How Aptech’s SCUVA ideology helps its people scale up

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In the VUCA world, the Company relies on scalability to help it sail through.

No business organisation established in the 1980s, could have survived the rapidly changing times, if it had not reinvented itself. And that is true for all kinds of businesses. Aptech, however, is a live example of how organisations need to outgrow their own confines—be it in terms of culture or processes—to be able to cope up with the changing times and constantly grow.

Aptech was founded in 1986 and since then it has lived by its core ideology of placing trust in the people – ‘We trust you’. This has helped it ride on the power of its people through the years. In line with its focus on trust and transparency, the Company has done away with cabins and cubicles. The leadership team sits in an open office space, which is a glass arena, aptly called ‘Aquarium’. It represents the Company’s belief in ‘walk the talk’ with regard to communication, transparency and approachability.

Shourya K Chakravarty, executive vice president and head-HR, Aptech, shares that their culture is such that it encourages failures. “People are allowed to fail and learn from the same to ultimately come out successful,” he says. However, the one thing that matters the most across the Company and various functions and levels, is scalability.”

Shourya Chakravarty

Aptech defines scalability in SCUVA through B-HAG—big hairy audacious goals. These are clear and compelling, serve as a unifying focal point of effort, and act as a catalyst for team spirit. Scalability means to work together as ‘one team’, in alignment with the stated goals. 

In 2016, as Chakravarty was in a discussion with his MD CEO, the term ‘VUCA’ came up and that’s when they decided to add scalability to it, and rephrase it as SCUVA (scalability, complexity, uncertainty, volatility and ambiguity) and turn around the messaging across the organisation, such that it becomes the company ethos. “We realised that the VUCA world is an inevitable reality that’s right there in front of us; that we need to perform despite that, and scalability is what will help us sail through,” Chakravarty opines.

Since then, it has been an integral part of every little thing that Aptech does to keep its people happy and engaged. So much so, that embracing change or SCUVA is the messaging behind all activities starting from festival celebrations to business discussions.

Aptech defines scalability in SCUVA through B-HAG—big hairy audacious goals. These are clear and compelling, serve as a unifying focal point of effort, and act as a catalyst for team spirit. Scalability means to work together as ‘one team’, in alignment with the stated goals. “It encourages people to think differently, upgrade knowledge, be flexible to take on new tasks and deliver multiple KRAs simultaneously,” says Chakravarty.

Aptech’s description of SCUVA is as follows:

Scalability: B-HAG or big, hairy, audacious goals make people work together as one team; business-supportive processes encourage people to think differently and deliver. There is realisation that what worked earlier may not work now.

Complexity: Move out of your comfort zone. Redefine processes and products after understanding customer requirements.

Uncertainty: Employ strategies, which can receive early signals of opportunities and threats; Immediate action and fast mobilisation of resources.

Volatility: Responsiveness vs reactiveness—see, internalise and respond fast to changes.

Ambiguity: Accept and appreciate the greyness of the situation and move on to achieve the B-HAG. Act without the complete picture to work, perform and carve out the solution.

In addition, Aptech has ensured a workspace that is contemporary and engaging. It has chill-out zones for people to take meaningful breaks from work, when required. It has a Karaoke Bay, coffee shop, a massage chair and a gym to help employees rejuvenate while at work.

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