Dr. R Sukumar, the Founder and CEO of OSG Analytics, has seen the company change and grow since its founding, especially during the past year of working from home due to a global pandemic. Through this interview, we learn about his personal experience with working from home and how OSG as a whole has adapted during the past year.
Due to the pandemic, what changes have you seen happen within OSG and how our teams and projects operate?
Our OSG family was able to shift to working remotely and maintain their collaborative practices and team cohesion. By the very nature of being apart physically, we started sharing more about our individual situations digitally, through sharing pictures of our families and where we were all working from while working together.
During these difficult times, it was comforting to share common pain, challenges, and family issues, because we were all struggling with similar situations and could empathize with one another. With this shift to remote work, we have been able to hire talent from around the world and integrate them into our existing teams. Our global presence and workforce has grown, bringing our teams closer together through technology.
What changes do you see happening in the industries OSG operates in?
There’s been an increase in digitization of data and knowledge, in efforts to better share information around the world now that remote work has become the norm. This digitization has led to a learning curve in how we can leverage this data to identify opportunities for growth and improvement for our clients, as well as for ourselves.
In that vein, since customer contacts and experiences have shifted to online and remote shopping experiences, our clients have dealt with the need for more flexible and efficient adaptation to customer and business needs. Since everything is happening at the speed of digital transactions, the profitability and adaptability for our clients’ business models had to match.
Due to the pandemic, how have you adapted your own work and communication style to working from home?
I am a very social person, and I enjoy getting to know the people I work with. Moving to remote work and not seeing people in the Newtown office or being able to travel to our other offices has limited my opportunities for learning more about our OSG family. I always say that my door is open, and I’ve emphasized this with working from home and repeated it to every one of our team members, who are comfortable reaching out to me directly with any thoughts or questions. I think this flexibility in informal conversations as well as scheduled one-on-one digital conversations has helped all of us stay connected.
We have also seen some successful virtual happy hours and virtual talent shows within each of our offices that have helped us stay connected with each other. Even if it’s a little chaotic over Zoom, we continue to sing happy birthday within our office groups to celebrate one another and stay connected with each other.
How do you think working from home and handling the pandemic will impact OSG’s work culture and environment, looking to the future?
Now that we are all working remote in our separate physical spaces, we need aspirational goals to align with what we’re all working on and drive our combined efforts. On a team level, we’ve set a greater emphasis on the goals and objectives of the company, broken down to the individual team level, so that everyone understands how their separate work fits into the larger picture of the OSG family and brand.
Our leadership team has worked to set up networks within their teams for greater accountability and collaboration, so that the team knows what each individual member is working on, and each team member knows whoever else is working on similar work to them and can potentially work together on shared tasks. We’re building a culture of transparency and collaboration besides accountability through these processes, and we are beginning to see positive outcomes.
Any tips for working from home, staying mindful of your work-life balance, and taking care of yourself during the pandemic?
As many around the world are working with, working from home means finding a balance between family time and work time. For me, I always put family first, so this shift has been about finding the time and space to be together as a family while also creating quiet environments for focused work and meetings to perform my work at the highest level. I try to make sure that my computer isn’t near me all day long and that I can successfully put down my work at designated times for those breaks. My breaks include regular walks to get fresh air and get my daily step count in, as well as quiet times to think and plan.
Any interesting or fun stories of working from home during the pandemic?
It has been interesting to see the transformations of team members who don’t have the tools or skills to give themselves haircuts slowly changing before our eyes on our team and company-wide meetings. The duration of time in remote work and the increased wildness of hair has been a sight to see.
Any hobbies or interests you’ve picked up during this time?
As a break from thinking about work, I’ve started watching the television show Monk to give my brain a different kind of exercise and a little relaxation, as I sometimes find myself falling asleep to his soothing voice and the calm music. I enjoy watching him solve his mysteries with all the puzzle pieces laid before him and then I channel that energy into tackling complex issues for our clients.
As our technology-based solutions grow, do you see the purpose and values of OSG changing?
Our emphasis has always been and continues to be customer focused. In fact, all our new hires have heard “customer centricity” more in this job than in any other job. This focus is established to increase the speed and quality of our work, so that we can support our clients better. Our clients know that we care about their customers deeply and keep them at the heart of our work.
What are some of the biggest successes you’ve seen at OSG?
At the onset of the pandemic, we were able to design and implement new logos across the board for our brand. This work and review process was done entirely digitally and much more rapidly that typically would have required more back-and-forth and face-to-face interactions. But our new look is coming together as a brand, and we’ll see that spread through our website and social media presence in the future.
What does the future look like for OSG?
The future looks great! We have been hiring great talent to our teams, who will help us shape the culture of the company. With more of an open culture of dialogue and collaboration, you can see the respect for fellow teammates and excitement to accomplish our goals grow. I’m very proud of our continuous innovation and excited to see what the future holds. I know we’ll be able to accomplish, and even surpass, the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
Meet the rest of our leadership team and get to know their strengths and experiences by clicking here.