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7 Questions with Rohit Malhotra

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7 Questions with Rohit Malhotra

Name: Rohit Malhotra

Current title: Vice President & Global Head - Workforce Management

Current organization: Startek

Versatile resource with global perspective, leading and managing businesses across the globe, remote management experience with US, Australia, and China on both partner and delivery side, in Captive & 3rd Party BPO scenarios for Global businesses; expertise in transitioning both voice and non-voice processes. A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certified professional from GE, adept in the field of Process Improvement, Quality Management, Internal Controls and Service Delivery /Operations.

Comprehensive experience in Customer Service, Workforce Management, Budget Management, Operations/Project Management, Contracts Facilitation, Client Relationship and Business Analysis.

Currently, the Vice President & Global Head - WFM for Startek. Responsible for effective resource optimization and efficiency index for businesses across 12 geographies. Creation and review of working forecasting models basis existing business dynamics for efficient delivery of business objectives through digital transformation and process innovation.

Earlier was the Director – Business Process for Concentrix. Responsible for driving initiatives that touch upon Business Process Transformation, Continuous Improvement, Process Excellence & Customer Relationship Management for India, Japan, and Korea.

In my previous role, I was the Vice President & Country Head – Business Excellence for Aegis Customer Support Services Private Limited BPO. Responsible for driving the Customer Lifecycle Management processes through Quality Process Optimization designed by COPC, Inc., which drove improvements in CSAT, Sales, Cost, and Compliance.

Earlier was the General Manager of the Hewlett-Packard GBS (Global Business Services) Pricing & Configuration Management Service Delivery cluster for Americas & Worldwide.

Responsible for driving Service Delivery; Pricing, Configuration & Order Management; Client Satisfaction; Operational Excellence; Revenue; and People components for my processes and teams, spanning worldwide regions (Americas, APAC and EMEA).

Prior to this, was the Functional Head of the Hewlett-Packard GBS (Global Business Services) Software & Technology Services Teams, comprising 'Engagement Customer Operations', and 'Contract Administration' verticals under the 'Q2C' Tower.

Last role with Genpact, spearheaded the Lean /Six Sigma Quality function and was the Quality Leader – Six Sigma & Lean for the ITeS CoE, with a span of 1400+ and was responsible for their Operation Integration, Change Management, and Service Delivery by driving overall Quality DNA through MBB & BB Quality Project certifications around DMAIC, DFSS, and LEAN methodologies.

Simultaneously, was the Reengineering Leader for the ITES CoE, responsible for their Operation Integration and supporting Service Delivery through driving onshore and offshore re-engineering projects involving cross-functional teams across End-user Computing, Server Services, and Network, Voice & Security & Software verticals.

As a certified DMAIC Six-Sigma Quality Black Belt, mentored and certified several Green Belt Projects that not resulted in improving Operational Excellence & Customer Satisfaction; but also delivered huge savings to the organization.

Driven BPMS (Business Process Management Systems) for various processes such as Helpdesk Support, Communication, Card Services, and Back Office Operations.

7 Questions with Rohit Malhotra


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

In these current pandemic times, navigating uncertainty, morale, employee well-being and remotely driving culture have been the most challenging.

The uncertainty we faced at the beginning of last year on account of Covid-19 is still ongoing. In one recent survey, leaders said they didn’t expect to get back to pre-COVID levels of performance until at least 2022.

Tackling these new conditions, changing mindsets, constantly upskilling and reskilling teams are the top focus areas.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Reaching the level of a Global Head of a support vertical in an organization has been a journey full of learning and evolving. The continuous zeal of acquiring knowledge through networking, sharing and seeking of best practices and most importantly, understanding the competition landscape made me climb the ladder of success.

I would also like to emphasize some of the key skills like Six Sigma /Lean, PMP and Digitization which made my foundation stronger and helped me climb the organizational ladder, albeit slowly but firmly.

Cross-functional exposure and a reasonable stint in the areas of Operations, Customer Success, Transitions, Training, Business Excellence, and WFM gave me a complete understanding of 'end-to-end' business dynamics. Lastly, punting on my people, having a 100% trust on their capabilities led to a 'win-win' for everyone.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Governance is key! Apart from having calendarized meetings with my teams, stakeholders, and or clients, I lay more weightage to reaching out and giving the freedom for my people to reach out to me 24/7.

Planned activities are given more importance and it is ensured that I meet the deadlines. A structured approach by properly delegating tasks and responsibilities not only develops and enhances the skills within the teams but also increases the overall trust factor. Other than this, we live in a VUCA environment and therefore no day is similar!

Work-Life balance also is equally important and especially during these pandemic times, when most of us are WFH, looking after your health, working out, and contributing into the daily household activities with the family is paramount.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Take care of your people, inspire them and encourage growth.

Everyone is going through their own set of challenges in life. Ensuring that you are always ready to help, empathize and synergize so that you help maintain the balance in dealing with the situations, whether personal or professional.

You must be transparent, build authentic connections, and demonstrate courage so as to deal with any situation which lies ahead of you.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

See Sooner, Act Faster: How Vigilant Leaders Thrive in an Era of Digital Turbulence by George S. Day and Paul J. H. Schoemaker has been very inspiring.

How organizations can anticipate threats, spot opportunities, and act faster when the time is right is the key essence of staying afloat. With the increase in Work from Home (WFH) and a reduction to our erstwhile model of 'brick & mortar', it was prudent for us to understand the challenges, the pros and cons of doing so. Technological roadblocks, ensuring governance, reporting and ensuring ways to connect and network with people were some of the daunting tasks which lay ahead of us.

The book was instrumental in driving certain key lessons which helped our organization to allocate the scarce resource of attention, respond strategically before our competitors did and create dynamic portfolios of options. This led to the creation of many adhoc platforms ranging from reporting of KPIs, tracking show rate & productivity and governance. Such changes led us to gain a stronger market position, helped build confidence with our clients and most importantly, led to an increase of motivation within my teams.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

It's all about trusting your people and punting on them to take calculated risks. You need to recognize the talent which every person possesses and help him channelize that into the right direction.

One needs to understand the leadership personality which one possesses as everyone has their own leadership styles and ensuring proper synergies would lead to a better succession planning and continuity.

Communication is paramount too, clear and transparent. The more you engage with your teams, the more you listen to them, keep them abreast of the current situations will only lead to performance and ultimately growth.

Lastly, do take courses on leadership as learning is a continuous journey and effective leadership helps build more effective people.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

Colonel Sanders | Kentucky Fried Chicken. Age is no factor when it comes to giving wings to your dreams. Col. Sanders at the age of 65 decided to embark on his entrepreneurial journey. On the way he had over a 1000 rejections but he still did not give up. Perseverance and self-confidence rooted the way to success. In life, we should imbibe the same philosophy that if you have the zeal then nothing can stop you!

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