do something to mitigate that?
How does Prasad see these emerging technologies and managing them for the good of all playing out with sustainability, with education, with equality in poverty and hunger, and all these very noble goals that the UN SDGs are trying to do?
Given that Prasad is focusing on emerging technologies, what are the emerging technologies did he find most interesting and he thinks will make the biggest impact the next several years?
What's Prasad’s approach or framework to evaluate some of the new things that are coming to get in his funnel?
What are the two or three pieces of advice Prasad can give to someone out there who's trying to build an organization like this? What to do, what not to do? Pitfalls?
How does Prasad retain this passion over time?
Who or what has been a big influence on Prasad’s career?
Jeff Kavanaugh: Welcome to this episode of the Knowledge Institute where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct main ideas, and share their insights. Today I am very happy to be joined by Prasad Joshi, Senior Vice President of Emerging Technologies for Infosys, a global leader in digital services and consulting. Welcome Prasad.
Prasad Joshi: Thank you, Jeff. Thanks for having me.
Jeff Kavanaugh: This is a discussion wanted to have for some time because I think you have one of the most interesting roles at Infosys being in charge of a lot of toys, but they're beyond toys, the technologies that really shaped the future. Before we get into that, we'd love to know, and I think our listeners would too, about your background. What's your journey and how did you come to be where you are?
Prasad Joshi: Well, first of all, the toys make money. So while I get the tongue in cheek, it is, it is the toys that make money. And I think that in a way sums up my journey over last 30 plus years, that I did start creating toys, I had a fascination for building these toys. Over the years I played in multiple technologies. I grew up as a programmer, architect, expert systems, knowledge based systems of that time, were some of my early fascination. Then did some of my work on understanding client mindset and what does it mean to actually do business in technology. We used to manage a P&L and had a kick out of that, but really I am a technologist at heart and what comes to me first is how can I apply a certain technology to a given problem statement. And over time I've seen the evolutions and in today's world it's all about digital disruptions, digital transformations, and keeping up with the pace of change that is unprecedented and it's very exciting.
Jeff Kavanaugh: I understand that you began your journey in India and more on the technical side. What was it like from that beginning and being more technical as an individual contributor to where you are today?
Prasad Joshi: I think I would put it across in that manner that I grew up in India and a lot of my technology grooming per se, so if I was to call it as a journey of becoming a sophisticated architect, that happened in that era, it's also the pre web internet era where I honed in the skills of what it means to be a technologist, that happened in India. And what coming over to US and staying here for the last 20 plus years taught me is how to position that technology, how to position that core strength in a certain context and do better marketing, better applicability explanation and then the good old McDonald's scale. How do you put it into something simple but make it so scalable that it becomes a business by itself.
Jeff Kavanaugh: And you'd been with Infosys now about 14 years?
Prasad Joshi: That's correct.
Jeff Kavanaugh: What have you seen with the company over the ... of that arc? Certainly a lot of change. What's been the thing that's really stood out?
Prasad Joshi: I think Infosys as a brand always been strong and the journey that I have done with the brand is in many ways the journey of innovation itself. That what we see in the market today, innovation is prime and innovation is front and center. To sort of look at some of our own digital surveys and Jeff, you published Digital Radar and related parts. What are the outstanding facts in that is 85% of our digital leaders indicate innovation is the key lever. Why the digital technologies will make progress and some of this gets expressed and this is a simple factoid that I picked up from one of your surveys, but really what we see as we talk to our clients, there is an element of fear factor. When will Amazon come into my business and what will that do to me?
Prasad Joshi: There are some leaders who are absolutely excited. For example, our logistics customer who talks about changing the game of logistics in very many different ways and they're actually made the brand impact and change the market conditions in that spirit. So to me that's the spirit of what innovation does and technology does and what I have seen in the change in the company that as the company grew, as the company became front and center leader of it's journey. So it first, initially, it was global delivery model and outsourcing, then it became business partner in transformation and today it is being partnered with your innovation journey. I've seen these evolutions and have had an opportunity to contribute to those go to markets.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Infosys had a name for being a services company. What's it like trying to incubate or grow an emerging technologies unit within what is traditionally been a services company?
