Spotlight on Rajit Kabadi: Why I Joined Accordion
A Transformational Opportunity
Rajit Kabadi is not your typical consultant, which explains the mutual attraction between him and Accordion: the “atypical” consulting firm. Bonded by an electric entrepreneurial energy, both Rajit and Accordion are equally passionate about building a company as they are about serving their clients.
“Accordion is at a stage where every employee can make an impact on the firm’s evolution. It’s the ideal environment for dynamic people who want to work on interesting client engagements, while also having a hand in growing a business. I don’t know of too many places that provide that kind of opportunity.”
Earlier in his career, Rajit developed global business services (GBS) organizations for multiple corporations. He also played a pivotal role in the growth of a boutique transformation consulting firm (acquired by a leading digital services firm in 2020). All of this to say: Rajit knows what it takes to transform companies – while cultivating an agile, collaborative, and psychologically safe culture. He’ll be channeling all of this as he helps to build Accordion’s Transformation Practice and assists with the firm’s corporate development strategy.
Q: Tell us about your journey to Accordion.
Before Accordion, I spent seven years at Pace Harmon (a management consultancy, now a part of West Monroe) leading multiple high-performance pursuit and delivery teams for Fortune 500 and mid-market clients, focused on business transformation (in all its flavors) and strategic sourcing. Pace Harmon’s environment was small, nimble, and entrepreneurial, which allowed for personal development and professional growth that eventually led to our successful exit. That experience only emphasized my love for the “build” – not just from a revenue standpoint, but also in terms of cultural development.
After our firm was acquired, I was looking for a smaller firm that would pose another opportunity to help build a business, and throughout my conversations with Accordion leadership, they stressed the need for help in three areas: (1) building the Transformation Practice, (2) growing the company, and (3) continuing to cultivate the special culture. Each of these have always been key motivators for me. After confirming the commitment to our shared set of values—and discussing “The Founder’s Mentality” with Nick and Atul—I knew that my next adventure was going to be with Accordion.
“There are a lot of places where you can be a management consultant, but at Accordion, you get to be involved in so much more. You get to play a role in building a company…and you get to do so around extremely talented, dedicated, and caring people.”
Q: How does Accordion differ from other consulting firms?
Accordion’s entrepreneurial nature is a distinct differentiator, but there’s another thing that’s even more important to me – and that’s Accordion’s focus on people. There’s a palpable sense of compassion and empathy for one another as individuals, not just as colleagues. And with that, there’s an understanding that our jobs are a part of our lives, but they are not the most important part. Especially in the wake of the upheaval caused by the global pandemic, having a flexible and supportive work environment is paramount. Currently, I’m leading the recruiting efforts for the Transformation Practice, and candidates often express the importance of this type of flexibility. It’s why I believe that the more people know about Accordion, the more we will become an “employer of choice” in our industry.
“Accordion has a ‘no sharp elbows’ environment, where leadership is leadership, not management. That’s a big difference – and it makes for an energizing, flexible culture in which people genuinely care for one another, like being around one another, and are comfortable sharing their diverse perspectives.”
Q: Let’s talk about your client engagements within Accordion’s Transformation Practice.
At Accordion, “transformation” is an essential aspect of value creation. Sponsors and clients trust us to support their operational goals—often focused on generating improvements across the organizational, process, and technology dimensions—and, ultimately, they count on us to increase returns and operational efficiency.
A typical engagement may begin by assessing a client’s discrete operational issues, but often those issues are compounded by more widespread concerns. This leads to remediation of the discrete issue, but also quite possibly a more comprehensive transformation across the dimensions mentioned earlier.
Accordion’s Transformation Practice supports large-scale operating model assessments and implementations, but also facilitates discrete cost reduction opportunities for our clients. Typical project types include:
- Operating model assessments (including the deployment of shared services and outsourcing models)
- Finance process optimization (e.g., order-to cash, procure-to-pay, record-to-report, FP&A)
- Deployment of enabling technologies (e.g., ERP, “best of breed” point solutions, RPA)
- Strategic sourcing (RFPs, vendor management, contract management)
- Direct/indirect spend optimization
While these are just a few of our typical projects, we are more focused on understanding the specific challenges our clients are facing and developing tailored solutions to achieve their objectives. At Accordion, we have service offerings to comprehensively support the Office of the CFO.
“Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity [in my industry roles] to take on large global transformation initiatives, inclusive of deploying new operating models and new enterprise-wide tools and processes. Those industry experiences, combined with my consulting experiences, have positioned me particularly well to empathize with our sponsors and clients during their most stressful situations.”
Q: What advice would you give to someone thinking about joining Accordion?
There are lots of companies looking for talent right now, but very few companies with such a thoughtful growth strategy and magnetic culture – filled with caring, entrepreneurial people.
“In today’s market, candidates have the power to decide the type of company they want to join. When I speak with candidates about Accordion, I emphasize that our key differentiator is the way we work, and more importantly, the way we listen. Of course we’re looking for high levels of skill and competence, but we’re also looking for individuals who are confident enough with themselves to actively listen to one another. By surrounding ourselves with people seeking to actively listen to one another’s ideas, our broader team’s psychological safety is sustained, and innovation is unlocked.”
Not everyone is motivated by building a company…but for those that are, Accordion is an amazing place to call home. If this sounds like the place for you, please feel free to reach out to me via the form below!