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Julian Wheatland: Navigating Cultural Shifts and Innovation at Progility Technologies 



Marksmen Daily (1)

You have all heard and read about Indians occupying high-ranking positions in some of the largest companies in the world. There is even a saying now that if you aren’t Indian, you cannot be a CEO in a global company. To break this trend, Julian has moved to India as CEO of Progility Technologies in Mumbai to support the growth of the Indian economy, which is on the fast track to becoming a $3 trillion economy.

Marksmen Daily correspondent Neeraj Tiwari sat down with Julian Wheatland, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Progility Technologies, to understand Wheatland’s insights on the cultural differences between London and Mumbai, the initiatives he’s implementing to address organisational challenges, and his vision for Progility Tech in India. 

What cultural differences have you noticed between London and Mumbai? 

The biggest difference I’ve observed is the stronger sense of hierarchy in Mumbai compared to London. In Mumbai, there’s a great deal of respect for senior levels in organisations. This cultural nuance can sometimes stifle innovation and agility, as junior members may feel hesitant to propose ideas outside their assigned roles. In London, the corporate structure is generally flatter, encouraging more open communication and idea-sharing across all levels.

What initiatives are you implementing to tackle these challenges?

We’ve launched several initiatives aimed at enhancing internal collaboration and refining our market propositions. A key part of this effort is fostering a culture of teamwork and open communication. Just this morning, I visited our logistics centre and encouraged the team to share their ideas and get involved in discussions. I emphasized that they, more than anyone else, understand our processes and can provide valuable insights for improvement. This initiative is designed to break down hierarchical barriers and empower all employees to contribute to innovation and change. 

What are your primary goals for relocating to India? 

Our primary goal is to become the most trusted and valued technology partner for our customers in all our chosen and shortlisted newer markets. This involves several key objectives: growth, profitability, innovation, creating a rewarding work environment, and fostering a collaborative culture. For our customers, this means taking on their technology challenges so they can focus on their core business needs without being bogged down by technical issues. We aim to provide seamless solutions that integrate smoothly into their operations, thereby adding significant value. 

How does Progility Tech plan to stay ahead in technological advancements and contribute to India’s tech development? 

Progility Tech has a rich history, starting as a voice systems company and evolving into a provider of audio-visual collaboration installations. Our current challenge is to broaden our technological horizons and stay ahead of the curve. This requires hiring highly skilled personnel and committing to continuous training to keep pace with rapid technological advancements. We are also actively engaging with early-stage companies in India to integrate innovative technologies into our services. For instance, we are exploring AI tools for surveillance systems and smart boxes for advertising displays. By partnering with these startups, we aim to incorporate cutting-edge technologies into our offerings and contribute to the growth of India’s tech sector.

How will Progility Tech ensure customer satisfaction with its services?

Ensuring customer satisfaction is a top priority for us. In India, many companies do not prioritise customer feedback as much as they should. Our goal is to elevate our service levels to a point where customers prefer us over our competitors. This involves maintaining high technical capabilities and implementing robust quality systems. We are committed to consistently measuring customer satisfaction through regular feedback and using this data to drive continuous improvements. By doing so, we aim to provide superior service that not only meets but exceeds customer expectations.