Prasad Joshi: I think it's a fascinating journey in the spirit that many people relate to product companies and relate to the innovation. I had an interesting conversation with one of the university leaders, university ecosystem for example in the US is driven by the product companies that are in the market, be it the car company, be it the technology platform company, anyone. There are very few services companies that actually innovate with universities. You look at our peer group, you don't see large centers of any kind that are university relationships. And I worked with some of our university leaders, Cornell comes to my mind for example, where we struck a very different relationship pattern as to what does a services company do, what is its interaction with clients? The amount of visibility we get in the running the business and how do we translate that into right research imperatives, right research thrust or right technology thrust. I think that's the part that has been fascinating, part of the journey as part of the services.
Prasad Joshi: And in many ways people understand that in a product company you invest and then you put a very large percentage of your income in R&D and research. In services company, that's not quite true. To sort of throw some numbers around, if you look at Microsoft or Google like companies, 80, 85% of budgets go into R&D and then rest is SG&A and then ... and the likes. In a company like Infosys or some of the other companies, you will see a single digit percentage point being what goes as innovation or research budget. But at the same time the amplification that these corporations can do through their service delivery is enormous. And that brings me to my favorite line, we are a capability company. We don't manufacture or create or sell many of the products that are in the market, but we make each of those products better. And that happens because we had a services and a capability company, and the diversity that gives me to work on problem statements is simply enormous.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Can you give me an example of something recent where given your amplification capability or ability to do that, that you're able to take something that you did for one client or that you help them discover and that was able to be amplifying?
Prasad Joshi: I'll take one of the key trends, something like augmented reality, virtual reality XR. On the face of it, it's a nifty thing, people have their fascination about head gears, head mounted displays. All vendors have created a degree of [inaudible 00:07:05] on one side. Google came out with something very lightweight like cardboard. On the other side you had people like Microsoft coming up with HoloLens and a very heavy weight, heavy technology gadget with a full laptop around your head. And then there are the in-betweens. But if I just peg something on this technology, we set up a strong group that has artistic skills and architectural skills, something that is unique to this particular technology trend.
Prasad Joshi: And then there is a diversity of applications. On one side, just a few minutes back outside, I was setting up a chocolate store for one of our clients and I'm showing them and I actually took their picture in the store. The store doesn't exist. I'm standing outside the studio as we were coming in.
Prasad Joshi: Then there is Australian open legs experience where the fan experience has dramatically changed because we were able to put in technologies like virtual reality, 360 broadcast, 360 transmissions. Along comes something like 5G which offers us an ability to get a very high bandwidth that wherever I am. Now you look at this confluence of technologies, so I started with the ARVR. I brought in something like 5G. You add in elements like predictiveness, role of AI, and then take an experienced technology like augmented reality. We have been able to create remote support, which looks like face-time on iPhones, but it is highly augmented to say that I'm looking at a complex piece of machinery. A technician is standing by the machinery and an expert is standing in the expert house. And they're able to interact with each other and do what I do with my mom on a regular basis in FaceTime and help her, but this is highly complex.
Prasad Joshi: These are the kinds of things you can see that a trend starts in one place, but then it fans out to a retail CPG, it fans out to a manufacturing client. It adjusts it's itself into a fan experience. And to me this is really getting interesting as we see these technology trends emerge faster and faster and the confluence of these trends creating different experiences.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You refer to just being outside. It's probably worth noting that we're recording this in a studio, with a popup studio at a major executive conference where these things are happening from virtual chocolate and immersive experiences and virtual reality in tennis and there's a motorcycle just outside of our door and there's a lot going on that's physical but a lot of software behind the scenes as well. And if you hear any noise in the background, that's why as well.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Moving on, what are some of the challenges that you've had to face? Because a lot of the people listening might be trying to set up a technology group or at least thinking about that in their own business or whatever size it is, what's it like trying to get the funds and get this going and nurture it?
Prasad Joshi: I think the first and foremost I would describe it as the biggest mindset that even I had to undergo is I grew up with this thought process of I'm special, I do innovation, I'm the technologist and I need to have my own team. That's the significant change that I have seen and that people have to get used to, that it is highly democratized. It's everybody's business to innovate. And today's technology, today's tools, today's simplicity of how you can build things very quickly, fosters that process, but we need to adopt that. We need to get to that crowdsourcing capabilities curated well so that the crown jewels that come out of it are the scale ideas that come out of it are properly harvested is crucial and that's where it probably there is a role for the central team, but otherwise it's everybody's business. That's one significant learning or thing that I would advocate.
