Saideep

Raj

CURRENT ROLE:

Strategic Advisor, Former Accenture Senior Managing Director

SUPERPOWERS:

  • Digital transformation implementation
  • GTM strategy and execution
  • IP strategy and pricing
  • M&A strategy and integration
  • Managed services
  • Solutions
  • Value-led program design
  • Saideep is a former Accenture veteran with over 3 decades in new services breakthrough and practice scaling. He is now a strategic advisor supporting growth ventures in software and services, across diverse domains. For example, he supports a market linkage platform for global sustainable supply chains in food and agriculture, as well as an ed-tech platform currently used across thousands of schools helping 2M+ children in the US. 

    While at Accenture, Saideep launched the firm’s software-as-a-service practice, which included growing the Salesforce Business Group from inception to a multi-billion-dollar business. As the Global Innovation Lead at Accenture, he helped clients and entrepreneurs harness and scale innovation, leading a network of R&D, incubation, consulting teams across 92 cities and 35 countries.  In these roles, Saideep successfully integrated multiple acquisitions to help accelerate scaling of talent and solutions. He was also active in shaping and delivering digital transformation journeys for clients across industries including High-Tech, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Telecommunications and Utilities.

    Saideep is passionate about helping people maximize their potential, in their careers and in the community. He and his wife Shivanee support a non-profit called Sanctuary Farm Phila, that Shivanee helped launch to address health inequities in Philadelphia.  It converts abandoned and neglected areas into spaces that promote safety, hospitality, nutrition, and growth. Saideep and Shivanee live in Philadelphia and love hanging out with their three adult children.

    Why are you passionate about helping leaders of IT services firms?

    While technology services are in a constant state of reinvention, the recurring theme is honing a business’ value proposition. I relish working with leaders to help figure that out. It’s always an iterative process where I’m learning at the same time. It’s very cool to be a part of that.

    You launched Accenture’s Cloud First practice and established the Accenture Salesforce Business Group, which you ultimately grew to over 18,000 practitioners. What advice would you give others that are pioneering new practices or ways of working within an existing organization? 

    I’m a big fan of Jim Collins’ book From Good to Great. He sets out a key principle “First Who, Then What – get the right people on the bus”. It’s so true. It took time to find those first leaders on my team. They each brought diverse skills but they also shared some commonalities; they were able to identify a compelling narrative tailored to a client, to an industry, to an ecosystem partner. All excellent story-tellers, they were able to captivate people and bring to life ‘the new’.  Consequently, people were banging on our doors to be part of those teams – they were real talent magnets.  

    Over several decades, you worked with many partners across ecosystems like Salesforce, Workday, ServiceNow and others. What were the key success factors for teaming?  What were the challenges?

    While it’s great to have top-to-top sponsorship across partnering organizations and it makes a big difference to capture mind-share, sometimes the handshake and the press release fail to have any staying power. The strategic relationship fizzles out within a couple of quarters and fragile joint deals start to crumble at the first sign of trouble. At the field-level, they soon move onto the next thing.  

    I see two of the biggest factors that drive sustainable team success revolve around team chemistry and incentive alignment. Firstly, it’s obvious to double-down on winning early joint deals, but success comes from ensuring strong day-to-day working relationships and trust across those joint teams. Don’t leave those things to chance. 

    Secondly, you need to find some kind of alignment between the broader strategic goals across both organizations. I would look for a ‘slip-stream’ where there is common ground between teams where incentives can be aligned. It can be loose, but without it – when we’re not in the slip-stream – everything is hard-work. It’s like pushing water uphill.

    Accenture is an extremely acquisitive company and you yourself led 7 acquisitions of varying sizes. When it comes to M&A, what is the key to finding the right fit and successfully integrating talent and solutions? 

    Some of the most challenging and yet most rewarding times in my career have been through major M&A transactions and the multi-year integrations that followed. I’m always in awe of leaders and teams coming together with a multiplier mindset. At the outset, it’s critical to capture that with a bold vision, including meaningful examples for clients, and for individuals and their careers. The nitty-gritty hard work to follow-through is grounded in continual, vigorous expectation alignment and communication every day for months, and years. When it happens, the results are extraordinary.

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