•   Article   •   2 mins

Internal Alignment Starts with L&D: The Tata Communications Story

It’s one thing to sell digital transformation. It’s another thing to practice what you preach. To walk the talk. To drink your own champagne.

There’s no doubt that Tata Communications does both very, very well.

Based in Mumbai, India, the digital ecosystem enabler powers the digital transformation of enterprises globally, including 300 of the Fortune 500. It carries about 30% of the world’s internet routes, and it connects businesses to 60% of the world’s cloud giants as well as four out of five mobile subscribers.

When it came time for Tata Communications to undergo its own digital transformation — internally — and to figure out how to bring employees along on the journey in the most effective way, the company started by transforming L&D.

“Tata Communications is a key digital partner to our customers, and we enable their entire digital ecosystems,” Ina Bajwa, Global Head of Learning & Development, says in our latest Degreed success story. “Given what we do, we had to ensure we do the same internally and bring about the same transformation within L&D too. We wanted to bring a similar digital experience to our own employees, and in a way that is scalable.”

This approach — putting L&D transformation first — makes sense. Successful transformation of an organization starts with changing L&D programs to support new business objectives, according to the findings of the 2018 State of Leadership Development research report by Harvard Business Publishing.

In that same study, 66% of organizations that viewed L&D as business-critical indicated they had stronger market position than their competitors.

“Whether it’s developing new competitive strategies, redefining business models to adapt to changes in the environment, or rapid growth in a company, shifts and challenges must be addressed through transformation,” the report said. “To avoid becoming a transformation casualty — and to become a leader — there is more pressure than ever on L&D to generate the strategic alignment at the manager and executive levels needed to gain a competitive advantage in today’s rapidly changing business environment.”

At Tata Communications, 90% of learning took place in classrooms until 2017. To give employees a single place to go for learning, the L&D team created the online Tata Communications Learning Academy. And it chose to power the academy with Degreed, launching the platform in FY 2019.

Nine months later, adoption was impressive; a whopping 80% of employees had used the platform at least once. And not long after, employees gave L&D a net promoter score of 79.

Equally important, Degreed helped the L&D team transform itself even further. “It has made L&D a lot more effective,” said Ishani Shah, Senior Manager, Learning & Development.

Specifically, content curation sped up and the learning team now gets employee feedback on the content it curates. And the team is picking up on cues from the business, using that knowledge of what worked and what didn’t to inform constant agile improvements to the academy.

And there’s more. Check out the case study for the full story, and to see how Degreed is helping Tata Communications L&D plan for the future.

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