Prasad Joshi: The second thing, if you go to the point where getting money or getting that executive buy in will always be challenging. There are more naysayers to ideas, then yaysayers. That's just the way the game is and therefore it is important to create an early excitement. It's important to show things and not show PowerPoints, not show videos. Instead, get somebody to feel it. If you know your executive loves coffee, show them a blockchain based demo that shows how this coffee was sourced. They will buy into it. They'll give you the funding. If you know your executive is a bike rider bring in an augmented reality capability and show him how his bicycle was made or how he can change it or we can put more ornaments on that bike and make it more personalized without spending a single dollar. You will see a significant buy in. So there are ways by which you can excite the executives to release the money. Money comes, money's there in most corporations today, but I think these are the two factors that I would say experiment, bring the experience and democratize it.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Once again, you are listening to the Knowledge Institute where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct main ideas and share their insights. We're here with Prasad Joshi, Senior Vice President at Infosys. Prasad, hear a lot about crossing the chasm and trying to bring technologies to market. What's that like managing that part of the cycle and actually thinking about things like a product and not just a service?
Prasad Joshi: I think the key here is the stages of innovation and the believability that not only the team that is coming up with an idea but others and then putting it in a place where money can be made on it. And in my experience, we describe it as sense, so figure out the trends, figured out what is likely to hit. Some of it is taking a punt. You don't necessarily have every benchmark ready, every fiscal business case made ready to tell you that. Then we prototype the heck out of it or sort of experiment the heck out of it. Build a few assets. This is the stage man that is very fast cycle of rapid prototyping, rapid experimentation, culture of innovation, the soft facets that need to come in. If you try a hundred things and only three or five become successful, that's where your next stage is, which is the chasm, industrialize it.
Prasad Joshi: What we have seen is if you do many, many, many hundred to five for example as a ratio and then take that five to a hundred percent industrialization, you're crossing the chasm, we'll give you the bridges that you need to put on that crevice and step forward and get to the next peak. I can spend time on creating business case, the value justification, the market sizing and all that, there is ton of literature available there. But I think it is this belief systems in the innovator's mind or innovator's dilemma as some people refer to it, or Crossing the Chasm, the famous book that we all read. It's all about that belief system that I won't quit. I'll do it.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You've also had the unique perspective of looking across geographies, India and different parts of Asia, North America and Europe. Do you see anything emerge especially relative to Silicon Valley versus other innovation areas and maybe contrast those?
Prasad Joshi: Absolutely. I think Silicon Valley is unique. Silicon Valley is unique in the sense that it's history and the sort of environment that it offers, I don't know if it's the California sun, maybe that's what it is ... but there is something unique. There is a vibe and that creates a culture. Whether it is the incubators like the Stanfords or SRIs or the Berkeley's that are in the area and then what that has created. Is it the VC ecosystem and the ability to therefore experiment, is it the California mindset which at times created movements like hippies, but then it's also the ultra freedom to express what you want to do and create a belief system that I can realize my dream. I think that's unique to Bay area, unique to California and that Silicon Valley is therefore the crucible that has created it.
Prasad Joshi: What I also see is many people have learned from it, whether it is that they grew there and they went back. So when I go to Bangalore I see a somewhat similar vibe. In many ways, India is a services economy and then a lot of software and technology that created the Indian economy strength is based on services, companies like us. But today when I talk to younger people or the younger entrepreneurs, I see the same passion that I see in Bay area. So there is some crosspollination, some best practices. In the process, I also see that there is a degree of legacy that got created in avenues like Bay area, which people in China or people in India don't have. So they are leapfrogging it and then what you will see is the spirit of innovation or their ability to experiment with certain ideas is very different.
Prasad Joshi: And I'm seeing that that in certain spaces, not all, in certain spaces acceleration that we see in China, or acceleration we see in India is of a unique type. Some of this is geopolitical, so are China and America competing with each other to create better AI? Possibly. In a healthy way, that's a good thing. In a bad way. I don't want to talk about it. But I think I get fascinated by that healthy way of doing things. And I have seen this come up where progress of a certain geopolitical entity, the hunger of its population to get better at things that they aspire to be. Exemplified well by India where I started my career and I see the journey rise where innovations first came on service delivery side, the associated infrastructure and capabilities to where now you see products where you now see product based services coming in from that country. And if you look around in Bay area, or the Bay area startups, number of CEOs who are of a certain heritage is astonishing that there is a certain cultural confluence that has happened. In my mind, eventually it's one big innovation village and the opportunities will cross pollinate and create themselves, but there are differences in what comes up as we see today.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Curiously absent in your fascinating comments just now was anything about Europe. What's your take on Europe?
