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Business Standard: Cognizant’s CEO Talks About the Importance of Changing Quickly and Adapting Rapidly

“If there is one thing in my personal life that has made a decisive impact on business in Cognizant,” says Francisco D’Souza, “it is the multi-cultural experience that I have gained and cherished. From the beginning, we have consciously built the organization with this ‘multicultural’ flavor because, to serve the global marketplace, you need to be global. What I learned growing up in a microcosm is very much alive in the DNA at Cognizant…Far more than a global mindset, what I learned was how to change quickly and adapt rapidly. I think this, perhaps more than anything else, is a key to success in the business world today.”

Looking back at the early days of Cognizant, D’Souza recalls, “D&B was a $5-billion revenue conglomerate of ten operating companies. And it was spending around $800 million every year on IT. There was no mandate that D&B would use our services exclusively. Thus we learnt to compete…Soon we realized that we needed more challenges. So I went back to the US in 1998 to build a client services platform. At that time, half of the revenue came from D&B, and it was a matter of time before we learnt that bagging new businesses in new verticals and domains would be the only drivers for growth.”


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