Business Management

Typical 24: Sanjiv Gossain, SVP & Managing Director at Cognizant

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…


  Name:  Sanjiv Gossain

  Job title: SVP & Managing Director

  Company: Cognizant

  Location: UK, London


What time do you reach the office each day?
I usually get to the office by 8:00am and start work at the same time when working from home.

Is your job varied?
Yes. It is constantly changing. As we are in a customer-facing business, sometimes, even the best-laid plans can change due to changing customer needs. I may be dealing with client requests, securing new opportunities, interviewing people, reviewing business plans, or talking to press and analysts all in the same day!

Is your job creative?  
The job is both creative and analytic.  Both are needed to stay relevant in the future by challenging the status quo.

What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
The majority of my time is spent travelling to and taking part in client meetings. Customers always come first so I am either meeting with them or working closely with the teams back in the office to enhance customer experience, and as a result, grow our business.

Do you personalise your desk?
A little; I have a couple of work photos but I don’t tend to have family-related items on my desk. As I travel a fair amount and spend some time working remotely, my colleagues tend to use my desk so I keep it functional.

Would you describe yourself as creative?
Yes! Although I spend lots of time analysing facts and figures and developing project plans, we all need to be creative when it comes to developing innovative offerings for customers. Creativity is also key internally for our own business when working on marketing or sales brainstorms. We all have a creative side and work together to bring out the most imaginative ideas. In my role there is a time for analytics and a time for creativity!

Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
Not that I know of!

Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?                           
Both. It is a people business so working with people from different teams and from all over the world is part of the job. Whether it is pitching for work to an existing client or prospect or addressing staff at a team meeting on the company strategy, I am constantly engaging with my colleagues. Analysis and thinking is what I do best on my own – often on a plane or when working from home when I have more time to prepare.

How many hours on average do you work a day?
It varies from day to day but usually a little more than eight.

Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
I tend to spend around 70% of my time on calls and in meetings each day - I only really use email in between.

Do you use social media much for work?
I use Twitter to keep up with what is going on in the news and my industry in particular and also use instant messaging to discuss activity and projects with colleagues in different parts of the world.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Variety – the challenge of building a business, and working with great people.

What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
None at work.

What do you do for lunch?
Usually I grab a miso soup and some sushi.

Do you socialise with work colleagues?
When possible, although it is more difficult these days, as I travel so much.

What is your last task of your day?
Looking ahead at the next day and week, and thinking about what I have to do.

How do you like to relax after work?
I usually spend time with my family and help my children with their homework. Sometimes, I watch TV.

Do you keep checking email through the evening?
Yes, but not all the time.

Do you take work projects home with you?
It is hard not to, but sometimes I make a concerted effort to switch everything off to have a break.

What would you say to your 20-year old self?
Enjoy today as much as you can because who knows what is around the corner.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
I would love to have a go at being a golf pro! It would also be interesting to be Prime Minister for a day.

What device did you use to answer these questions?
Apple Mac.

Do you use your own personal device for work?
Yes, but I also use my work devices.


« ADI Interview: Indian Manufacturing & Local Innovation


Crowdsourcing Innovation: Douk Damien, Creator of AI Watchtech »
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail


Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?