Competency Partner, Business Consulting Practice
Sharad leads the information and system solutions practice within the telecommunications, media, and entertainment vertical, which focuses on information management, data warehouse, architecture, solution engineering, and integration and quality assurance—“all things related to data, information, and IT systems,” he says.
Sharad’s primary responsibilities are threefold. “First, I look ahead in the marketplace, see what’s coming, and start to define solutions that would benefit customers,” he explains. “Next, I work with our sales teams in the field, at different accounts, and help them sell these solutions to a customer. Then, when the sale is complete, I keep in touch with the customer to make sure that we deliver what we said we would, on schedule, and with the right quality, and that, in the end, the client is satisfied and has realized the expected benefits.”
Part of Sharad’s job is juggling resources and people issues. He’s responsible for finding the right people for the job and for finding replacements when the team he assembles is unexpectedly extended at another account. If a consultant doesn’t work out at a customer site because the skills don’t match, the customer’s requirements change, or because personal issues conflict with the job, Sharad must quickly find a new, more suitable resource.
Despite these challenges, Sharad loves being involved in trying to solve customer problems and having an impact. “Our job is to be out in front, day to day, helping the client with whatever challenge they have. I feel really proud and really good when we implement a solution that the client uses, when we make recommendations that the client follows through on, or when we provide direction for a client that was floundering. This makes the effort that we put in really worth it,” says Sharad.
Sharad enjoys the flexibility and culture offered by his practice. “With the business consulting practice, you’re not pigeonholed into one type of work or role,” he says. “That’s one reason why people stay on. You don’t get branded as one thing. You have lots of flexibility. Even though we’re part of a large organization at EMC, we have the characteristics of a small, dynamic organization.”
Sharad looks for four qualities in his teammates. “One, you have to know your subject regardless of whether you’re a technical, business, or industry expert. When you’re in front of the customer, you have to be very knowledgeable. Two, you have to be confident. The client looks to us for advice. If you know your subject—and if you’re confident—then you bring a lot of credibility to the client.”
“Three, listen and learn. Consulting is a constant learning experience. Every client and every environment has a different culture and different challenges. You have to constantly listen and learn from the client.”
“Finally, take ownership and pride in your work. We do very high-end consulting. We have a small team of very seasoned professionals, and we work at a very fast pace. You have to take ownership of and have pride in your work and stand behind it.”
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