Archive for the ‘Emerging Technology’ Category

Exclusive Interview with Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mr. Ashok Soota

29 Mar

Interviewed by Sneha Betharia | 29th March | UNICOM


 Mr. Ashok Soota is the name many of you will recognise as one of the pioneering leaders of the Indian IT Industry. He is a serial entrepreneur and presently, the Founder & Executive Chairman of Happiest Minds.

 Mr. Soota was honoured The First Agile Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 held in Vivanta by Taj, Bangalore. After honouring the award on 19th June, 2015 we caught up with Mr. Soota and interviewed him to find out more about him after winning the award and his successful journey.

Agile Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mr. Ashok Soota

Agile Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Mr. Ashok Soota


Here is the interview with Mr. Soota: 

UNICOM: Please share your thoughts when you were informed that you have conferred the first Lifetime Achievement Award at India Agile Awards?

Mr Soota: There was a special feeling and honour because it was the first Lifetime Achievement Award at India Agile Awards.  There are so many great achievers in the Industry and it was a matter of pride to be conferred the very first award.


UNICOM: What, in your opinion, are the ingredients of your personal success story?

Mr. Soota: Converting every problem into an opportunity, planning for the good times during bad times and vice versa.  On a personal basis continuously striving to achieve my potential and helping others to achieve theirs.


UNICOM: What was the significance of winning this award to you/your organization?

Mr. Soota: As a young company, Happiest Minds needs all the recognition we can get.  Even though this was a personal award, it enhances the image of Happiest Minds.


Ashok Soota

Ashok Soota

UNICOM: How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your receiving of Lifetime Achievement award? Would you like to share any particular comment you received from your colleagues or company? 

Mr. Soota: My friends and relatives had a tongue-in-cheek comment: “You have now reached the right age for getting Lifetime Achievement Awards.  May this be the first of many such lifetime recognition awards”.


UNICOM: Who are your icons you seek to emulate?

Mr. Soota: My icon is Warren Buffet who, at 84 is still going strong.


UNICOM: What message you have for those reading your interview?

Mr. Soota: Please keep raising the bar in your search for excellence and success will follow.


India Testing Awards 2015: Interview with Test Leader of the Year Award Winner Renu Rajani

22 Mar

“My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week and also Capgemini’s Facebook page. I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World”- says Renu Rajani, Vice President at Capgemini (Testing Global Service Line) and the winner of Test Leader of the Year Award-2015.


Renu Rajani, won the ‘Test Leader of the Year Award’ at the India Testing Awards 2015. The award recognizes practitioners and companies who have created Testing programs that define the future of product development, services and support. The felicitation ceremony was part of the ‘World Conference Next Gen Testing’ that witnessed participation from senior executives across global IT companies. 

Over a quick meeting, Unicom team spoke to Renu to find out more about her achievement:

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani

Test Leader of the Year 2015-Renu Rajani


1. What was your approach in filling up the application form?

The award application form has sections on –

  • Background – Objective/Challenge.  The applicant should describe the challenges/ objectives that inspired the Testing Methodology and the key accomplishments relating to the same.  In this section, I focused on testing transformation challenges handled by me in an innovative/unique manner.
  • Top-3 Testing Projects – Here specific experiences from 3 projects where I made a difference. In describing each of my project, I was specific on the outcome I was trying to accomplish with specific method/approach and how I specifically kept in mind customer needs.
  • Testing mindset, philosophy and demonstrable Action on these projects here I specifically listed execution plan, challenges encountered, results and feedback from across stakeholders.
  • Recommendations from Industry – Your leaders may want to nominate you and in such case might want to put recommendations.  Ensure these are fair and unbiased and reflection of your work. In todays social media world, one can use some of the recommendations provided online by your senior industry network contacts over platforms such as LinkedIN and these do carry good weight if coming from a credible source.
  • Measurable Impact – I include specific examples, facts and data points on impact (quantitative and qualitative) my projects, approach/method have created.
  • Why Me – In this section make a compelling reason for you to be awarded.  The justifications should be around impact you have created, thought leadership you bring to the table that is acknowledged by industry, etc.
  • List of Team members groomed by you – this is yet another way to demonstrate the impact.  How have people groomed under you have benefitted the industry and what do they think of you? What does industry think of people groomed under you.  Again, if you have worked at your social media presence, that could speak for itself!

