Tata Consultancy Services has a proven track record of developing leaders internally. Even today, 98 percent of the information technology firm’s current leaders are individuals who have been with the company since graduation.
But global CEO and Managing Director N. Chandra knew that the nature of IT consulting was growing more diverse. To better serve clients and stay competitive, TCS needed business leaders with the right experience in consulting and strategy to match those with technical expertise. In 2012, he created a way to funnel fresh talent straight from the source.
The TCS Accelerated Leadership Program recruits MBA students from top business schools for a two-year immersive, hands-on experience at the company. The students — known as TALPers — work in several areas of the company while preparing to take on future leadership roles at TCS.
The TALPers rotate between three to four different business units where they assess market dynamics, develop and implement strategy, respond to challenges and learn from current leaders. Recognizing the need for global perspectives in the workforce, TCS also sends TALPers to its headquarters in India for six months.
The program model emphasizes 360-degree feedback, so TALPers receive structured assessment and guidance from designated coaches and mentors throughout the two-year duration. TCS also hosts a monthly meet the leaders forum that allows TALPers to share their ideas and challenges with senior leaders who can provide advice and inspiration.
Initially launched in North America, TALP has since expanded to include the United Kingdom, and the company hopes to bring the program back to India and the Asia Pacific region as it moves forward.
For creating a unique leadership pipeline that reflects an evolving industry, TCS is the Gold Optimas Awards winner for Managing Change.