You are currently viewing Vijay Jaswal: A 30-Year Journey in the Technology Industry
Vijay Jaswal

Vijay Jaswal: A 30-Year Journey in the Technology Industry

Exploring Innovation, Solving Challenges, and Delivering Value to Customers!

“What keeps me motivated is the rapid pace of change in this sector—there are always new things to learn and varying customer business challenges to solve in a multitude of different ways, using a plethora of different technology solutions!” shares Vijay Jaswal, CTO of IFS across Asia Pacific, Japan, Middle East & Africa. With over three decades of experience in the technology industry, his passion for innovation remains as fervent as ever.

As the CTO of IFS APJ & MEA, he orchestrates transformative initiatives with unrivaled finesse, sculpting solutions that not only meet but exceed the diverse needs of their clientele. A connoisseur of innovation, his steadfast resolve lies in crafting cost-effective, high-value propositions, ensuring swift returns, and enduring client satisfaction.

Vijay’s indomitable spirit embodies the epitome of technological prowess. From his humble beginnings to his ascension as a revered industry luminary, his trajectory resonates with the resounding echoes of success. His indelible mark on the landscape of technology serves as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring luminaries across the globe.

Below are the interview highlights:

Can you please brief us about your company and its inception story?

IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world that manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of our people and our growing ecosystem, together with a commitment to deliver value at every single step, has made IFS a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector.

IFS is proud of its Swedish origins. The company was formed by 5 graduates in 1983 who all had one vision—to build a business that became renowned for the innovation of its products, got closer to its customers, and had a fun environment to work for and with. While IFS has grown to be a company employing over 6,000 people worldwide, this vision remains true today.

What inspired you to pursue a career in technology and ultimately take on leadership roles within the field?

I have always been fascinated by technology and how it can transform the world for the better. It all started at the age of around 7 years old when my grandfather took me to the cinema to watch the first Star Wars film. I was awestruck by all these flying spaceships, lightsabers, and holograms! This is what started me on the journey to technology and gadgets!

I enjoy simplifying technology so that business audiences can understand its capabilities, but more importantly, the benefits it can bring, both from a monetary perspective and an operational efficiency perspective.

I have 3 main aspects:

  1. Technology must always serve a purpose, and making our lives easier is a major part of that purpose! So I am always looking for ways that I can make the lives of our customers, prospects, and colleagues better and more efficient.
  2. Next comes the whole monetary benefit side of things, especially in this day and age of increasing costs of living and high-interest rates. This is becoming more and more imperative.
  3. Ease of use: we are all spoiled consumers of super customer-friendly apps that we all have on our smartphones. This ease of use must also be present in the workplace. I have seen many organizations struggle and fight to get simple information out of multiple data sources from their multitude of IT systems. This must stop!

How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration between the technology team and other departments to align with overall business objectives?

To ensure that technology teams and other departments are aligned, it is essential to establish clear communication. This can be achieved by simplifying technical jargon, sharing business objectives, and actively listening to one another.

Collaboration can be fostered by implementing joint planning sessions, forming cross-functional teams, and utilizing shared metrics. Trust can be built by providing transparent updates, encouraging open feedback, and acknowledging successes. It is important to note that leadership support and a respectful culture are crucial for creating a lasting impact. By working in unison, technology and other departments can operate like a well-coordinated machine, propelling the business toward its goals.

Can you share a specific challenge you’ve encountered in your role and how you approached and overcame it?

The biggest challenge I face as a CTO is keeping pace with the latest technological advancements and then deciphering the hype technologies from the ones that can make a tangible business impact.

In the rapidly evolving tech landscape, how do you stay updated on emerging trends and ensure your team remains at the forefront of technological advancements?

Well, it helps that I have an interest in technology, so I am naturally drawn to evolutions in the tech space! There are many apps available that provide curated technology news; these certainly help a lot. One of my favorite apps that I have been using for several years now is ‘Flipboard.’

I also enjoy connecting and discussing industry challenges with experts and customers, especially their opinions on how trending technology can play a part in their specific verticals.

Knowledge-sharing sessions, training, and hackathons are a great way to keep teams up-to-date on the latest tech advancements.

What strategies do you employ to foster a culture of creativity, problem-solving, and continuous learning within your technology team?

To cultivate a team that thrives on creativity, problem-solving, and continuous learning, I have used the following approaches: Sparking creativity with dedicated brainstorming, diverse collaboration, and exposure to external inspiration. Tackling problems effectively by promoting data-driven solutions, root cause analysis, and open communication. Foster continuous learning with skill development programs, knowledge sharing, resource access, and stretch assignments.

Can you highlight a specific technology implementation or project you are particularly proud of and what impact it had on your organization?

I am very proud of a program that I conceived at one of my previous organizations in the UAE that enabled local undergraduates to gain experience and learn our technology and then apply these learnings towards a use case that could benefit society. This rapidly evolved into an annual competition that we ran for several years.

The benefits were twofold: firstly, we were equipping bright young minds with technology expertise and experience to get them ready to step into the workplace, and secondly, we created a groundswell of trained and qualified graduates in the region, of which I hired a few to come and work for me!

As a leader, how do you nurture the professional development and growth of your team members, and what role does mentorship play in your leadership approach?

Nurturing team development goes beyond mere training. Regular performance reviews and personalized plans help tailor growth for each individual. Internal training, external resources, and knowledge-sharing sessions create a continuous learning environment. But mentorship holds a special place. As a leader, I become a mentor, using my vast knowledge to offer personalized guidance, connect individuals with learning opportunities, and provide objective feedback while constantly learning myself. This fosters a collaborative culture where everyone pushes each other to excel, achieving not just individual progress but collective success.