Rethink and Reboot

As CEO of Brillio, Raj Mamodia explores the power of an outcome-based culture to change IT industry norms

Helmed by Raj Mamodia, Brillio is focusing on IT consulting and investments, bringing seasoned industry expertise to its clients.
Helmed by Raj Mamodia, Brillio is focusing on IT consulting and investments, bringing seasoned industry expertise to its clients.

Brillio and its CEO share one thing in common: neither is a carbon copy of any of their counterparts in the field. In Brillio’s case, the difference will be in its future. In CEO Raj Mamodia’s, the difference lies in his past.

Mamodia was born in a small village of a few hundred residents in India, and all of his friends and family still live there. Mamodia believed that nothing would ever be too difficult for him to overcome, so he left home to study mechanical engineering. When he found a position at a company in India, his first boss didn’t think Mamodia was worthy of the job. “I was given, or volunteered for, the hardest jobs,” Mamodia says. Mamodia exceeded his employer’s expectations. He eventually completed his MBA at Northwestern University and worked for Cognizant before he was named CEO of Collabera, an international information technology firm, in 2013.

When he took over, Collabera had two main components: an IT staffing branch with about $400 million in revenue, and a newer IT solutions and consulting group with about $100 million. It was Mamodia’s idea to spin off the solutions branch as Brillio, and he is now the new company’s CEO. “This is not a typical CEO job,” Mamodia says. “I have to be both a CEO and an entrepreneur. And that’s why it’s a good mix for me.”

Mamodia expects Brillio to look and operate differently than any other IT solutions business on the market. His first goal is for Brillio to be more innovative than its competition. An example of this is Brillio’s first two projects: Brillio Labs and Brillio Ventures.

Brillio Labs, which already exists in Bangalore, will soon open in Silicon Valley. This arm will take complex technologies and distill them down for simpler, more efficient company use. “Anybody would find these systems complex,” Mamodia explains. “Our clients are in the process of being, say, a great retailer, or a great bank, and not all of them have the deep pockets and the wherewithal to find the best way to use technology for their business.”

The other project, Brillio Ventures, will invest in start-ups throughout Silicon Valley. Mamodia says many new companies have surged to the top of their industries in the last several years, but they crumble after that potential peak. Individuals who have great ideas do not always have the knowledge base to build a business, which is where Brillio Ventures will step in and provide advice, assistance, and financing. “This is a very different and unique approach,” Mamodia says. “We don’t believe that innovation happens only inside Brillio.”

In its first year, Mamodia hopes to create a completely new company and culture out of the former Collabera branch. He wants to hire people who are inspired by his vision and create an outcome-based culture. “It’s not whether you showed up at nine in the morning,” he says. “That’s not the company we’re building at all.”

Many companies use the buzzwords work-life balance to attract talent. Mamodia wants to go a step further: if you love your work, he insists, you don’t need to balance it against your life. It will be part of your life, and your time will be spent prioritizing individual responsibilities. “An outcome-driven culture is hard to build,” he admits, “but it’s worth it. You can’t document it, but it matters.”