In this edition of Leader’s Talk Series I interview Mr. Sathyanarayana T K, Vice President – Organization Business Transformation, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited.

What is your take on startup culture in an MNC? Is it needed?

An MNC is aligned to its parent and it has to be. However, there is also a need to have a flavor of a startup culture and entrepreneurial mindset.

There is one aspect of “Do as you are told.” However this needs to be complimented with a futuristic view — creation of new ideas to add greater value to our customers.

How important is for  HR and Business Transformation team to be up to date on technology

It is important to know what the upcoming technologies are and how they will affect the current nature of business. Jobs today may not exist tomorrow.

Currently we are in an era where new digital technologies are disrupting the way we work, automation is foraying in the existing business segments, and customer expectations are rapidly changing.

Preparing the organisation for this changing technology landscape and building new capabilities are the need of the hour. Associates have to actively learn / unlearn / relearn to stay relevant and future-proof themselves.

Right now organisations are on this journey of preparing themselves for the future and hence it is important for HR and Business Transformation teams to lead the way in enabling this.

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To retain the right people and talent, to they need to be given the ecosystem to do the same?

My experience has been all the systems that gives you desired results — be it performance management, people policies or processes — needs an innovation from time to time. Perhaps one cannot wait for external benchmarks to compare. You know the practices that makes sense and adds value to your company.

Bring innovation in a way that there is scope for experimentation in direction of future — develop an ecosystem that facilitates collaboration, autonomy to contribute in areas beyond one’s role,  learning opportunities to stay relevant for the future – a transformational journey from employee engagement to employee experience.

Is the concept of hierarchy a thing of the past?

Hierarchy should not be a matter of convenience.

In the new age business, lines of hierarchy are blurred – it is more like a networked organisation than one with traditional lines and boxes. You may still need some basic structure primarily to hold on to the purpose and accountability for outcomes.

“Best idea should win; We cannot have hierarchy for ideas “

Your advice for Startups and your take on risk-taking abilities?

Startups within a MNC are evolving. Born out of existing safe systems, associates like best of both worlds. Nothing wrong with it.

There is always a tendency in internal ventures to not drop ideas unlike external ones.

There needs to be an exit strategy if an idea is not viable for the organisation. You cannot hold on to ideas that are not working.

Coming to the point of risk taking abilities, for the current generation, the safety and security aspects are well addressed and their risk appetite is high.

The good number of population want to thrive in a risk taking environment. They need to channelise the energy and go after their dreams, create new possibilities.


Pavan works for a Bosch intrapreneurial venture iero HQ in Bangalore in charge of  a product vertical and writes for his Venture Upbeat column in e27.

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