Finally, The award is an acknowledgement of one’s work in the Testing field.  More than preparation or credentials stated in the application, it is the thought leadership of the individual and how his/her work is showcased to the external world, which play an essential role in the voting process. The application response is a reflection of how someone has established him/herself in the field over the career span.


2. Please share the first thought when you realized that you have won the award?

I felt like I was Ms Universe in Testing World and that I had duty to serve as thought leader and role model to the testing universe. Being active in diversity and women leadership initiatives for last many years and having nurtured women careers in testing, I also felt the award being conferred to a woman held even more significance and role modeling for women in IT.


3. What was the significance of winning this award to you/your organisation?

This award acknowledges my professional thought leadership, evangelism in testing space, as well as reinforces Capgemini’s positioning in Testing Community and marketplace.


Renu Rajani

Renu Rajani


4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you would like to share?

My entire team felt it was a great acknowledgement of my work. My manager Govindarajan Muthukrishnan was too pleased.  In my mind the award as much belonged to him as he offered me tremendous platform in terms of my roles that gave me opportunity to demonstrate transformational leadership in testing space.  My company carried my award story on our Talent front page for a week, as well as on Capgemini Facebook page under #betheyou hashtag.  I really did mind myself on the top of the world!


Capgemini Expert Connect is the platform that provides tremendous visibility to global empanelled experts like myself who are brand ambassadors for our companies thought leadership.  The Expert connect platform and Architecture community also widely carried my award news.


5. Please describe your experience of the day the award was held?

On the day award ceremony was held, it was day-2 of the conference event and I was a speaker as well in the event. I had just returned from my international travel, in barely few hours of landing went to the event for my session .  The hotel had trophies displayed without names.  Names of 15 nominees for this award were on the Unicom portal and all were requested to stay in the evening to hear the verdict! I was tired on the day due to travel and was about to leave for the day and when organizers learnt I was leaving for the day, they could not have told me I was the winner of the award.  They gently requested I better wait for 2 hours for the evening ceremony.  I stayed thinking I would congratulate the winners, only to figure out that KPMG and jury had selected me as “Testing Leader of the Year 2015”.  Like I said, when I stood with the trophy, I felt on the top of the world


6. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the nominees? 

One’s Point of View and thought leadership in the field, healthy networks within the industry and visibility of work on social media is important. One has to be an acknowledged thought leader and evangelist for bagging such recognitions.

For my candidature, the application scored the highest with a score of 9/10 points. The jury remarks read:  ‘Overall strength in various aspects of testing including from actual implementation to evangelism with everything in between. Good social media influence’.


7. What message you have for those reading your interview?

2015 has seen focus on Digital with testing Agile/DevOps/Continuous Integration mode becoming mainstay.  The market shifts have new demands on our talent to continue to upgrade and up-skill ourselves to stay relevant in this changing marketplace.

Testing & QA profession leverages the best of individuals’ multi-faceted – business, technical, process, soft skills, domain and industry skills.  Be proud to belong to this profession and value it continues to offer to the industry.




Why & How Zensar won the ‘Agile Community of the year 2015’ Award?

10 Jul

Many Congratulation to Zensar for winning the coveted “Agile Community of the year 2015” at India Agile Awards 2015.

India Agile Awards 2015 recognized companies and practitioners who have created Agile programs that defines the future of product development, services and support. Executives leading IT at these companies was recognized among their peers at the India Agile Awards ceremony which took place at India Agile Week at Vivanta by Taj, Bengaluru on Friday, 19 June 2015.

As an Agile community builder and chair of India Agile Week, held every year in June across 5 cities in India at the same week, I was really looking forward to who finally wins the coveted trophy…and man Zensar won it hands down and how.

Aile comunity of the year1

Click here to see MORE Event Pics


The journey of the Zensar Agile community has its roots in the past. It all started with an initiative to deliver service in an unorthodox way. Soon this initiative gained pace and started to grow across organization. The only thing not in place was a centralized knowledge repository, resulting in iterative reinvention of wheels, lack of proper agile communication, setting up of challenge registers, initiating best practices for process & services. Which was not only hampering deliverables but also causing trouble for clients & in turn for us. Soon the problem started to scale with points like associate fallouts; lack of best practices etc. adding to the woes in turn causing traction in growth across businesses.

