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BITSian of the month

Posted By Vinodh Nandakumar, Thursday, October 28, 2010
And this month's star is .. 
Girija Pande 

Mr.Girija Pande is the Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Asia Pacific. He is also the Chairman of TCS' wholly owned subsidiary in China–Tata Information Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd and the VC of TCS JV with the Chinese Government (NDRC) and Microsoft. He is also a Steering committee member of Singapore Government’s (IE) - Network India Group as well as is the Chairman of India Business Forum set up by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He has served as member of many high level policy planning committees of the RBI, Indian Institute of Banking and All India Chambers of Commerce such as ASSOCHAM and Bombay Chamber.

How do you find it, personally, moving from a multinational banking background to heading a large territory like APAC for an Indian   IT company?
I have been fascinated with Asia since the eighties when I first went to Seoul, Korea with the Bank. Thereafter I moved to other cities in Asia. So when I had a chance of starting TCS' Asia Pacific business which is headquartered in Singapore I was delighted to take on the challenge. Today we have over 7,500 staff in 13 countries of APAC in 20 nationalities-including over 1000 software engineers in 5 centres in China.
What is your mantra to business that has made you the "Leading CEO with a strong HR focus"?
Whether in a global Bank or a global IT Cos which TCS is today-people are our major asset. Once you realise that priority, then HR focus becomes natural. I always  believe that if you look after & treat your people well and with respect, they will look after your customers & business well!
How is it like working in Singapore? Any plans to shift base to India?
I have been in Singapore since the last 10 years & have enjoyed living & working here. It is a country from which we in India can learn a lot from. The city is globally very well connected, is the hub for APAC business & works like a clock. Increasingly Indian business is using Singapore for their growth into APAC. We have over   3000 Indian Cos stationed here as well as over 5000 MNC's which have made Singapore their APAC office of choice. To me Singapore is to India as Hong Kong is to China-both international cities which allow our companies to grow externally.  
You get up in the morning. All charged up to go to work. What keeps you motivated?  
I suppose old fashioned 'work ethic' & the need to go out each day & make a difference, learn something new etc keeps me going.
If you had a time machine, what would you do? 
I would love to go back in time and probably would do more outside work-develop interesting hobbies, probably spend more time with the   family or travel to more           exotic destinations.
What keeps you engaged in your spare time?
I have a strong reading habit -especially business reading & non fictional reading. I have taken to golf over years & am currently learning  Mandarin & the Piano in my                 spare time-struggling though.
What is the craziest thing that you have done?
Not many thankfully. I do recall an incident in BITS in the mid sixties when we were in the 1st year in Vyas Bhavan. There was a short student Union led strike where some students broke into the dining room mess & came out with big pot of gulab jamuns.I remember playing cricket    that night with the whole wing joining in bowling gulab jamuns!
    Personal Favorites

    Just finished reading 'The Party' by Ron Mcgregor     
    largely vegetarian-Indian &Mediterranean cuisine

    Enjoyed 'Avatar' recently 

    TV Series
    Amitabh Bachan / Aishwarya Rai
    Golf, Bridge
    Just returned from an exotic holiday in Israel 

    BITSian Favorites

    Hangout Place
    Canteen behind library (IC)
    Vishwakarma Bhavan
    C'not Restaurant
    Volga (when we felt rich!)
    Sunday special lunch in student mess
    BITSian Slang
    A: *A: @!A:

    Spoken like a true BITSian

    1. Your BITSian experience in one word. 

    2. One thing that you will always miss about BITS. 
      Close friends

    3. Something you learnt at BITS that has always helped you. 
      Abstract & creative thinking from MIT professors who taught us then.  

    4. How would you like to see BITS in the year 2020. Your ideal vision.

      Embrace globalisation actively. Should emulate the best global schools & be connected with various global Institutions to imbibe the best the world has to offer & to create curious & innovative student body-who would be a feather in the Institutes cap. In the new world creativity & innovation is what will differentiate everyone.

    5. For BITSians on campus: Not to leave campus without doing this one thing! 

      Riding a three wheel rickety tempo to see a movie at Chirawa!

    6. Message to BITSians on campuses:
      Work hard & play hard & enjoy every moment of your stay at BITS. Remember grades will be forgotten the minute you get your first job. Thereafter your inter personal & creative skills will drive success. This is the time to build a strong foundation of character on which later a strong 'house' of life can be built. 

    7. Message to all BITSians:
      To alumni I would just say that giving back to ones alma mater is a sacred duty of all of us. We have all benefitted by the quality education we were fortunate to receive. Hopefully BITSAA can facilitate that. 

    Tags:  girija pande 

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