Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant are scripting unique ways of catching new clients

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Top Indian IT companies have started the process of overhauling the process of writing proposals to pitch clients and are hiring design specialists for the same.

Companies like Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, etc want to change the way proposals are written for multi-million dollar contracts and infuse a new look.

During a conference recently, Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka emphasised on the need to change the way software companies pitch to clients.

Earlier, in an interview with the Economic Times, Sikka had said that he was struck by the lack of imagination of engineers in India's $146-billion information technology industry.

"From my perspective, what I did not expect, I guess on the negative surprise - I think I have mentioned that before - what I did not anticipate was the degree to which I find this mindset that we don't use our imagination, our creativity," he had told ET in February.

To revamp proposal writing, Infosys has hired California-based design thinker Shabana Khan. With this move, Sikka hopes to bring about a change in the way the software exporter approaches key, strategic proposals where millions of dollars of potential revenue are at stake.

Likewise, US-based Cognizant Technology Solutions is banking more on MBA graduates and business analysts for the same.

Cognizant has a Strategic Engagement Team (SET), which is responsible for proposal-writing and also for understanding complex new-age business problems faced by clients. The team also suggests solutions that are best suited to the customer as members of this key team have expertise in areas such as consulting.

Experts told ET that the days of using the same proposal for all clients were over.

"There have been times when people have done a simple copy-paste job for proposals, and a really bad one at that, if I may add," CEO of a top Indian software firm
told the financial daily.

Ray Wang of Constellation Research told ET that elements like design thinking would play a crucial role in the way deal proposals are structured.
"Rule 1: If you are responding to an RFP (request for proposal), you've already lost. Why? It means you are responding to the same set of requirements everyone else is. You have not been strategic enough to show what the art of possible could be. Rule 2: The goal is to do a conference room pilot with clients to identify what the art of possible is, help clients envision possible outcomes. When you do this, you bring innovation to the requirements of development process. Rule 3: Once you've shown how you can wire frame or mock up a potential solution, you are now in a better position to show the client how you understand, not only their requirements, but also how you will approach the problem and design a solution for them," Wang told ET.

The move also underlines the broader shift taking place across a rapidly-evolving technology landscape.

(Image: Reuters)
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