With the objective of overcoming the shortfalls a core group was constituted. The core group took cognizance of situation and figured out immediate shortfalls to address variety in service offerings of agile methodology stack, best practices for process and services using various tools were the key points missing. On the way to answer this riddle, people came along & soon the group got transformed in to a community.

Community took the onus to provide answers to several unattained question from the past viz. lack of platform for agile initiatives, best practice implementation, business development in agile, establishing agile delivery, branding and networking for agile, agile training & certifications.



The whole initiative was started with the vision of achieving core objectives of competency building in agile across organization, while standardization of process and services. The specified goal can only be achieved by providing answers to underlying but much more trivial questions like:
a. Defining enterprise wide agile service definition & quality metrics.
b. Forming a centralized knowledge repository.
c. Agile evolution of all associates.
d. Proactive enhancement of agile offerings with superior coverage of Agile stack for new business accusations.
e. Indigenous development of agile assessment tools with bespoke consulting services.



As the organization started to grow in agile, new challenges started to surface. To overcome the coming challenges a core group of enthusiastic agile practitioner was formed. The role of this group was to find answers for the present challenges & proactively prepare a process to tackle new challenges from the learning of the past. Soon a challenge register was constituted based on the past experiences which proved to be the first step towards our goals.
As many of the associate in the organization were unaware of agile and its terminology, an AGILE gallery walk was organized. The sole purpose of this event is to increase the understanding of associates about agile and its processes. More than 500 associates availed the benefit making agile gallery walk a success. Which paved the way to the formation of agile community. With community getting formed the first thing to come on board was setting a platform not only on ground but also in virtual world. Setting up a community page on Zensar internal portal and having a common DL list where people can send their queries and seek answers to them, enabled a 24*7 connectivity for all . Community provided a platform to encourage new minds towards taking up certifications & trainings.
Community undertook several events like monthly scrum masters meetings, internal and external seminars on various current and upcoming topics in agile.
The community gradually started to seek answers to present challenges and is helping in develop a strong knowledge base.


The best part of agile initiative is that it is fuelled by people’s passion and not by material stuffs. As everything in terms of technology was already there in place, the only requirement was that of like-minded peoples. This got resolved because of community.

Most of activities are done voluntarily by the people who are sharing the interest of learning new in agile.

Apart from inevitable expenses incurred while conducting gallery walks and seminars coming approx. INR 10,000 and Books worth INR 5000.


  1. Exponential growth of community not only in term of size but also in term of intellectual property with measurable outcomes. Translating into increased businesses in the tune of $35million.
  2. The community till date has trained 800+ associates, 75 + scrum masters are also associated with it.
  3. Community helped in setting up agile project guidelines, challenge register & best practices for various methodologies under Agile stack.
  4. Several audits on the lines of maturity, delivery, best practice implementation undertaken by the community helped in improving customer satisfaction index.
  5. Increased happy customers with delivery excellence.
  6. The initiative helped in garnering interest across organization and especially in support functions.
  7. Agile communities various efforts on conducting seminars, training & certifications helped in achieving improved deliverables in terms of quality, timely delivery & helped improve team collaboration.
  8. The community is associated with several external communities like Indian Enthusiastic Scrum Community, Spin Etc.
  9. Indigenous assessment tool was created from inputs and experiences gathered from within the organization.

Nominees for the “Agile community of the year 2015” were-

agile community nominations

Dr Ganesh Natarajan, Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies said, “The Zensar Agile community represents the confluence of expertise, capabilities and enterprise focused on setting new standards for delivering excellence to customers. This award bears testimony to the hard work put in by the team towards creating new business opportunities and helping customers achieve definite business outcomes with continuous innovation.”

