Article: # 10 SAS Institute: Respect and Empowerment

Employee Engagement

# 10 SAS Institute: Respect and Empowerment

An environment that breeds a result driven culture, mutual respect and empowerment

The organisation differentiates itself by focusing on three key elements which are People, Product and Process


We are not stringent regarding work hours or time; the focal point revolves around the outcome


With a team of more than 600 technology and domain experts, SAS Institute has been in India since 1997 working with organizations across industries and offering them critical enterprise intelligence to fuel innovation and meet their business objectives. Ranked #10 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study, SAS Institute is also ranked #4 in the Industry Category of the IT sector. Over the past decade, the ITeS industry has not only mushroomed but enjoyed a dominant position in India. Ask Sudipta Sen, CEO & Managing Director, SAS India what the company’s competitive advantage is and how he attempts to differentiate as an organization, and he replies confidently, “The past decade has been quite exciting for our industry. Not only has it developed but incurred significant positive changes for us. As an organization, we attempt to differentiate ourselves by focusing on three key elements which are People, Product and Process. If you talk about our competitive advantage, I will have to say that SAS provides its clients with high-end, domain specific analytical solutions, which are industry definite and give us an edge over other organizations.”
In an industry where retention is perhaps one of the biggest challenges given the wide socio economic as well as cultural factors prevalent in India, it has not been easy for Srinivas Rao K, Head - Human Resources, who comments “We are an organization which looks for individuals with domain specific knowledge. There is challenge sometimes to find people who have both, the professional knowledge along with the analytical bent of mind we look for. This may be due to paucity of workforce in the market. Retention is a most challenging task across the industry. However, SAS as an organization believes talent retention is one of the key instruments for our business success. Hence it is important for us to provide a work environment that breeds a result driven culture, mutual respect and empowerment.”
We quiz Sen and Rao to know more about their organization’s way of functioning and the reason behind their success.

SAS India strongly emphasises on employee learning and development, how do you ensure that it is a continuous process with no stagnation?

Sudipta Sen: Rightly said, the process of learning and development is continuous and ongoing; we at SAS India believe that this is critical to our success. Learning needs to be not only in the functional areas but also to develop soft skills of our associates. We have trainings in house as well as outsourced to keep up to date with the latest industry practices. We receive a lot of inputs from our headquarters as well as locally to certify the same.

According to you what are the top three reasons for your organization to be a great workplace?

Sudipta Sen: One of the primary reasons for our organization to be a great workplace would be mutual respect for each other, regardless of the position held in the company. We do not have a typical manager-subordinate relationship prevalent in our company. We hold each other’s decisions and opinions in high esteem. Secondly, we truly believe in empowerment. Employees are encouraged to make their decisions which are then supported by us; this gives them a feeling of exuberance and the will to perform better. The third reason is that we believe in a result driven culture. We are not stringent regarding work hours or time; the focal point revolves around the outcome.

What initiatives does your organization take to ensure work-life balance?

Srinivas Rao K: I can categorize the attempts made by us in four parts, first being our flexible work hours. An employee is given freedom to choose his/her work hours as long as the performance is delivered. Secondly, we have work from home arrangements. Thirdly, the assistance programmes like counselling for employees, employee concierge services etc, that we provide. And lastly, employees also get an option of reimbursement of child day care facilities, which proves beneficial to many of our associates.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture, #BestPractices

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