Vineet Nayar and Innovation

VineetNayar and Innovation

In1962, Vineet Nayar was born in India. He is a business executive, anauthor, and the former Chief Executive Officer of HCL technologies.During his time as CEO, in 2005, his company was losing its place inthe market as well as potential clients. Vineet Nayar was determinedto ensure that his Indian based company would be back on its feet.According to Nayar, it is the employees who are a greater asset tobusinesses, and for this reason, they should be given the firstpriority. The former CEO introduced the “Employees First, Customerssecond” policy, and this was the approach he employed to improvehis business. In fact, in 2010, Vineet Nayar published a bookentitled “Employees First, Customer Second.” Through this paperthe global trends that influenced Nayar, his use of discovery skills,and how he could improve his skills are discussed (Nayar, 2010).

GlobalTrends that Influenced Nayar

Fora more innovative organization, Nayar encouraged members of HCLtechnologies to find ways of defeating their competitors. The companywas to look for ways to lure their customers, and ensure that theservices they offered were different, and better than those of theircompetitors. After the crisis in 2005, HCL had to do all in its powerto ensure that it was back on track. With this approach, HCL was ableto progress years later. Furthermore, between 2011, and 2012, thecompany signed major contracts, and secured great clients. Nayar madeit possible for HCL to compete with major industries, and companiesyet still emerge successful (Nayar, 2011).

Duringan interview, Nayar stated that there were global trends that HCL wasrequired to shift toward. It is some of these trends that influencedVineet Nayar to lobby for a more innovative organization. With thecompetition that was present, the information technology company wasrequired to keep up with the technological trends that emerged.

Akey global trend that was put across by Nayar was that of the ShortMessage Service. According to him, text messages are more reliable ascompared to phone calls or voice messages. The former CEO emphasizedon the importance of this service to the people of India, and as aresult, he was able to advocate for a more innovative organization.Vineet Nayar stated that text messages may be used to make theIndians, better people. Furthermore, mobile phones have thecapability of improving the services they offer, and this motivatedNayar to create a more innovative organization (Nayar, 2010).

Inaddition, there is the emergence of the global trend that involveddevices, and gadgets that function using a lot of energy. VineetNayar looked into the issue, and recommended the use of devices thatuse energy sparingly. According to Nayar, HCL technologies had tomeet the requirements of the markets, and for that reason they had tokeep up with the global trends that were emerging (Nayar, 2011).

Nayar’sUse of Discovery Skills

Itis important to realize that all innovators employ differentapproaches to ensure that they have reached their goals. Toaccomplish his goals at HCL technologies, Vineet Nayar made use offive discovery skills associative thinking, observing, questioning,networking, and experimenting.

  1. Associative thinking

Thisdiscovery skill involves the linking of different thoughts together.Vineet Nayar made use of this skill in his attempt to create a moreinnovative organization. These different thoughts may be obtained indifferent ways such as interactions, reading, and debates amongothers. Associative thinking involves the brain using differentmaterial from many people to come up with a final result. It is theseideas that give rise to various innovations. As the individualscreate a bond, and connection, they are able to think up new andgreat ideas. It is widely known that two heads are always better thanone and for this reason associative thinking has proven successfulin the creation of innovative organizations (Dyeret al., 2011)

  1. Observing

Thisskill is important when it comes to the creation of innovativeorganizations. Naturally, innovators are known to be conversant withthings that are going on in their surroundings. Vineet Nayar usedthis skill to improve the services offered by HCL technologies. Theformer CEO was able to watch out his competitors, observe the newtrends in the market as well as reach out for the greatest clientsavailable. Through observation, he was able to obtain new ideas andnotions that were able to have HCL technologies on its toes(Dyer et al., 2011)


  1. Questioning

Formore innovative organizations, innovators are bound to have a lot ofquestions and inquiries. In fact, the questions asked by those peopleare ones involving things that are up, and running. For exampleduring his interview, Vineet Nayar questioned why mobile phones donot have the capability of monitoring the medical conditions of humanbeings. According to Nayar, if something was done about it, mobilephones would be able to undertake this task. As an innovator, Nayarquestioned these things to understand them, and find out what theycan be changed, altered or improved. Through questioning, the formerCEO was able to obtain new ways of bettering HCL technologies (Dyeret al., 2011).

  1. Networking

Thisis another discovery skill that was employed by Vineet Nayar. Throughnetworking, he was able to interact with different groups of people.In this manner, the former CEO of HCL technologies was able toacquire different perspectives from different people. He would thenincorporate the new ideas into his original ideas. As a result, Nayarwould have an upper hand as compared to his competitors. Networkingwas one of the most important ways in which Vineet Nayar created amore innovative organization (Dyeret al., 2011).

