Interview: Richard Morgan, SVP, Human Resources, Rocket Software

Rocket Software, a global technology provider specializing in application modernization and systems optimization, recently announced the opening of new centres of excellence in Pune and Bengaluru. The establishment of the two offices is part of a broader strategy to expand and improve the company’s global R&D capabilities and realign innovation around solutions rather than by product. Rocket Software also plans to hire more than 200 new employees this year in India.

More than 10 million IT and business professionals rely on Rocket to run their most critical applications, business processes and data. Customers include the top 10 Fortune 500 commercial banks, 9 of the top 10 Fortune 500 aerospace/defense companies, the top five Forbes Global 2000 car and truck manufacturers, and the top five Forbes Global 2000 managed healthcare companies.

In an exclusive interview with; Richard Morgan, SVP, Human Resources, Rocket Software shares more insight about company’s HR strategy for building India leadership team, workplace agility and best-in-class HR practices. 


Richard Morgan, SVP, Human Resources, Rocket Software
WHRD: How does an agile working model ensure work-life integration for millennial employees?

Richard Morgan: Millennials have fundamentally changes how we all work. This generation is the first that has grown up with the Internet and smartphones, so they are used to being able to access the information they need in a few seconds. Traditional work models are a lot slower and process-based, which is antithetical to how younger workers think and move in the world. Organisations that want to attract and retain people in their 20s and early 30s need to adapt their approach. Everyone (not just millennials) wants work/life balance, but for the first time we have technology that makes that a lot easier.

WHRD: What are the steps that Rocket Software has taken towards creating Agile Infrastructure and Operations?

Richard Morgan: The Agile model is better suited to a generation that expects fast responses to changes, fast visibility to results, fast access to metrics, and fast iteration windows. We are e changing our R&D model to better adapt to the speed at which customers have come to expect regarding bug fixes, product enhancements, and other critical functions. Like many companies, we have changed how we have structured the organisations so we can better meet the needs of our “Rocketeers.” We recently restructured all of our labs to create global centres of excellence that are focused on solving problems that our customers and partners face; previously, our labs were focused on specific products.

WHRD: As a new entrant to Indian market what is Rocket Software's strategy for building up leadership team in India? 

Richard Morgan: We are aggressively hiring in India, and are looking at hiring several hundred people by the end of the year. Shantanu Ghosh recently joined the company – he is based in Pune and is overseeing Rocket Centres of Excellence in Bengaluru, Pune as well as in China. We are also hiring a number of other senior leaders in India with the goal of them being core members of our global leadership team. We aren’t looking at India as an offshore development lab: every one of our new hires is a fully integrated Rocketeer.

WHRD: Tell us more about Rocket Software’s team building/innovation hackathon Rocket.Build.

Richard Morgan: This is our fifth consecutive year of running an internal development competition, but the 2018 version is much different than what we did before. In previous years we had teams of between three and six Rocketeers submit ideas for the hackathon, and the top picks came to Boston for a week-long coding event. This year we held regional competitions all over the world – including in India. More than a dozen of our winners from India were selected to come to Boston, and they were a huge asset for us.

WHRD: How Rocket Software drives best-in-class HR practices to achieve people and organizational outcomes?

Richard Morgan: It all comes down to treating people with respect. We treat people the way we want to be treated, whether it’s in Bengaluru, Boston or Berlin. There is no one recipe for success in HR because it encompasses everything from recruiting to managing people to building teams. But the one constant is that people want a clear career path – they want to know that there is room to grow and advance,

In addition, our engineering career path is not limited to a traditional vertical model.  At Rocket there is greater opportunity to also progress laterally into other areas of career interest.  Too often, at most companies, to make that pivot one has to leave the company, which of course has a negative effect on culture and also on creating a company where excellence is rewarded.

WHRD: What is your take on the talent landscape of the Asian region- particularly in India? What differences do you see in comparison to other parts of the world, if any?

Richard Morgan: It’s no secret that India has some of the best engineers – and the best universities – in the world. But I think a lot of global organizations have underutilized the talent there. The reality is that India produces great engineers and programmers, but also incredible business leaders. Look around the world and you will see Indian executives at the highest levels.

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