Prasad Joshi: Part of it is I have not spent as much time as I would like to be in Europe so I don't have a [inaudible 00:16:53] fascination for example as one speaks. But I think inherently Europe, geographically speaking, it is in the middle of the two. Europe is somewhat like that. There is Western adventurism that is very visible in European startup ecosystems. It's probably more visible in say Scandinavian countries, when I look at Finnish startup ecosystem or what I've seen in Sweden. In comparison, some of the core European countries shows slightly lesser innovation as I see it. This is Prasad's personal lens, no other commentary on it.
Prasad Joshi: On the same vein, I would also say that I have personally been inspired by Israel and I have seen ... I have many, many friends whose roots just like mine are from India, theirs are from Israel. I worked with them as partners, collaborators in where I've spent my most of my career time in the US. And that's a completely different feel all together. I think it's culturally fitted into what Israel is and how that country grew up, just like India was and my experiences are or what Bay areas and I spent some time on it. That's another fascinating place where the way they do innovation or the way they bring their startups to life is something very different.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You mentioned a village of innovation, the global village. What does that really mean? Is it possible for all these remote places that are working more or less face to face to somehow be distributed for these larger companies? Is there a way to get a handle on that?
Prasad Joshi: I think so. I think I tend to believe in this notion of world is flat and how opportunities that got created over a period of time started to flatten the gaps, or sort of filled up the valleys, or allowed people to climb the same peaks that were otherwise felt as too high. Open source for example, is a movement of that kind. It's a significant technology shift. I grew up as a Microsoft architect and then as a typical Microsoft believer, I felt that's the best thing. Second half of my career, I've seen the evolution of open source and a great flattening that happens as a result of it, because barrier to entry in using open source as well as contributing to open source is a significant trend of that kind that can level up things and allow creative minds to create it as one single entity. And nurture the overall growth of innovation and that's where I think my emphasis is. It's one innovation village. Some corners are more fertile, they have more gardens and flowers. Some corners may look like they're deserts as we speak today, but we both are sitting in Phoenix and we know the beauty of desert as we know. We're going to go for a desert carnival in a few hours, so it's going to come together.
Jeff Kavanaugh: That's one segment. The geographical piece, there's another, I believe, maybe it's socioeconomic that because of all these wonderful things that are happening with technology and innovation in this village, that maybe there is a bifurcation. These two levels, the people that either are benefiting from it, have access to it and are, like I said, benefiting. And the ones that either don't know, don't have the access or somehow the code is being left behind. What's your comment on maybe what you see out there and can we do something to mitigate that?
Prasad Joshi: I think in many ways I've lived both sides of what you're describing. When I grew up and I became an engineer, a software engineer, an architect, I was in that impoverished sense of the word in that way. And then overnight, literally 24 hours of flight and I came to a world that is rich and aspiring and that dreamy side of the story.
Prasad Joshi: What I've seen is the dreamers on both sides have very identical trends. They believe in their systems. They believe that the world can be changed. They believe that things will move and they are not constrained by the resources that they have. They will find ways to overcome the resources. In a situation where it's impoverished, a certain way, for example, economically, I have found, for example, ways to get myself educated, trained, figured out ways, and today something like online education which allows people to have access to the best courses, best material to feed themselves and nourish intellectually speaking is unique. And that's the change that we see.
Prasad Joshi: Likewise, some of the so-called developed entities struggle with concepts of privacy, security and then, will that stifle innovation? For example, what is the role of patents? These patents a good thing? Or is patents a bad thing? Is China bad place because they don't respect patents is how we see it here from Americanized? Or is America the bad place because under the name of patents, drugs are so expensive. I think it's a social dilemma that will sort itself out. As a technologist, as an innovator, what I believe is look at the good things that each of these offers me and then leverage it.
Jeff Kavanaugh: If we put a specific lens in what you just said. I've been doing some work with the United Nations in some of these sustainable development goals, and it's fascinating to me to map the things we do day to day in business to these higher aspirations. How do you see these emerging technologies and managing them for the good of all playing out with sustainability, with education, with equality in poverty and hunger, and all these very noble goals that the UN development goals are trying to do?