  1. Experimenting

Thisis the final discovery skill that was used by Vineet Nayar. Most, ifnot all innovators have the tendency of trying out new things. In thesame way, Nayar ensured that he had to look into different ideas,technologies, and concepts as this would assist HCL technologies.Through experimenting, he was able to grasp different ideas, andcombine them into one magnificent thing. This discovery skillassisted Nayar in realizing the concepts, and ideas that would begood for HCL technologies (Dyeret al., 2011).

HowNayar Could Improve

Inas much as Vineet Nayar five discovery skills proved successful,there are ways in which he could be able to improve their use ininnovation. In regard to associative thinking, the former CEO shouldlook into engaging with different groups of people in a bid to comeup with diverse ideas. However, it was unfortunate that this skillmade the people think in very different lines during certain times.Instead of Nayar and his team thinking about their performancereviews as judgments, they often thought of it as progress. Nayarcould have improved by encouraging the employees to focus on thereviews in another angle other than that of development. Also, Nayarshould not focus on the group of people he is used to. Instead, heshould invest his time, and energy in other people for betterresults.

Thediscovery skill that involved observation could be improved byinnovators such as Vineet Nayar paying close attention to thosecompeting companies (Dyeret al., 2011).The company had a good number of employees while Nayar was CEO. Forthis reason, he should have put that in great use by sending hisemployees to interact, and observe how his competitors operate. In asmuch as the skill advocates for an overall observation, Vineet couldhave the improved the observation skills by focusing more on thosethings which are a direct threat to the HCL technologies.

Thereare also ways in which Vineet Nayar could have improved his skillconcerning questioning. It is a part of an innovator’s livelihoodto question the things that are in their environment but, there aresome questions that do not have answers. Instead of questioning someof the things present in the environment, Nayar could have workedwith what was present. For example Nayar’s question in regard towhen mobile phones would offer health services was null. This isbecause it is close to impossible for mobile phones to replace healthcenters in regard to innovation. Attempting to change, and alter thecurrent situation might have taken a lot of his time, and energywhich he could have invested in developing new ideas (Dyeret al., 2011).

Networkingas a discovery skill is closely related to associative thinking.Vineet Nayar could have improved this skill by monitoring the groupsof people he related with. In business, innovators are bound to becareful in regard to who they trust. This is because not everyindividual has the best interest of these innovators at heart. Nayarcould have improved the skill of networking by finding individualswho have ventured in this field. The ideas obtained from those peopleplay a great role in the progress of the business. Also, Vineet Nayarcould have improved his networking skill by sending his employees tovarious parts of the world. In this manner, it would be possible forhim to secure great clients, and improve HCL technologies. Networkingwith the best groups of individuals lead to creation of moreinnovative organizations (Dyeret al., 2011).

Thelast discovery skill experimenting, is the skill that wraps up allthe other four discovery skills. Nayar used the experimenting skillin an attempt to implement the trends that had emerged. However,there are ways in which he could have improved this experimentingskill. This discovery skill is dependent on the questioning skill ina great way. As mentioned under questioning, Nayar could have avoidedcertain questions, and it is those questions that have answers thatundergo experimentation. These innovators including Vineet Nayaroften experimented on concepts that would not work, and this was awaste of their time, energy, and resources (Dyeret al., 2011).


Accordingto Vineet Nayar’s point of view, the success of businesses beginswith the leadership and management. HCL observed that it is theemployees, and customers who influence the IT services, and notsolely technology. The employees and customers worked in conjunctionwith the technology in a bid to improve HCL technologies. Themanagers of HCL were to guide, and show the employees good examplesthat they would emulate (Hill, 2014).

Researchhas also shown that innovation is a skill that comes naturally tohuman beings. It has been observed that it creativity is genetic, andit is not every individual that can be an innovator (Hope et al.,2011). However, there is controversy in regard to this finding. Someresearchers claim that innovation is a skill that can be acquired,and developed over the years. The five discovery skills discussedabove associative thinking, observing, questioning, networking, andexperimenting are vital in the creation of innovative organizations.

Also,in as much Vineet Nayar did an exquisite job at HCL technologies, itis important to realize that there were still some loopholes. It wasimpossible for him to create a flawless organization within a fewyears. In fact, after the collapse of HCL technologies, it would takehim more years to be able to fix the organization, and attempt tohave it back on track. Vineet’s successor would have to ensure thatthe status quo is maintained if not improved. With the increase incompetition, the CEO would have to be on their toes at all times inorder to defeat the opponents. Anant Gupta is positive that HCLtechnologies would progress, and become a better and more innovativeorganization (Nayar, 2011).


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