Pushed a Young Cognizant Ahead of Big Competitors

PHASE 1: 1996-2002

Inauguration of India's first usability lab. Customer Walt Wikman, VP, CCC Information Services, USA receives Pradeep Henry's book from Cognizant President Lakshmi Narayanan. Pradeep Henry kept Cognizant competitively differentiated for 11 years — by institutionalizing software practice innovations. Used in 450+ projects, these serial innovations delivered new value to customers. The differentiated customer value accelerated Cognizant’s growth from a self-described “promising venture” to a multibillion-dollar firm. Henry was named Wizard of Cognizant.


SITUATION: Cognizant — a recently started venture — faced competition from well-established large companies in 1996
EFFORT: Set up India's first human-centric design group that innovated Cognizant's software practice

INTRAPRENEURSHIP: Set up a group. "Pradeep not only had the thought-leadership over what he did, but was able to carry it into execution by packaging it into a service, forming and coaching a team, and delivering it as a service to customers," Assistant Vice President, Cognizant.

TEST LAB: Set up India's first usability testing lab.

UNIVERSITY COURSE: Pioneered a BITS Pilani usability course for Cognizant employees who took the MS degree program in Software Engineering.

PUBLISHING/SPEAKING: Published book and articles in the US, Spoke at conferences in the US.

OUTPUTS: 1. International brand. 2. Hundreds of projects. 3. Trained team. 4. Usability testing lab.


CUSTOMER OUTCOMES: For the first time, global organizations using India-centric vendors received software applications that were easy to use – thus boosting user adoption and protecting tech investments. Number of Cognizant customers: 125+. Number of usable applications: 450+.

FINANCIAL OUTCOMES: User-focus instantly differentiated Cognizant from all of its India-based competition. Revenues: New customer value made it easy for Cognizant to win customers and projects; Pull-through revenues, besides billing of the group's services. Costs: Free innovation, Free international publicity, Small team.

SUCCESS: Cognizant stormed ahead of giant competitors and gained quick initial traction


Media clips | CIO | Financial Express | Times of India | ACM Interactions USA | HCI Encyclopedia USA | International speeches | University course | Henry's Team | Henry's Advisors | Team praise | Cognizant former CEO Lakshmi | Cognizant former CEO Frank | Cognizant CTO | Wizard of Cognizant | Oracle Sr Director USA | Intuit CTO USA