Diversified discusses Indian expansion

Hurrairah bin Sohail sits down with Diversified and talks about how the integrator is working to build a team that succeeds in India while also fitting into its global fabric.

What is it about the Indian market that is attracting global AV players to enter? John Masters, India country manager at Diversified, gives his thoughts on what activated Diversified to enter India: “Diversified, for years, has been delivering projects in India with our partners. But now, the customer requirement is higher to the point that we need Diversified staff on the ground. There are of course advantages to running the business directly in India for India and these advantages are also compelling. But essentially, we are seeing our customers create, establish, and manage their own global strategies out of India. India is of such growing importance to many of the global companies that we can’t not be in the market.”

Denis Pozigun, director of global strategy at Diversified, adds: “We are truly listening to our customers. About two years ago, we were very bluntly told by a very large company that you cannot truly call yourself a global organisation if you do not have a presence in India. That is when this whole thing really started for us, we started planning, and now we are here today.”

Kevin Collins, president of Diversified, sheds further light on the specific factors that prompted the integrator to make its move: “We have a network that is highly certified, I like to call it ‘Diversified certified’, and we started out small with them and we grew bigger. This is a network that we have built through hard work and diligence, and we will continue to collaborate with these partners. But building our own team on the ground is primarily about providing a predictable experience for our customers and that is really the key for us. A lot of our customers came to us and have been saying that it has been great to work with you [in India] but the scale is growing, the complexity is growing, and we need you on the ground with your own resources working with our teams and providing that cohesive Diversified experience that they are used to. And if we can’t do that, we’re going to miss the opportunity.”

As part of the efforts to establish Diversified in India, Masters has relocated to Bangalore and Diversified is in talent acquisition mode for a range of leadership and technical roles and positions. Recently, Vijay Lakshmanan has joined as India operations manager.

The focus in India for Diversified is to build two teams. Collins elaborates: “The first is one we call ‘I for I’ or ‘India for India’ which will be the delivery team for all our customers in India and it is also going to fit into the global fabric of Diversified. The second is our Global Capability Centre team which is going to augment our global operations and give us ‘follow the sun’ capabilities for a lot of the services that we offer.”

Collins adds: “One thing that is unique about Diversified in India is that we are going for scale. In a year or two, this size and scale that we are aiming for will be very noticeable.”

What does this ‘scale’ look like? Could Diversified have 200 people on the ground in India by next year? Collins answers: “That number is probably a little ambitious, but I can see that number being a reality in a couple of years.”

And how will this scale be achieved? Could an acquisition be on the cards? Collins says: “As far as acquisitions go, we are on an organic path right now, but the door is always open. Anytime we do an acquisition, there is a checklist that we have with ‘why should we?’ and ‘how should we?’ being on there. Right now, we are really focused on building the two teams in India.”

Finally, Collins highlights Diversified’s ‘global talent matrix’ as one of the key differentiators for the integrator in the Indian market.

Masters elaborates: “Indian integrators are amazing, and they have been delivering amazing work over the years. But what sets us apart is the know-how we have from working with global customers, whether it is in Australia, EMEA, US or APAC. We need to find a way to build these teams in India so that they are set up to extensively collaborate with their Diversified colleagues across the globe. We have a ‘global talent matrix’ as Kevin said and we have to leverage it. But at the same time, we must be aware of how things happen differently in India. This is where the local team working on local time will be able to blend local knowledge while collaborating with their global colleagues.”

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