A Physics graduate from St. Stephens, Delhi, Ashok Vemuri completed his master’s degree in business management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Ashok started his career with Deutsche Bank, in 1992 and later moved to Bank of America, in 1995. Infosys noticed the up-and-coming Ashok and invited him to join the company, where he was personally mentored by Narayan Murthy – the co-founder and then-CEO of Infosys Ltd. and held a number of key roles.
Ashok also served as chairman of the company’s China operations and was instrumental in setting up its now largest business division – banking and financial services – that contributes 40% to the annual business. Having brought about several changes post moving to the NASDAQ-listed IGATE Corp as President and CEO, Ashok Vemuri represents the new face of IGATE today.
Under his leadership and guidance, IGATE has touched new heights of success and marked its presence in the market as never before. Metrics are getting stronger, signs are positive and the company is confident of finding significant market traction in near future. At present, IGATE is a $1.25 billion company with a net revenue of $936.7 million. The company won several significant accounts during the year including a business relationship with one of the leading commercial insurance companies in the US; the largest transaction in the company’s history.
Ashok restructured the company into a vertical-based organization, providing for deeper expertise through a tighter integration of industry relevant processes and technology; along with setting up exclusive practices in Digital and Mobility. Moving towards a decentralized leadership model Ashok Vemuri believes in giving more freedom to the vertical heads to focus on markets like North America and Western Europe. In Ashok’s words, “We believe, having industry-focused business units lead to an organizational structure where the leaders have responsibility and accountability towards the clients, shareholders and employees.”
Under the leadership of Ashok, the company rebranded its identity represented by a new logo, and renewed Vision, Mission and Values. The new logo represents the confidence and collective aspirations of all IGATORs to deliver success at every level of its engagement with the customers, underscored by the tenets of Speed, Agility and Imagination. The mission is to make it an
organization that strives for superior and predictable financial performance; is an innovative and learning organization; focused on execution excellence delivered by a team that believes in high performance and is socially conscious. Today, the organization delivers value, greater than before, as it continues its exciting journey with ‘Character,’ Commitment’ and ‘Competency’ ingrained in its value system.
Ashok has spearheaded many new and innovative initiatives since his joining and IGATE received many accolades during this period. For instance, IGATE was ranked 51 in Fortune’s list of 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in the U.S, ranked 29th on IDC’s Financial Insights FinTech Top 100 List, included in the HFS Blueprint Report for Digital Transformation Services as a “Rising Star”, and won the coveted award on “Innovation in Retention Strategy” at the 5th Asia Best Employer Brand Awards 2014. IGATE received the 2014 Global Customer Value Leadership Award in Product Engineering Services, presented by Frost & Sullivan, IGATE’s new delivery center was opened in Budapest, Hungary, it formed a partnership with XTEL, and formed a new partnership with OpenSpan, Inc.
IGATE also launched IGATE Corporate University in September 2014, a state-of-the-art training and development facility in Pune, India. The University focuses on building custom training programs and methodologies in association with leading global educational institutions offering more than 260 courses that cover over 20 areas in technology, managerial and behavioral competencies; making it one of Asia’s largest Corporate Universities.
IGATE also opened a new facility in Noida, India spreading across 60,000 sq. ft. and can accommodate about 550 people. It also added 850 seats in Hyderabad and 500 seats in Mumbai along with an increased seating capacity in Bangalore and Chennai this year.
Today, IGATE has an elaborate hiring model that gets tweaked on a quarterly basis. The company has moved away from a ‘just-in- time’ hiring model to a ‘hire-for-growth’ one. “The right model has to be to invest for growth and you have to therefore hire above of the curve; you have to be practical and pragmatic about it.” The Company witnessed an all-time high in hiring as it grew past 34,000 IGATORs during its third quarter, in 2014.
In 2014, Ashok was elected to the Board of IT Governors at The World Economic Forum, Davos. In 2013, he was honored as one of the 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Center. In 2009, he was elected to the Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGL) by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In 2008, he was selected by leading Indian magazine, Business Today, as one of India’s 25 Hottest Young Executives.
As a well-respected business and global sourcing leader, Ashok has appeared on broadcast outlets and has been widely quoted in leading publications, including The New York Times. He is a renowned thought leader and frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums.
Ashok believes that corporate development has to be inclusive responsible for the development of a just and humane society that can build a national enterprise. Under his supervision, IGATE aims to contribute to the society in all possible ways and has set up the ICARE function, its core CSR team, as a means for fulfilling this commitment. Ashok today leads ICARE focusing on supporting the girl child’s education and uplifting the sports infrastructure in the Indian rural areas. He also ensures the CSR spending is at least 2% of average net profit for the financial year.
“Learning is an integral part of our mission statement. It is a process continuum. Especially in an industry that goes through constant change, one can easily be rendered obsolete. As an individual and as a company, it is important for us to stay on par with the change and at times, be ahead of it in order to leverage the change to our benefit.”