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After the 2008 financial meltdown, Sandeep Phanasgoankar, CTO for India's Reliance Capital, focused his team on IT productivity. He pushed system consolidation and increased virtualization. He renegotiated vendor contracts and cut spending on marginal IT projects. He put tighter controls on which projects got approved.

Productivity and efficiency are now a way of life in the financial services company, he says. His mantra is keeping a high degree of variability to IT spending, keeping in step with top-line revenue, and only pursuing new initiatives that deliver significant ROI, measured in increased sales or productivity.

Reliance Capital is part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and a fast growing financial services company in India. Its businesses include asset management and mutual funds, insurance, consumer and industrial finance, stock trading, and private equity. Reliance ADA Group is among the largest business groups in India with additional businesses in telecom, energy, infrastructure, and entertainment.

Now, Phanasgoankar's priorities for Reliance Capital IT include driving investments that create flexible processing and distribution, and wringing more synergies out of the many customer engagement systems the company's different lines of business have.

Phanasgoankar has over 25 years of experience in applying IT to finance, banking, business process outsourcing and IT-enabled services. He began his career with the State Bank of India and has worked with global firms including Tata Unisys, iFlex, Deutsche Bank, and Genpact, where he was the CIO responsible for global IT delivery. He led the critical IT Transition of Genpact from GE, before joining Reliance Capital.

He began his career in Reliance Cap by leading development of IT systems focused on moving into new business areas. And he created a shared services technology platform for the company that spanned HR, finance, and information security, including an effort to consolidate IT infrastructure and services. It's a great time to be a CTO in India, Phanasgoankar says, given the immense opportunities to prove your capability and succeed in a progressive, maturing, and rebounding economy, which he considers clearly on the upswing. -InformationWeek India

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