Prameela Kalive, Executive Vice President, Strategic Services and Location Head (Pune) said, “It is an honour to win this industry wide recognition. The Agile community in Zensar started small, but today it has grown to a group of 800+ associates who have created an Agile centre of excellence for our customers. We are constantly focused on building capabilities and exploring new ways of offering better solutions aimed at providing high delivery standards to our customers. This award is an affirmation of our business transformation approach with technology expertise leading the way.”

Additionally, three teams from Zensar also qualified at the Agile Olympiad, an initiative of India Agile Week (IAW 2015) and UNICOM to run India’s most prestigious Corporate Quiz on Agile Methodology.



Tech- Mahindra emerges as the winners at ‘World Business Excellence Summit’

01 Apr
1st Winner of IQL 2015

1st Winner of IQL 2015

Unicom Learning, a Global B2B platform for IT industry and KPMG India together presented the 2ndedition of ‘World Business Excellence Summit 2015’ at Movenpick, Bangalore recently with the theme “Meet Leaders in Business Assurance”. Two contests viz. INDIA QUALITY LEAGUE 2015 and the IT MANAGER OLYMPIAD 2015 was held together under the World Business Excellence summit. The contest had several rounds including online written tests, on stage quiz etc. This event saw thousands of QA professionals from 112 companies participating from across the nation.

Mrinal Chatterjee and Dipan Lahiri from Tech Mahindra emerged as the proud winners of the prestigious India Quality League 2015. Whereas, Samgram Das, Associate Director – IT IS and Arvind Rao, Director – Development from Team Zyme Techno Camp Zyme Solutions emerged as the winners and grabbed the Gold.

In the earlier edition of one day conference on World Business Excellence Summit, the best practices used like the Balanced Scorecard, Lean, the Six Sigma, Agile, ISO, CMMI, Change Management, People and cultural issues were discussed. This year the focus was on LEAN, KANBAN, ScrumBan, DevOps, Innovation Games and Mind Mapping along with other important frameworks and issues related to quality assurance and change management. Like last year, this year too the focus was to have INTENSE, HANDS-ON and PRACTICAL presentations, so that one can learn and execute these frameworks at their organization.

Congratulating the winners Nitesh Naveen, Co-founder and CEO of UNICOM Learning shared, “I wish all the best to the winners and my heartiest congratulation to Tech Mahindra and Zyme Solutions for having this year’s India’s most knowledgeable quality champions with them”.

World Business Excellence Summit 2015


1st Place “Gold”- Team the Dark Horses Won “GOLD – 1st Place” from Tech Mahindra – Mrinal Chatterjee & Dipan Lahiri
2nd Place “Silver” – Team Atos Excellence Won “SILVER – 2nd Place” from @ATOS – Samir Umrikar & Ramesh Ramanathan
3rd Place “Bronze” – Team QRM Deloitte Won “Bronze – 3rd Place” from Deloitte Consulting – Neetu Kar & Shrikrishna Pandey. 


1st Place “Gold” – Team Zyme Techno Champ from Zyme Solutions- Sangram Das, Associate Director – ITIS & Arvind Rao, Director – Development.

2nd Place “Silver” – Team Zyme IT Team from @Zyme Solutions – Santosh Phalle, IT Manager & Binaybhusan Nanda, IT Manager

3rd Place “Bronze” – Team TechMighty from Tech Mahindra- Pankaj Kumar, Test Manager & Piyush Sinha, Test Lead.

About UNICOM Learning

Unicom Learning is a leading player in the Knowledge Forum industry giving a Global B2B platform for the IT industry founded by Professor Gautam Mitra (Chairman & Co-Founder) and Nitesh Naveen (CEO & Co-Founder). The organisation holds 150 knowledge conferences (forums) across the globe annually, out of which 100 are held in India. UNICOM has close to 10,000 professionals attending each of these conferences cum training platforms. Over the years, Unicom Learning has gained deep insights with organising knowledge forums in multiple disruptive technology domains like, Agile, Big Data, Cloud computing, Internet of All Things among others. UNICOM Learning’s knowledge partners include KPMG, CISCO, INTEL, Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam among others.  For further information; visit




UNICOM Tech Alert: 6 Tech Skills That Will Be Outdated in The Near Future

17 Dec

skills outdated

While we have seen an upsurge in demand for skills around emerging technologies and processes, some of the traditional tech skills, once in demand, are slowly moving towards oblivion. Nitesh Naveen, CEO, UNICOM Learning, which works closely with over 300 IT companies globally, discusses some such tech skills and why the industry doesn’t need them anymore.