Prasad Joshi: I think if you look around, I have had opportunity to work with some of the Clinton Foundation initiatives on sustainability. I have observed and read and I have a personal interest in, for example, what Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing. And they're not quite the same levels as UN for example, but are addressing something very, very similar. In my mind, technology is a great enabler as well. I talked about flattener and then we talked about a little bit of these peaks and valleys, but ability to create technology that is in the right hands, thereby changing the way the world can do things. I'll take an esoteric example here on purpose. There is a certain sentiment around nuclear technology, but today's nuclear technology, or at least what I have read about in terms of the how compact it can get, what happens to the fuel that comes out of it and our wastage that comes out of it, what can be contained and so on.
Prasad Joshi: There is a certain social element to it and there is a certain technology and innovation element to it. If I look at technology and innovation element to it, it can possibly solve world's power problems. Not just that it can solve worst power problems, it can make it available at a dollar value or a affordability index that simply did not exist a few years ago. Is it ready? Should we be deploying it? There are lots of challenges, issues, facets that we will need to discuss, debate to take something that innovative and make it applicable, and I think that's the thinking process that needs to evolve as we look at challenges that are global scale, challenges that our world peace, world hunger, nature, and then apply the innovation at that scale.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Now I'd like to ask the question that I'm sure has been on the mind of anyone listening, given that you're focusing on emerging technologies, what are the emerging technologies did you find most interesting and you think will make the biggest impact the next several years?
Prasad Joshi: While I get the spirit of question, that's a very hard question. The way I tend to take it, look at it is, it's about Baskin Robbins. I love ice cream. It doesn't matter which flavor it comes in. I love innovation. I love technology. I can give you a temporal answer. I can say that blockchain, augmented reality, virtual reality, 5G, are things that excite me today. I would have said the same thing in 2008 about cloud computing. Today, I don't talk about cloud computing. It's vanilla ice cream. Everybody is using cloud computing. Cloud first, mobile first. Every enterprise architect today is talking about it and is going in. I think this is what innovation is about, that your ability to sense what is it that I have, your ability to take the existing ice creams and blend them to create the new flavor is where the innovation is all about. I don't think there is anything that says this ... I'll make a few bets, but I don't think this is a case of I love ice cream, is really the answer.
Jeff Kavanaugh: What's your approach or framework to evaluate some of the new things that are coming to get in your funnel?
Prasad Joshi: I think at the foundational level, we start tracking a lot of trends, so there is no bias about ... individual biases may creep in, but there is no real bias in my team, for example, when we do these debates as to what's new and exciting. We remain impartial. We look at, for example, something as simple as what is Google search index telling me in terms of popularity of some of these keywords. For example, we found one system called human augmentation. In today's context it sounds big and has trendy name. Each one of us has been augmented. You are wearing glasses, I'm wearing glasses and seeing world clearly, we are augmented humans. But now look at higher order augmentation that technologies can bring in and that's where the term human augmentation was picked up. But we pick up these trends, we look at what is working, what is likely to be popular and then we plot a sort of ... and this is something that we have evolved in forces context particularly, there is one way to say what is here and now, the time centric view. Here and now midterm, longterm.
Prasad Joshi: Instead of time centric view for especially as the digital became a rapidly evolving option, time became irrelevant. What became more relevant is business maturity or business uncertainty, and technology maturity or technology uncertainty. It's glass half filled or full kind of a view. So we started looking at technology landscape in these two dimensions. What is the business maturity, what is the technology maturity and something that is highly mature and something that is readily available, business and technology maturity being of that type, we call it horizon one, needs to be done here and now if I was to use a timescale to it. What we are also seeing is the gray zone of this maturity index is very fascinating, and part of it is in the way people see things. So when I say AI, a set of people will see this as it's very trendy or you're working on AI. Some of the people will say that, "Oh, but I've heard AI is everywhere." And I think it's the zone in between.
Prasad Joshi: So if I look at in our industry, what is happening with RPA, I would start to call it as horizon two, horizon one, in some sense it's here and now on midterm. But if I look at computer vision, if I look at sentiment analysis over voice, and many times we use these exclamations which you and me as human beings absolutely understand that it is not a good sentiment, but if I can word that into text, it's a very positive sentiment.
Prasad Joshi: Computers don't understand it today. And that's the element of AI, that's an element of cognition that is trendy. It's on the uncertain side of the story, business and technology wise. RPA, it's more mature, both technology and business wise. And that's the calibration that we tend to use to say what is likely to hit, where should I make my educated bets in order to see a certain view. And of course there are also, what is the market size, what is the addressable market space, the traditional terms that we typically would use to see if this is the right investment that I want to take on.
