After hours: Alok Srivastava

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick

Tags: Masdar
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After hours: Alok Srivastava Getting Personal Nationality: Indian Number of years in the industry: Over 12 years Holiday destination: Seychelles Music: Bollywood Dream car: Porsche Gadget: iPad, iPhone, home theatre Movie/book: Action/comedy movies
By Staff Writer Published  August 29, 2012

Arabian Computer News delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s IT leaders tick.

How did you end up where you are now?

It has been an interesting journey; as a commerce graduate and having qualified as a Chartered Accountant, I was all set for the finance world when the IT bug bit me in 2000. I joined one of the IT Big Fives in India in the Oracle ERP domain and ever since there has been no looking back as I have thoroughly enjoyed my IT career and life.

What is your management philosophy?

I am a firm believer in teamwork. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and that’s what I have been able to achieve with my teams at Masdar, Sorouh, and Emaar. I believe in hard work, professionalism, dedication and commitment to making a difference by adding value. Leading by example definitely works, but delegation is equally important. No-one is an expert on everything but together we find solutions. I try to get the best out of my team and make sure that in the process they also learn and grow.

What was your first computer, and when?

I had my first desktop way back in 1987 when even operating systems needed to be booted with two or three eight-inch floppies. It is hard to believe the amazing transition in end user and corporate computing. 

What is your greatest achievement?

I have always tried to push the boundaries and to challenge myself with new tasks. With Emaar Group, we did some of the fastest rollouts and implementations across multiple business verticals. At Sorouh, we delivered 20+ Oracle modules with Business Intelligence in seven months with 3+ years of legacy data migration with custom bolt-ons. Sorouh’s Oracle ERP, CRM, SCM, HCM and Business Intelligence implementation became success stories published on the Oracle web site. While I thought the above were my greatest achievements, I was able to join Masdar where, with the support of my team, we have successfully been able to serve as a catalyst for change, enhancement and optimisation, and saved over AED 15 million. So at present I am really proud of the difference which myself and my team have been able to deliver at Masdar.

What is your biggest mistake?

Investing at a wrong time in real estate! Jokes apart, I have been lucky not to have made any major mistakes.

What is your fondest memory of working in the Middle East IT industry?

It has been a great experience working for the past 10 years in the Middle East IT industry. I have made a lot of friends and acquaintances, and met efficient professionals from whom I learned a lot and they continue to inspire me.

What technology do you think will have the biggest impact on the market in 2012?

It depends upon the industry in which you work. At the end of the day, technology needs to enable businesses to optimise processes and bring down costs to have a positive impact on the P&L. Virtualisation is definitely making a big impact on how our data centres look. At Masdar, we have reduced the physical server count by 60% as part of the server consolidation and virtualisation initiative. Business intelligence is another domain where there is lot of scope for IT to add value to business and assist in the decision support system.

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