IT vendor management: Till recently roles such as IT vendor management were high in demand and most probably still are. However, with larger and increasing use of open source and cloud based products, the role of the product vendor has diminished. Even traditional IT services like staff augmentation or system integration activities are being done over cloud.

Data centre admin: Most of the large enterprises, owning their own data centres, are considering moving to cloud. However, regulatory and security concerns exist which is deterring them to switchover. In a couple of years, cloud security will cease to be a deterrent, and the only roadblock shall be regulations. But the ecosystem will soon develop to find a solution to comply with the regulations. Data centre admin, as a function, will then become redundant.

Windows XP admin/help desk: Many IT professionals, from engineers to help desk support workers to system administrators, have significant XP experience. Unfortunately, this may no longer be a useful attribute. Windows XP still holds the #2 spot for desktop operating market share (just after Windows 7), but its fate is sealed. Microsoft ended the XP license sales more than two years ago and plans to cease supporting it in less than a year.

Software support: The transformation of computing from desktop to mobile, especially the transition of software and services into cloud, is limiting opportunities for traditional/packaged software support. Today, you need to know how to manage software services and software configurations in cloud computing.

Manual testing: Currently, India has over 100,000 manual testers. With advancement in automation techniques and reduction in the cost of release and build management, most of the manual testing is getting automated. UNICOM is seeing a trend where companies are asking to up-skill their manual testers into business assurance roles.

Programmer: If you are a true blue programmer, who loved coding and only coding, then you are in for trouble. With most of the companies going to adopt Agile and DevOps practices, the role of a programmer is silently moving towards core software engineering. This means that the role that needed only to code will transform into a role where you will work with the user to develop software that they want.



IT biggies recognize India’s champions at UNICOM’s Technology Olympiad

01 Oct


Bangalore : Over 500 companies from across India participated in the Tech-Olympiad organised by UNICOM Learning, a knowledge sharing forum in partnership with IBM in Bangalore. Companies like CISCO, SIEMENS, HP, KPMG, DELL, TITAN, GE HEALTH CARE and many more participated in the Olympiad and the selected teams represented their companies in the finals held on 25th of September at ‘The Atria’, Palace Road, Bangalore.

Mr. Sachin Malik and Nishant Pundir from Dronacharya College of Engineering, New Delhi emerged as the winner at the Students Technology Olympiad and grabbed the gold medal and also Mr. Harsh Kumar and Arun B from GE Healthcare Bangalore were announced as winners of the Technology Olympiad for Professionals.

Discussing the importance of such contests Mr. Nitesh Naveen, Co-Founder, Director & CEO of Unicom said, “Such events encourage and develop interest in emerging technologies among young professionals and provide excellent networking opportunities and encourage students for further education in the field of engineering and prepares them for future in science and technology.”

“With Unicom’s constant support, we aim to bring technology awareness to as many people as we can. Platforms like these are big opportunities for youngsters to get a recognition and stand out among the crowd” said Sugandha Shri Kanteshwaram, Program Director, Mobility & Emerging Technologies IBM. She also congratulated the winners on receiving the most prestigious and deserving award!!

The Students Technology Olympiad is an initiative taken by UNICOM with support from IBM in order to find India’s most knowledgeable student in the field of emerging technologies. 1000 colleges participated in the students Olympiad which aims to provide a global recognition to students and was supported by various technological institutes. The first round of the Olympiad was online Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) based quiz followed by the finals. Each participating team had two members taking part in the tech- quiz. Some of the topics covered in the Technology Olympiads were Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud, Big Data, Programming, Testing and IoT.

Technology Olympiad for Professionals was another big contest that UNICOM India’s Biggest Conference Organizing Company organized backed by IBM to find India’s most knowledgeable professional in the field of Emerging Technologies. The winners were selected after three rounds of stringent selection process by the jury constituting of industry experts. The final day of the conference had multiple MNCs participating from all over India. Both the semi-finals and finals, were complete pen and paper based MCQ rounds.