Harvard Business School: Zensar Case Study, Part 2: Company Culture and Digital Transformation

Harvard Business School: Zensar Case Study, Part 2: Company Culture and Digital Transformation
Sandeep Kishore at Harvard Business School

It was great to be back at Harvard Business School to participate in the Zensar case study discussion on March 25, 2019 as the guest of Professor Joseph Fuller and Professor Amy Edmondson. Wow — time really does move fast. It’s been almost a year since I was there last spring. It’s always rejuvenating to be in a classroom with HBS students, engaged in analytical and insightful discussion, gaining new perspective. Getting their feedback is a humbling experience. I welcome their views on our change journey that I so very proudly have been an integral part of, along with my fellow Zensarians.

Much to the students’ credit, we got heavily into company culture, discussing reasons why culture is a critical part of transformation. There were 215+ students across the three classes, and most of them felt strongly that without building and enabling a strong company culture, transformation would remain incomplete. Discussions also focused on building teams with the right, relevant talent and providing ongoing professional skills development as key to companies undergoing transformation. Investing in the right talent, and enabling that right talent to be realized, is the best path forward for sustainable transformation. It was very interesting to discuss the issues of modernizing digital processes with some of the smartest minds today. Students also believe that inclusivity, accountability and positive attitudes are critical to building the right company culture.


The change journey at Zensar is about being relevant to our stakeholders — our people, our clients and our shareholders. It’s about contributing to what makes the most significant, positive impact. When we started our change journey three years ago, digital was getting to be at the center of relevancy to our stakeholders. As anticipated, it moved very fast to scale up. We made a choice to change ourselves first before changing others. That’s always been at the core of Zensar’s change story. We digitalized 52 business processes to have our own company be 100% living digital before we stepped outside to offer these to our clients. The first 18 months we did it to walk the talk ourselves. So far, we’ve developed 34 mobile digital platforms, including 800+ releases, 1.6+ million downloads and 20+ million sessions by our Zensarians. We’ve trained 100% of our talent at least twice during this period so they are totally ready for the digital world, both internally and externally. We’ve developed a great deal of experience and insight around this, which helped us change better and innovate faster. We have filed for 50+ patents in the areas of AI, AR/VR, IoT, NLP and more. We’ve also acquired 4 amazing specialty companies to help us deliver exceptional digital solutions in the areas that matter most to our clients. Several of these mobile digital platforms are now also being leveraged by our clients in their own enterprise-wide transformation. What connects most with our clients is the living digital change, living digital perspective and experience that every Zensarian contributes and brings to life.

Sandeep Kishore with Professor Amy Edmondson

The purpose of living our own change journey has been to ensure that all Zensarians get to live it, experience it, build it and be a part of it to enable that change journey for our clients. Transformation isn’t a one-time action — it’s a continuum.

I benefit greatly from each classroom discussion at HBS. Our interactions and conversations feel like teamwork and I am reminded of the enormous value teamwork brings to the future of business change. Company culture isn’t something every company needs — it’s already there, in a positive, negative or benign way. What’s important is to strategize and create the right company culture.



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