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Valenco case studies # 2 - Sridhar - Emerging technology delivery or client sales


Graduating in the upper quartile of his class, Sridhar was recruited by a large IT services company, where he spent 5 years writing code and then growing to a project manager.

He then built a competency center for an emerging Microsoft technology. It scaled it to over 100 resources and had wins and implementations across the globe. Often talks of this as one of his signature career accomplishments.


Having tasted success, Sridhar moved to a leading global company to lead multiple delivery initiatives for the same Microsoft technology stream in which he had set up the center of excellence.

His two clients were a bank and an asset manager, both in the USA. He built a good understanding of their technology choices and bonded with the client stakeholders who he met regularly for governance and new business planning meetings.

His time had come.

Recognizing his flair for working with clients and also unearthing new work, he was transferred to the USA to oversee delivery and lead business growth with a financial institution. Did well and in the next few years it became one of the largest clients for his employer.


And then Covid hit. His client pulled back a lot of new development work and business dipped.

This was among the first bumps in Sridhar’s career. He had time on his hands, limited work, and not seeing that changing in the near term. His intake of coffee went up and got to first name basis with the checkout associates at the local Starbucks.

To break out of this slump, he asked his employer for a move to grow another client. There was a role available, which required him to move to another city.

Sridhar has two children, both going to high school. He did not want to relocate and disrupt their education. At the same time, he needed to get back into a more active work schedule.

While there were limited client partner roles with IT companies in his location, he saw postings for IT managers with local companies. Having been with vendors through his career, he decided to explore an in-house IT role, and landed one as a director of IT with a leading company in the area.


Though doing well in his current role his learning and skills are limited by the applications and technology choices of his employer. Since those are working and stable, his employer has limited incentive to change and adopt new technologies.

Sridhar is beginning to worry that not working on the leading-edge technologies will soon make his skills redundant.

He misses the pace of the service provider world where he was exposed to emerging processes and technologies and worked with multiple clients in diverse application environments.


Over the last holiday season, he hosted a group of neighbors. Some worked with technology services firms and a few with other Fortune 500 companies.

One was a client partner recently promoted to grow a very large multi-geography client. He was excited about his global travels and how he was able to take his spouse along when he went for short trips.

A second had just moved into a role to lead a center for emerging data lake technologies.

A BMW 7 was parked in the driveway, driven in by one who worked for a top payments company.

Sridhar was doing none of this.

Longing for a better pace of work and in newer technologies, Sridhar realized that it’s time to make a change.


The friend working in the payments company offered to get Sridhar introduced to his boss. This led to a series of discussions with a high likelihood that Sridhar will be selected to be part of a team launching the next generation payment system.

A large technology services company is seeking to hire a client partner in the city were Sridhar lives and has approached him. They like his past experience and want him to speak with the hiring manager.

A financial services institution located near his home is hiring. It is looking for program leaders to take on chunks of their applications portfolio and migrate them to the next generation of technology platforms.

Call for action

Sridhar’s son has been prodding him to change his old gasoline powered car. He succumbed, went for a test drive of a crossover electric vehicle, and purchased it.

Since he had no prior experience driving an EV, he asked you to accompany him to drive it back home. Cruising on the highway he started to talk about what was uppermost on his mind, i.e., his job choices, and asked for your input.

He said that he could.

1. Take the role to be part of the new payment platform roll out.

2. Land a client partner role with a technology services company

3. Aim for the modernization program leader role with the large financial services institution.

The advice he received.

Sridhar is very grateful to all those who shared input and counsel.

The overwhelming input was that Sridhar continue on the technology path, either aiming for the emerging technology program with the bank or the payments company. Those who recommended an “other option” were split between an emerging tech delivery role and a client partner position.

What he has opted to do

These inputs were a look in the mirror for Sridhar and he reflected that the high points of his career were the leading-edge competency center which he had built for his employer and then the challenging delivery programs in the same technology.

It is this technical acumen and the ability to talk future roadmap / direction of systems transformations which got him a seat on the table with senior client leaders and set the foundation for him to recommend and also acquire new work.

Consistent with the advice which he has received, the payments platform transformation the banking systems modernization are the ones which will play on his strengths.

At the time of writing, he is in the late rounds of interviews with both these companies and it’s a tie which way he will tilt should he get both offers.

You may also want to read - Shirley


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