HiveRank (2686)

Narayanan Subramanyam

Executive Member


“Don’t judge your ability by what you can do now.” ; Find a Way !!

In a nutshell

To make Information Technology as the most critical resource in business by leveraging its full potential towards building and sustaining significant competitive advantage.


Fully Available Immediately


Bangalore, India




business architecture

business intelligence


Cyber Essentials

financial services

HR tech

information security

ISO 27001 Consultancy

Mergers & Acquisitions


programme director

shared services


Strategic Alliances

strategy creation

PCI DSS, GDPR, SOX Compliance

cyber security

HM Expert since

Monday June 11, 2018


Motivated, service-focused ‘Strategist and Change Agent’ with over 25 years of Global experience in cost-effectively utilising technology to deliver business transformation and align with corporate goals. Excelled at managing multiple, large-scale portfolio of projects/programmes, start-up divisions and shared services’ models. Successfully managed technology as an internal function with multiple external partners.

Possess an entrepreneurial leadership style, impressive communication skills, a flair for analytical trouble-shooting, and the ability to lead and motivate high-performance teams. Recognised as one of the ‘Top 50 CIO’s’ in India by CIO Association of India, 2015.

Key Geographies where I have experience : UK, Singapore, Australia, Parts of North America, Northern Africa and Middle East

Current role details

I am the Managing Partner for Rukanya Consulting. Through Rukanya, we deliver the following services to the business :
1. CIO Services
2. Business Transformation
3. Digital
4. Security
5. IT Services

We are Headquartered in Bangalore, India at this time and are able to support clients across the globe either directly or through a network of partners

Narayanan's STAR Stories

Transformation of Finance Function to deliver superior partnership to the... (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

* The Finance function was behind the curve in the adoption of Technology and Processes
* There was NO standardisation and each unit followed its own processes
* There were 100’s of Excel Sheets while SAP ERP was used only as a voucher entry system
* Finance Costs were high
* No meaningful business partnering
* Month-end results were available on Day 24, post month-end.


* Led the efforts to transform Finance function that involved Re-implementing SAP System,
* Re-imagining and automating processes and controls as also setting up shared services for Finance Operations.
* Led to standardizing and simplification of all processes, increasing the number of business controls
* Reducing the month-end book closing from Day 24 to Day 4 among other benefits, led by technology.
* Finance function could partner with the business more effectively.
* Reassess manpower and skill set requirements : Current Organisation vs. Retained Organisation

  • Led the efforts to ‘sell’ the new vision for Finance function, within the business
  • Took senior finance colleagues to other businesses to show how they have moved ahead / moving ahead (external orientation)
  • Brainstorming for success with a BIG 4
  • Benefits needed were cataloged and agreed
  • Change and Transformation needed within the business as well as within Finance were cataloged and agreed

Value was delivered by;

  • Fostering a human centric, transparent, trustworthy and agile culture
  • Improved business agility and ability to rapidly respond to change and opportunity
  • Successful, timely delivery of evidence based transformative change
  • More consistent and sustainable profitability and business growth

Pains relieved included;

  • Lack of appropriate capabilities, skills, tools and methods
  • Unclear business strategy and requirements
  • Inefficient or misaligned operating model and lack of business agility
  • Misaligned goals across business and silos

These led to the following Transformation in the Finance function :

– Deliver the month-end closing by Day 4

– Standard Processes across the business

– Confirmation of standard operating controls and compliance

– New operating model – Shared Services, Finance Business Partnering & Specialist teams like Tax

Rework Outsourced Contract for Cost, Quality and Innovation improvements (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

The Organisation had got into a long term IT Outsourcing Contract with a Tier I service Provider to manage all of its IT Services.
The contract

* Included a year-on-year increase in payment for inflation
* Did not include any potential benefits due to efficiencies
* Technology upgrades not included
* Included Infrastructure, Applications & Network Services
* New initiatives at additional charge
* No innovations

After a three year period, the company realised that it had gotten into a wrong contract and wanted to find ways of restructuring the same


* Deliver value to business by improving service delivery provided by IT
* Optimise IT Costs
* Understand the contract better with Terms & Conditions
* Outline ways of restructuring / Re-organising the contract


To identify cost, quality and innovation improvements through development and delivery of an aligned sourcing strategy, we;

* Documented past performance of the service provider and highlighted gaps
* Determined costs incurred for legacy / solutions that were phased out, documented them and discussed with the Service Provider
* Kick Off exploratory discussions with alternative providers
* Benchmarked costs across different suppliers for similar services
* Outlined and discussed the issues and findings with the service provider on the basis the data uncovered


Identification of cost, quality and innovation improvements through development and delivery of an aligned sourcing strategy.

