Helping clients adapt to a changing tech landscape
A lot has changed in tech since 1992, when Tata Consultancy Services – also known as TCS – arrived in the Amsterdam Area. Back then, fax machines were used regularly, and computers were a little simpler, to say the least. Like technology itself, TCS has continued to evolve, helping its clients to digitally transform and adapt to a rapidly changing world while developing into a valuable member of the city region’s business community.
Like many people who move to the Amsterdam Area for work, Josu Devasia, the head of TCS Netherlands, stayed a little longer than he originally planned. “I’ve been in Amsterdam for the last 15 years,” he says. “When I first came, I thought I would be here for two years. Then two years became three years, and the story continues.”
Josu Devasia at the TCS office in Amsterdam
From one customer to a European-wide network
A global organisation, and one of the top ten IT companies in the world, TCS primarily provides business solutions, consultancy and IT services. Part of the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate, it employs more than 400,000 consultants in over 45 countries.
However, the company started small in the Netherlands, according to Devasia. “Our entry into this market was primarily because we were working with General Electric,” he says. “In 1994, we got our first Dutch customer - the national carrier KLM - which is still one of our leading clients. From that time onwards, we started building our customer base.”
Nowadays, TCS works with a host of prominent companies, including the banks ING and ABN AMRO, as well as Damen, ASML, Randstad and Albert Heijn. The services it offers to clients have developed considerably over time. “20 years ago, the primary kind of work we were doing was maintaining IT systems and infrastructure. But, with the digital transformation, the kind of work customers expected started changing, and technology – instead of being a backend function – started becoming a frontend function.”
This shift required TCS to help clients make sweeping changes and transform the way they did business. For KLM, it helped create a customer experience journey that has earned the airline a reputation as a company that puts its passengers first. Other companies have also benefitted from TCS’s guidance and expertise, particularly when it comes to embracing cloud computing.
Amsterdam – a multicultural and inviting city
It’s hardly surprising that Devasia has a place in his heart for Amsterdam, given that he’s lived here for well over a decade. “It’s a very multicultural and high-energy city and very welcoming of outside talent,” he says.
“It’s also a great place for us to connect with other European markets. Even though the Netherlands is not the largest place in terms of GDP, for TCS, it’s a country that has given us a lot of success. Thanks to our customer base, and the entrepreneurial nature and creative mindset of the Dutch, we’ve been able to try many new things here.”
Accessing the talent TCS needs to grow and succeed has also been easy to do in the Amsterdam Area: the region is home to a large pool of English-speaking tech professionals. When it comes to bringing in people from overseas, Devasia says that the Netherlands makes procuring visas and processing the required paperwork simple and straightforward.
Giving back during COVID-19
TCS also values giving back to the Amsterdam business community. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the support the company offers has made an impact in unexpected ways. “Because of our partnership with the VU Medical Center, we learned that there were a lot of medical professionals who were working around the clock to keep hospitals running,” he says.
“Their protective clothing was very uncomfortable when working long hours and we realised that we had a lot of leftover TCS Amsterdam Marathon shirts, which were usually worn by runners. So, we contacted the hospital and gave them the shirts to help the staff.” Made from high-tech fabric that doesn’t rub or chafe, the shirts were well received by frontline workers.
TCS’s generosity didn’t stop with a single donation. The company has also partnered with the Dutch government to give laptops to students who were homeschooling during the outbreak. Devasia hopes this encourages young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“We are trying to actively promote STEM education to schools and universities so that more students and children pursue technology. The demand for leading tech roles is very high, and we are trying to nurture the next generation.”
Josu Devasia and several TCS colleagues
Employees that know, support and care for each other
Over the years, TCS has been named as one of the best places to work in the Netherlands. Considering the Dutch focus on quality of life and the sheer number of companies in the country and Amsterdam city region, it’s a serious achievement. For Devasia though, it all comes down to caring about your work and colleagues.
“We are a very close-knit community of employees,” he says. “We know and support each other, and serve as a family for one another, especially to the internationals who come and live here. I think there’s a sense of belonging in our organisation and people take pride in working for the Tata Group and TCS.”