“They are pioneers in the Public Sector Market” Kiran Mehendale recalls of LSI. Nearly seven years ago, he ran into Hannes Lombard, EVP of SAP Technical Solutions, and Shyam Jajodia, EVP of Finance Solutions, at a conference in Northern Kentucky.
As someone who had established relationships with local clients and was invested in the future of SAP, Kiran was impressed by what he learned of LSI’s growing projects and wanted to help drive that growth. He knew that at LSI, he would not be “just another number;” rather, he could “spread his wings” and grow professionally. LSI always welcomes the latest and greatest talent, so the LSI executives told Kiran, “If you want to come and work for us, the door is open.”
Now, Kiran is a force to be reckoned with.
With two Master’s Degrees, 20 years of SAP consulting, and lots of SAP projects under his belt, Kiran is an asset to LSI’s Analytics and Technology practice. His skill set and passion for SAP , combined with the work of his team, form a backbone for SAP implementations. He states, “Analytics is a lifeline and heart of any implementation.” Sharing his admiration for how analytics can tell a story, he explains, “Self Service, real-time analytics gives management team a chance to consume the data more easily.” He continues, “Making decisions on live data is critical from a business standpoint, this is our opportunity to make the data talk to us.”
As LSI adapts to SAP’s demands, Kiran has managed the migration of existing customers to HANA. He is particularly proud of LSI’s implementation of S/4HANA and BW4HANA at Penn State University (PSU). As part of the Project Management Office and Technical Integration Manager for this project, Kiran led his team to enable PSU to have a successful go live for their Finance and procurement System for Integrated Management, Budgeting, and Accounting (SIMBA).
Recently, Kiran sat down with Malcolm Woodfield, Global Vice President of Industry Business Unit Education & Research at SAP, and Julie Bressler, Business Intelligence Lead at Penn State University, to discuss the project in detail.
Over the course of the project, Kiran prioritized supporting and inspiring his colleagues. He leads by example, striving to always be “a part of the solution.” As one of the last ones to leave the office, albeit virtual or in-person, Kiran is fond of the saying, “Work hard, play hard.” He recalls LSI and PSU’s project-wide movie nights, during which all team members had a chance to relax not only as colleagues but as friends. Kiran describes his Penn State partners as “the most fantastic team to work with.” He shares, “Once you leave aside which company you come from, we are part of the same team, we are working toward the same vision, the same goal.”
On top of his and his team’s hard work, Kiran attributes the success of projects like these to LSI’s company culture. He remarks, “I love what I do. I love that I can have a say in the company. If I need to, I can pick up the phone and call any partner and actually have a candid conversation.”
Engaging with a multitude of clients is a key component in the life of an SAP consultant. As a seasoned consultant, Kiran loves the lifestyle; yet he also recognizes the challenges of engaging with a variety of customers for different time periods while still managing to “make stuff happen.” His best piece of advice is to “leave the emotions out” of decisions and do exemplary work regardless of whether credit is granted.
Kiran’s advice for aspiring professionals is abounding. As a mentor, his mission is to guide his mentees with honesty. He reveals, “I like to give them the big picture so that they understand why we are doing what we are doing.” If they understand the “why,” they will do the task better.
He stresses to his mentees that their job as the experts to the customer is to do the “homework.” Sharing his own approach, he says, “I’m going to bring recommendations to the table that we can build on.” Additionally, he encourages his mentees to take risks by tackling work that does not fall under their realm. He reminds his mentees and his teammates that “this is their opportunity to learn and grow.” This affinity for hard work and growth that he shares with others is what attracted him to LSI in the first place, as well as what garnered him respect from his coworkers as a leader.
Kiran maintains his rigorous work ethic by ensuring that he takes advantage of LSI's generous open PTO policy. Every year, he and his family enjoy planning at least a few family vacations, and recently, he has gone “roughing it out” with his friends on UTV trips in the mountains of Kentucky. After a regular workday, he appreciates relaxing after hours, saying, “Not doing anything is actually time well-spent.” Yet, aside from these getaways and his time spent relaxing, he also manages to focus on self-improvement outside of work. Kiran can already speak multiple languages including English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, and some Spanish, and hopes to learn more. He comments, “being able to travel and to know the local language adds character.”
In the workplace, Kiran has big goals as well. LSI recognizes that his capabilities reach beyond his aptitude for analytics, as his knowledge and charisma make him a great point of contact, or “spokesperson” of LSI. Thanks to the flexibility of the company to cultivate and support its employees’ strengths, Kiran plans to foster more client relationships in the future. As he assists with sales, he will fulfill his initial hopes of helping LSI and its customers to expand.
Nearly seven years later, as LSI’s recent merger with Invenio drives further growth, Kiran looks forward to helping LSI become pioneers not just in the Public Sector Market, but in the Private Sector as well.
Want to work with employees like Kiran?