The CEO Magazine: Tell us about Tata Consultancy Services and what you do.

Deborah Hadwen: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a global leader in IT services, digital, and business solutions. We work with our clients to simplify, strengthen, and transform their businesses. We do this through a high focus on customer commitment, industry expertise, and innovation.

My role is heading TCS in Australia and New Zealand, with responsibility for all operations. We have over 11,500 associates currently supporting our Australian based clients which include some of the best known Australian and global brands. We are very proud of our customer base and really focus on ensuring that we deliver quality first and foremost. This becomes the foundation through which we drive innovation and increased business value for our customers by tapping into global innovation, capabilities, and capacity.

My role traverses multiple dimensions including; business growth, customer satisfaction, employee welfare, facilities, finance controls, marketing, CSR, governance, brand representation and so forth – leading a team that acquires, develops and maintains strong customer relationships through leveraging TCS’s culture, values, and capabilities.

What does it take to be successful in your role?

It is important to really care about what you do/, the people you work with, the customers you go on the journey with, and the business you represent.

It is a role that is not contained and tightly defined, whether that is through hours of work, or nature of tasks. It is fluid, and to be flexible, to be comfortable with change, ambiguity, and the challenges that come with growth are important. Results are of course very important, and determination and focus are key to these; however there must be balanced with a strong internal compass, a true focus on delivering value to customers, and a passion to support and enable your team.

Do you have advice for others wanting to take the same journey?

Collect as much experience, skills and knowledge as you can – roles such as this are very multi-dimensional and they all help you be prepared, as well as positioning you for consideration.

What has been a key challenge and how have you overcome this?

Family and work— it’s always a tough balancing act with a young family. The best way I can handle this is by consciously being fully present in whatever I am doing at the time.

Who helped you get to this position?

There’s a list! Those that threw up challenges that I had to reach to stretch to, those that supported and nurtured, those that advised and criticised, and those that took a risk with me.

What does it mean to be a finalist in the Executive of the Year Awards?

It is an honour. The TCS story in Australia is a great one with significant growth achievement, with a high level of contribution to our society as well as to our customers. I am personally pleased to lead a team of people who strive daily to delight customers. We work incredibly hard and external recognition, as with the IT Executive of the Year Award, of personal and team achievements are wonderful.