N*Able held its first employee forum for the financial year 2017/18 chaired by Samitha Udalgama from the Applications Innovations team. Samitha continued the tradition of setting an interesting theme for each forum, with of course; Game of Thrones and the House of N*Able commenced its session. The forum kicked off with a session by our "Master of the Coin"- N*Able CFO, Ifadha Anver announcing our performance over the last quarter. It was thrilling to know that we had overcome a number of performance challenges which we encountered in first quarters in previous years. Ifadha spoke showed how our renewed planning approach, and early engagement with customers have proven to help us in this regard.
But Ifadha didn't leave the stage immediately. Samitha
showed us the wall, a colossal fortification on the northern border of the
seven kingdoms, and how the House of N*Able is building its own wall against
perils of the unknown; the N*Able Risk Framework. She drew an example between a motorbike and
car. In Sri Lanka, many of those with motorbikes take only 3rd party insurance
but for a car they take out a full insurance. Reason being, that the damage to
a motorbike could generally be absorbed by the person, but since car repairs
are more expensive we tend to have a full cover. In the same manner, Ifadha
explained how as our business has grown, and with higher risk exposure we
needed a formalized risk management framework.
What next? wondered the audience. Well, winter was not coming (yet), but Digital Banking certainly
was! N*Able's BFSI team trio, Chamira, Jithendra and Devinda took to stage and shared
their progress on development of the digital banking framework. When winter
comes, we'll be ready.
Next up was Niruban, who explained how the sigil (a fancy
word for the emblems printed on medieval flags!) of N*Able works; our visual
branding guideline. Niruban shared his approach to designing some of N*Able's
visual identity elements; which was heavily based on human visual behavior and
Then came the highlight of the evening; the keynote. Samitha
puts up a picture of the Iron Throne. As much as we'd like to sit on it, he
said there's only one who always sits on it; the customer. Titled as 'Journeys in Customer Consultancy',
the evening's keynote address was delivered by John NLC Fernando, a veteran IBM
executive with nearly 40 years of experience.
John is a man of many talents, and we can't do justice to
the amazing insights he shared, within this blog post. He's had an interesting
career; graduating from the University of Peradeniya with a degree in computer
science he joined IBM as a trainee engineer. IBM, seeing his abilities quickly
promoted him up the ranks. Soon after, he saw more potential to expand the
reach of technology through the sales function, and in a move unheard of, he
moved to sales and started all over as a trainee salesperson. It's this
humility and radical frame of mind which has helped him rise to the highest
ranks at IBM in the Asia Pacific region.
Of his many stories shared with the audience, one story
which resonated with everyone was his approach to building relationships with
customers. He told the story of once how he heard of the demise of the mother
of one of his customers, who lived quite far away. So he got into the bus, in
the night to go pay his respects. And after paying his respects, he was able to
have some casual conversation with his customer, who was quite surprised to see
him. This paid off immensely, a year later when John was strung for time to
close a sale. Because of John's actions, the customer had built a great sense
of trust on John, and the sale closed at the nick of time.
To close off the evening, there onstage was, Peter D'
Almeida, our CEO, who casted the company's vision for the next three quarters.
Interestingly, it was not merely about how we need to achieve targets, but
rather asking us to evaluate our strengths and how to Ã?Â¢??make our bosses work for
us. He shared from his personal experience about how when you deliver on what
you promised, take responsibility for your work, and make your boss's life
easier-in terms of delivering work that allows him/her to do their work better-
he/she will be more willing to provide the enablers for you to succeed.
Winter is coming...!
N*Able's closes Q1 FY17/18 with a GoT inspired employee forum
by: Niruban Satchithanandakumar