Leading with purpose: our journey to securing jobs for the local market

Leading with purpose: our journey to securing jobs for the local market

In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, every company faces its own unique challenges. For many tech businesses the pandemic presented a tough time that demanded resilience and innovation. In this blog post, we dive into the personal journey of the CEO of Infotel UK Mundeep Nayyar. Here is the text of the speech delivered by him at the Venture Fest 2023 in Lightening talks alongside with the bright minds of the tech sector.
Join us as we delve into his remarkable journey, and may it ignite your own sense of possibility and drive in your personal and professional endeavours.

“When I reflected on what I’d like to talk about today, in my mind I thought – I don’t want this to be another speech about the pandemic. I promise not to say too much about this, but let’s face it – it was a tough time for businesses. I am sure a lot of you have your own compelling stories, and I’d love to know more, so I hope we can connect today at Venture Fest.
Although it was a very difficult time, it challenged us to think differently and essentially innovate in terms of the way we work. Tech resourcing was one of many challenges I faced personally, as the CEO of a local tech business and I wanted to share my story with you today.
It’s never easy to find good people, even at the best of times. At the end of 2020, we were struggling to attract new talent AND at the same time were losing experienced staff because companies in London were offering BIG salaries with 100% remote working. We tried to improve working conditions, pay and
benefits… but ultimately, we were unsuccessful. It simply wasn’t working.

We were not alone however, 56% of UK employers faced recruitment challenges in 2020. The tech sector had been hit particularly hard, with 70% of those employers citing a lack of suitable candidates as the main cause. It was a systemic problem… and not one we could solve quickly.
There was an added pressure from clients to lower costs. We were told to go offshore by our biggest client or risk losing their business. This was something we had no experience of, but our competitors had been doing for years and were well established. Honestly, this was a low moment for the company, and I feared we were no longer competitive!
I had to speak to the Infotel Board, they considered it a huge risk to enter a market where we had no experience and in true Dragons Den style – they quickly declared “THEY WERE OUT” for now. I understood the board’s decision wholeheartedly and it made sense to be cautious. However, I also felt the weight of responsibility for my UK team – bearing down on me and instinctively felt it was a critical moment and I had to do something

Trusting my own vision, I decided to invest in the idea personally and began building an IT services business in India. If you build it, they will come – right!!? At least, I hoped – because the investment and risk were significant.
As entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves juggling multiple problems and various stakeholders. We know the struggle of being pulled in different directions (and not wanting to let anybody down). This is where we turn to our personal values and crucially our instincts. Mine was a simple one, protect my team. Apart from the obvious, “where do I start?” there were many questions to be answered (marketing, recruitment, accounting, insurance … the list goes on). I can only compare this to the experience of starting my very first tech business more than 20 years ago. It was scary stuff. I understand how Kevin felt in the middle of that field.

Fast forward 2-years since its creation – to TODAY:

· In April, we reached eighty 80 employees in India and Infotel group has now acquired th Indian startup.
· It’s the first offshore platform within the Infotel group, which is already established in many countries and now considered one of the jewels in its crown.
You may be thinking “how did this help the UK team and specifically how did these secure jobs in the North East??”

· First of all, Infotel’s acquisition of MY Indian startup will bring even more investment from our French parent to Newcastle.
· Secondly, we are now able to deliver projects for Airbus, Nissan, Geodis and hopefully adding other big names like Volkswagen, BNP Paribas and Air-France in the next months.
· I am also pleased to say we are doubling the size of our UK operation and our plan is to create 30 jobs this year.

If we had taken no action, large consultancies would have taken even more work away from North East and UK. Because we went offshore, for the first time we are now able to bid on large contracts, which were always out of our reach.
What’s important is that the success of the business still relies heavily on my team in Newcastle:
The local team manages delivery of all offshore projects as well as providing high-level expertise.
We maintain the values of Infotel by ensuring our exacting standards are met on every project – home or abroad.
We still drive innovation locally – which is why we are here today AND we all know, the best ideas still come from the North East, the greatest place on the planet!

How has this experience shaped my vision for Tech resourcing?
As I reflect on the path that brought us to where we are today, the theme of building and investing in our tech resources is evident. Our success in competing for those TOP opportunities is built upon our culture, a clear mission, and values.
To survive today, we had to:
Recognise, demand for IT services may be greater than what the North East market can sustain right now.
It will take time to address systemic issues, for example, building new local talent and niche expertise.
In the short term, we need to think differently if we want to continue to grow. In our case (at Infotel), I bridged the gap by going offshore.
Off-shoring can be used to complement your LOCAL resourcing strategy, rather than being seen as a replacement. I learnt; they can work hand in hand.

Overall, our journey has been shaped by my belief that if we “build it, they will come”. We absolutely must invest in skills development locally and making Innovation part of our daily routine. Infotel did this through the introduction of its Innovation Lab – a training ground for its employees to cultivate creativity and innovation.

As a leader though, it’s not all about building a team or product however, but about building TRUST and PLANTING the vision of what is possible for our team, the board, clients, and partners. Building that “field of dreams” and turning it into reality is our responsibility as leaders.

Thank you for listening and if I can help you in your personal journey, please feel free to CONNECT”.


Managing Director
Infotel UK Consulting