The Silicon Review
UST Global, headquartered in California, provides next-generation digital business solutions for Fortune 500 companies. The company brings its clients innovations with an agility that improves the experience, and increase revenues and profits.
Founded in 1999, UST Global’s business model is ‘fewer CUSTOMERS, more ATTENTION’. It strives for long term business excellence of its clients who are Fortune 500 companies in BFSI, Healthcare, Retail, Manufacturing, Shipping, and Telecom. They consider UST Global as their strategic advisor and long term partner.
The firm has over 35 offices, across 25 countries in four continents. UST Global is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, and has regional HQ in London and Trivandrum.
In dialogue with Murali Gopalan, Chief Commercial Officer of UST Global
Q. How is your Services BU doing? What are some of the recent business updates?
Our Technology Services BU is thriving because of the tremendous need amongst our customers to transform, modernize, and rejuvenate their technology systems to keep pace with the changing consumer expectations and competition from ‘Born Digital’ companies.
Large legacy technology services organizations took these global enterprises to the state that they are in currently. Their current state is monolithic large systems that are not agile, that do not offer a single view of consumers, and that do not allow beautiful consumer experiences. Unlike the large legacy services companies, UST Global is uniquely positioned to transform global enterprises with its Born Digital thinking.
As an example, global enterprises want the extreme agility and richness of cloud but are hampered by regulation, compliance, change management, etc while trying to move large applications to the cloud. We have solved this problem with UST Fortuna. UST Fortuna offers a seamless cloud experience to users in enterprises on their own systems that are fully on-premise (data centers).
Q. What are some of the key Trends in IT Services globally, and how do you plan to leverage the same?
The key trends are intelligence augmentation of applications, personalization of endpoint experiences, seamless multi-channel customer experiences, deep business insights from large data stores, etc. We are bringing these capabilities through our modernization and transformation services to global enterprises in brand new ways that minimally affect critical legacy systems. For this, we combine our own capabilities with those from our ecosystem. The ecosystem includes startup companies in Silicon Valley, Israel, Bangalore etc and universities doing cutting-edge research. We have mastered this ecosystem approach in order to bring incredible benefits at speed to our customers.
Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
In our initial years, I faced some of the typical start-up challenges of building large teams with sparse resources. We overcame these because our leadership team stayed strong together, supporting one another to face our problems every day. We had challenges to convince large customers to allow us to serve them when we were a small company. We overcame this by thinking and acting like a large services company even when we were small. We had challenges in attracting great talent to join us as a small company. We overcame this by inspiring them with our ambition, our long term vision, and by building a culture where everyone was equal despite doing different jobs. Our Founder & Chairman GA Menon was greatly instrumental in helping us build this mindset and a wonderful inclusive culture even when the going was tough.
Q. Enlighten us on UST Global’s contribution to society.
Our mantra is Transforming Lives. We transform the lives of our employees, their families, our clients, their customers, and the society at large in the communities that we operate in. UST Global’s Step IT Up America was launched in 2013 to hire women and military veterans into technology jobs after upskilling them on our dime. Many customers partnered with us on this program in several large cities in the US. Similarly developing and sourcing talent from the rural USA has been an important part of our talent strategy. We have created several long term high-paying technology jobs in rural America through our fully owned subsidiary Xpanxion. In India, UST Global’s Impact India program has employed differently abled professionals after upskilling them. Our Colors program encourages employees to volunteer for social projects like empowerment of women and children through education & healthcare, community development through green and clean initiatives etc.
Q. What are your business focus areas for 2019?
Enabling agility of business by modernizing technology systems in large global enterprises with Digital is our key focus area for 2019.
Global enterprises are struggling to bring innovations to the market with speed to counter new consumer expectations and new unconventional competitors. They are struggling at the same time with expensive inflexible legacy systems that hinder fast rollout of innovations. We are focused on helping large global enterprises navigate this well with services that combine Digital architectures with intelligence augmentation, elevated consumer experience, cyber security, distributed trust, etc. UST Global has exciting mature platforms that can bring these services to offer strong competitive advantages to global enterprises.
The man himself
Murali Gopalan is Chief Commercial Officer of UST Global.
He joined UST Global right at the beginning, almost 20 years ago. He has held different challenging roles like Chief Operating Officer of India, Head of Europe, CIO, Chief Innovation Officer and now as the Chief Commercial Officer. “It has been an exhilarating journey”, he says.
Apart from his role as a Chief Commercial Officer, Murali has personally led some of the organization’s sustainable programs in the organisation like the Step IT Up America® and Impact India. Step IT Up America is a great sustainability program where the company has employed 1000s of women, especially minorities, and military veterans in technology jobs after upskilling them. The UST Global Impact India® program has employed many differently abled individuals after upskilling them.
Prior to UST Global, he worked with Procter & Gamble and in Colgate Palmolive Co. in their operations in India and the US. He is a graduate in Computer Science & Engineering from India. He is a post-graduate in business management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC).
He currently lives in Orange County, CA, with his family.