Prasad Joshi: What we are also done is organized our services portfolio, for example, on somewhat similar lines. I look at more of the horizon three services where there is a lot of experimentation, are the dollars really there are not, create the proof points. And then there are these new services, horizon two services or there are the mainstay core bulk revenue earner services. That's how I think we see the real, emerging and marrying, and I think earlier you had asked me the chasm, how do you make trends move into something that makes tons of dollars? What's the filter? This is another of those filters where we see the technology is moving from the funnel.
Jeff Kavanaugh: What are the two or three pieces of advice you can give to someone out there who's trying to build an organization like this? What to do, what not to do? Pitfalls?
Prasad Joshi: First and foremost, bring in diversity. Diversity in the way people look. Diversity in the way people think. Diversity in what people are educated on. My team, for example, is comprised of design engineers. Highly, highly branded universities. There are a few of them. I also have people from community colleges in my US hubs, so it's important to get that kind of diversity in place. Second, create a culture of experimentation. If you are a leader and you want to lead your innovation ideology, culture of experimentation is absolutely important. Without that experimentation, without that fearless approach to say, "I want to try this, doesn't matter what the outcome is. The fact that I tried it is more important to show a result", is crucial. And then hold your innovators accountable for what they do is relevant to a stakeholder. Stakeholder could be your internal employees, stakeholder could be your client. But having that relevance, having their idea anchored, validated by that stakeholder is the third thing that I would put in. Diversity. Experimentation. Anchor it.
Jeff Kavanaugh: You've been in this business for awhile, I won't ask you to say how many years, yet you have all this energy and focus. How do you retain this passion over time?
Prasad Joshi: It comes when you bring diversity and you have a 21 year old in your workforce who keeps you on your toes. It's infectious, highly infectious. The way people bring the energy together and allow you to remain fresh.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Who or what has been a big influence on your career?
Prasad Joshi: It's bit emotional. My father. I think he had a significant influence. There are a few sports personalities. There was a Ted Talk a few years back and talked about evolution of cricket and what that has done to some of us. I made that journey myself, so that's an influencing factor. Some of the cricketers that I grew up with, including some of the modern ones like the current Indian captain, there've been a significant influence of what it means to innovate at all times, what it means to create different business models. I don't want to get started on cricket, but cricket today is delivered on three business models and they're very unique. That's the inspiration that I could draw upon. Then I have my business leaders. I was mentored by a technology architect who eventually became one of our large software houses in India's CTO. He taught me what it means to take care of people who are always innovating, how do you give that freedom. It's easy for me today to stand up and say, allow a culture of experimentation. He was the one who taught me what does it mean to do it? So, that that comes to my mind.
Prasad Joshi: And then some of the business leaders, I have been fascinated by the journey of Microsoft. It felt like Microsoft was losing its sight for a period of time. But my belief system was always saying, "Man, I used to tell this to my associates at that time, that they'll get it right." And that's what we see. They got it right. Eventually the company's there, and that's the leader that you see, in exemplified in a corporate world, that they get it right.
Prasad Joshi: So some of them are personal, some of them are sports personalities or entertainment personalities, some of them are ... and some of these entertainment personalities actually have helped me go through some of the tough times with their songs and their narratives and the stories. And then it's things like that. But it's a combination of these things that makes a person whole.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Well, that's the embodiment of diversity. Thanks for sharing that. And in the show notes, we'll have how to contact Prasad with his email and everything else. Thank you so much for your time. It's been a very highly interesting discussion.
Jeff Kavanaugh: Everyone you've been listening to the Knowledge Institute where we talk with experts on business trends, deconstruct the main ideas and share their insights. Thanks to our producer, Catherine Burdette and the entire Knowledge Institute production team. Until next time, keep learning and keep sharing.
About Prasad Joshi
A technology savvy executive with more than 20 years in the information technology industry and a proven track record of driving growth, establishing strong client relationships and profitable engagement management. Prasad has created state of the art products and service lines and has demonstrated their commercial success. He offers a wide range of experience in managing innovation program, alliance led growth, large outsourcing relationships, providing solutions consulting, P&L management and international multicultural teams.
- Connect with Prasad Joshi: LinkedIn
- Ted Talk – The Rise of Cricket, the Rise of India – Harsha Bhogle
Selected Links from the Episode