Naveen Lakhanpal, Capita

Driven by his team, Naveen has a passion for solving problems. We spoke to him to find out more;

So, I manage a team of five people, and our job is to price the Cisco portfolio for use within Capita and externally. My team are all experts, they're there to give the customer guidance, we're not there just to say: you asked us for a switch, here's a switch.  It's really to give them a bit more information and give them the best option, and if it's for internal use, give them the best price.  If it's for external use, again, give them the best price, but give them a competitive price that they could hopefully go away with and win business for themselves and for Capita.

I love the different people we speak to on a daily basis, the different parts of Capita we come into contact with. Capita's a huge beast, coming across somebody for the first time who doesn't know who we are, they might be skeptical until they actually get on a conference call with us, or get on a WebEx, then they can see us and they can see what we can do for them. They go away and realise that these people we spoke to, they're not just a bunch of people on the other end just giving us a price, they know their stuff and they’re really passionate about it. I think we have a brilliant team ethic, not just in this office, I believe throughout Capita.

"That passion pushes me on, everyday somebody wants something different, something that isn't standard."

That passion pushes me on, I'll come in to work and somebody in the team will be looking for some kind of solution to a problem, everyday somebody wants something different, something that isn't standard, they might not be Cisco literate, or the customer has just thrown something to them and said: can you help me?  That's what pushes us, that's what you look for, a job that pushes you and one that brings you back time and time again. 

Sure, there are challenges. With those challenges comes rewards too. When you've worked on something with one of your colleagues from a different part of Capita, to hear that person saying: 'we've won that.'  You know all the energy you’ve put in to giving them the best option possible was worth it. That feeling you get, you can't beat it, it's a brilliant feeling.  Especially when you tell a customer that your price isn't the cheapest, your price is a little bit more expensive but the option is better for them and you can explain why, they can then take it to the end-user, and that's what convinces a customer to go with you.  That's when you know the time and effort you've put in has definitely been worth it.

"People can come to us at any point, you don't need to come just to buy things.  If you're not sure about something or if you've got an issue right now and you're not sure, we are there, just contact us."

Originally when we were set up, people presumed we were just a pricing team.  Some people would think: they're just some kind of procurement function, you know, you send it through, they'll price something up and they'll send it back to us.  In the two years since I've been running this team, I've made everybody look at themselves and improve.  They can say to the customer: why do you need this?  Is there something else going on here?  Have you spoken to the customer?  And it's sometimes guiding the customer, who can then go and ask questions.  That's why I think we do get some requests coming in, where it is very, very basic information, and we used to flesh it out, but we don't mind doing that, we know what we're good at.

Capita's a huge business, I think if we're lucky we've probably only touched maybe 40%, maybe 50%, so it's probably 50% or more who don't know about us, or who don't use us as well they should do.  People can come to us at any point, you don't need to come just to buy things.  If you're not sure about something or if you've got an issue right now and you're not sure, we are there, just contact us. 

If we can't answer the question, we'll know somebody else who can.  That's one of the things, we have pre-sales, we've engineers here, we can go away and ask that question for you, so we don't want people to think: well, if we're not going to buy something, they'll ignore us. People can come to us for anything that's Cisco related they need help with, we're always here. 

View more

Click to read WEBSITE - Meet the team