Chief technology officers (CTOs) have been there for years. But, as with many leadership roles in the C-suite, it has evolved significantly. Today’s CTOs are no longer confined to looking after just the technical aspects of a company. He/she is overseeing the transformation of every business process and is expected to apply technology into every areas of their business, from strategies to execution. In a recent conversation with CXOToday, Subram Natarajan, Director & CTO, Technical Sales, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia, talks about his career journey, the changing CTO role and the new challenges as well as the company’s tech-related India-specific plans for 2021.
CXOToday: Can you tell us a little about your journey?
Subram Natarajan: Right after my graduation, I started as a Project Engineer with Procter & Gamble and was involved in their 3090 mainframe transition. Then I moved into mainstream software development with Speedware and then Informix, working on various projects involving case tool development and testing, database replication, and kernel development. When I came to IBM as part of Informix acquisition, I worked on storage platform development, on projects like virtualization, file system development, and hardware design, etc. I moved back to India a decade and a half ago: I had the opportunity to work with client-facing roles as a core storage technologist and architect for the AP region. I also led the high-performance computing portfolio for India/SA and then moved on to managing the technical sales for all of the Hardware group. About 5 years ago, I got the opportunity to lead the technology mandate for IBM India/SA as the CTO and here I am. I have been very fortunate to have had a variety of technology roles and all of them have been tremendous learning for me.