Specifically, value was delivered by;

* Enabling alignment between business requirements and budget use by Inflation Proofing and Efficiency Sharing
* Enabling IT to Drive Innovation for Competitive Advantage
* Improving reputation, relationships, confidence and value delivered across the business by introducing cost reductions and providing for innovations
* Optimising the Procurement Target Operating Model

Improving Visibility on Contract Performance and Delivery (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

The company entered into a multi-year contract with one of the Tier I suppliers for providing specific HR services across geographies. The supplier transitioned the services and in 4 months moved to a routine delivery. While the supplier was delivering these services, parts of the HR function and the business were not happy with the delivery as well as the spends. The value being delivered by the service provider was not understood. It was a reputation risk for the owner of the contract. The situation needed to be corrected.


To deliver a significant improvement in the reputation of the HR function and in the delivery of the services by the supplier. The value being delivered by the supplier needed to be showcased to the business as well as HR Teams.


An analysis of the contract and delivery of the services revealed the following :
– Weak or No Governance across Geographies
– Limited Knowledge about the contract
– Lack of or Limited Ownership for the contract in several Geographies
These caused delays in decisions as well as perceived ‘high spends’ with no real return.

Some changes were put in place :
– Establish Ownership for the services (and the contract) at the local level ;
– Commence a formal Periodic Governance of the contract, Services Delivered, expected and delivered KPIs ; Improvement areas etc.
– Circulate a summary of the output to the key stakeholders at the local and regional level
– Included as an agenda item in the Regional Forums


Value was delivered by;
-Improved KPIs (by about 25%) and Performance
– Complete understanding of the contracted services and the reduced spends (by 10%)
-Improved reputation, relationships, confidence and value delivered across the business

Pains relieved included;
-Poor reputation of procurement/HR Services contract in the business
-Poor business alignment and engagement

Over a period of time these led to,

-Enhanced reputation through increased relevance, alignment and impact with colleagues and suppliers
-The team were able to make more informed decisions, quickly, objectively and transparently

Improved Confidence in Information Security (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

Information Security is always considered to be in the domain of IT Function. To the uninitiated, it’s the technology guys who have created the problem. True, many aspects of Security emerge from the usage of Technology. But, there are several aspects of Security that emerge from our behavior – for example our passwords and how we remember them or how we store them, wiping off boards after the meeting in meeting rooms, clean desk, entry and exit into offices etc. Organisatons do not understand this need and club everything under Cyber Security. The question is “Is there a need to look beyond Technology ?”


Technology Risks were being addressed by the organisation based on prioritisation of risks. As the CISO, I was on Top of the challenges that these brought.
But, I felt that there was always a gap in not understanding the non-Technology aspects and the risks these brought.
Therefore, the task I took upon myself is to understand the current risk levels for the organisation as a whole, rather than only focusing on Technology Risks.
This was key to a holistic approach to looking at Security within the organisation and changing employee behavior.
Also, this would help bring in the much needed CXO and Board level focus.


During my time as the CISO, I tried to understand the other elements that pose a Security risk in an organisation setup. To this end, a  specialised audit was performed. An auditor was provided with general visitor access to our offices for 3 days. The auditor went inside the offices everyday and mingled with the employees. You would be amazed at what all information he could gather during these days :
1. Colleagues speaking about their innovation programmes, on video purportedly for a review by the CEO
2. Business Results ahead of its release
3. Marketing Plans from the Meeting Rooms
4. Access to many Laptops (without screen saver or weak passwords)
5. HR Confidential Records etc.





The outcome of the actions undertaken by the audit showed that it was necessary to protect Organisation’s information as a whole, rather than just focusing on IT Security. The Head-HR was made as the leader for Information Security with functional leaders as its Team Members. The Head-HR teamed up with Head-Information Security and instituted some changes –

  • Information Classification & Protection
  • Clean Desk
  • Controls on Entry & Exit into offices
  • Meeting Room Behaviours etc.

Value was delivered by;

  • Creating Confidence and Reputation with Customers and Peers
  • Reduce Organisation’s Risk of fines, theft and Reputational Damage

Pains relieved included;

  • Resistance to Change
Risk based approach to managing cyber security (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

* The client was using multiple generation of technologies in his environment.
* The client was a name to reckon with in the industry and therefore any breach would hit the headlines and the business loss and the reputation damage would be extensive.
* The IT team were constantly firefighting and focused on upgrading and bringing the environment to current standards.
* Budgets were scarce and the management team was not convinced of the need.


* Given the above scenario, how can we plan to ensure a secure infrastructure ?
* What are the ways to convince the management of the need to keep the environment current ?
* What does Information Security cover within the business and why is not only an IT problem ?


I worked with the audit teams (Statutory and Internal) that had put together a number of compliance issues and understood what they were after ! Also, working with the CIO and the IT Teams, I understood that while they were talking about security, there were no agreed policies and processes. For example, when asked about Disaster Recovery, I was provided a document that spoke of all the right things. Never been discussed and agreed with the management.

I used an international standard in Cyber Security, put together the current status  under each head. The aspiration of the IT / Audit Team under each head was noted (also with respect to the standards and guidelines) and hence the gaps.

These actions helped drive consensus of opinions and gave objectivity, weight and credibility to work, opinions and budgets

Once this was done, a workshop was conducted across all stakeholders (audit, IT, Legal and Finance) to show up the current state and the challenges. Working with the teams, who also understood that correcting the entire gaps was not feasible and that fool proof security is a myth, we were able to prioritise on risks ; What risks are acceptable, what had some other mitigating controls and what was absolutely necessary and the plans


Management was presented with the identified business risks under each category and what could happen if these were not addressed and the prioritised plans to address them. The story line echoed with the management team, who agreed with the approach and the plan.

Value was delivered by;

  • enhanced Reputation with Peers
  • make more informed, data driven decision that created a 3 year plan to meet the final objective.

Pains relieved included;

  • Lack of Strategic Alignment across Business
  • Lack of access to relevant expertise

Roles & Results

Unilever - IT Director (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Improve Efficiencies and right size and structure the Global End User Services Organisation
Delivery and Achievements
Consolidated from 6 locations to Three across the Globe Multiple Service Providers to two and roadmap to move to one Improve Global cost efficiencies by 20% Efficient Organisation through Right Shorin

Unilever - Cyber Sercurity Leader (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Reduce Cyber Risks
Delivery and Achievements
Risk based approach to Security Technology and Business Information Security Clearly defined Roles & Responsibilities for various teams Global standards in Policies and Standards

Services Narayanan Manages

To Improve reputation, relationships, confidence and value delivered across the... (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

Re-negotiate Key contracts to deliver value across the business (through existing or new suppliers)

Services Narayanan Delivers

Category and Contract Optimisation and Organisational Review (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

In depth review of the Spend Categories, Contracts and Organisation against worldclass benchmarks to provide recommendations to optimise, align end to end and deliver greater value to the business

Service Icon HiveExec For Effective Sourcing Strategy & Delivery (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

For anyone responsible for sourcing at a strategic level, this on-demand service focuses on providing customised, flexible access to procurement expertise for continuous improvement of an organisations procurement capability.

Service Icon HiveExec For Security & Risk Leaders (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

This service focuses on accelerating and amplifying success for leaders responsible for Information and Technology based Security & Risk

Service Icon Supply Chain Organisation Optimisation (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

Review and Redesign the E2E Supply Chain Operating Model From Procurement to Supplier Management

Scaling customer sucess in your organization through highly enhanced service... (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

Define and establish strategy and organizational basis to ensure a consistent end-to-end customer service experience and value delivered by your external partners network.

Service Icon The Effective Sourcing Accelerator (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

An an easy to engage, data driven approach to help organisations self-diagnose systemic and tactical opportunities to enhance their approach to Strategic Sourcing. Ensures that incremental improvements are aligned to business value with clear business case justification for changes. HiveMind utilises a collaborative, structured approach in the delivery of the Diagnostic, with rapid reflection and challenge across six perspectives of highly effective sourcing organisations.

Industry Experience

Business Services

Hospitality and Leisure


Retail and Consumer

Regional Experience




North America