Decoding the Future: Business Trends That Will Shape 2024

2024 will be defined by business transformation driven by AI, skilled labor shortages, and a complete redesign of our companies, and ways of work.

In this brand new episode from a brand new season of Hireside Chats, we explore the business landscape of 2024 with special guest Sowri K, Co-Founder, and Managing Partner at Synergize Partners. Read about the macro trends defining 2024, opportunities and challenges in India’s business climate, the rise of Global Capability Centers (GCCs), and investor expectations for the year ahead. Plus, don’t miss the exciting launch of Diamondpick’s Talent Trends ebook for 2024, providing valuable insights for navigating the evolving talent landscape.


  • The business world will witness a unique macro scenario due to the largest election and rapid technology transformations.
  • The adoption of tech transformation also called S curves are shrinking significantly with the adoption curve for AI shrinking even further with large-scale rapid adoption across industries, leading to opportunities.
  • The rise of GCCs will be more pronounced and more than finding the right talent, the emphasis will shift towards finding the right way to actually use the talent for complete innovation.
  • Before investing in a company it’s key to check their profitability, their willingness to adopt tech advancements and their focus on niche specialization. 
  • The coming years will be about flexible working, remote work models, smaller teams, high-performing individuals, and gigs.
  • Measurable risk-taking is key for success as an entrepreneur or an investor for ultimate success.

Read the blog version of this engaging conversation, with plenty of insights on the business outlook for 2024. Or listen to the podcast here

SatJ: The business world seems, as unpredictable as ever— especially with the ongoing global economic downturn, the post pandemic recovery has been fairly slow. Many countries are witnessing high inflation rates and there’s a fair amount of pressure on organizations and businesses. This has created cautious optimism as we enter into 2024 for businesses worldwide.

What are these transformative changes or technological trends that you are witnessing and that you anticipate in 2024? And how do you think businesses such as ours should prepare, for the opportunities that arise thereof?

Sowri: I think that’s a great question, Satish. And it’s one that’s very timely and apt for everybody at this point of time. I’ll cover two perspectives.

One from a point of view of you know, how the business world is looking at some of these things. And second, how this technology transformation, especially led by AI, is going to really create a lot more opportunities for companies like us. If you really look at it from a larger macro scenario this year is very unique— some very interesting facts about 2024 is that in the history of the human world this is probably going to be the largest election year. About 60% of the world is actually going to elect their leaders— that includes about 70 countries and large democracies like the U.S. and India included in that. Now, that’s a very big one because that’s going to have a lot of impact in the way businesses function and the way businesses operate and the opportunities around it and things like that. But it also has a lot of positives because during election years, it’s typically seen that the economies are always going to be flourishing.

Because there are going to be a lot of policies that are related to the outgoing government that’s going to help a lot. So that’s something that has led to some bullish behavior for the 2024 year in terms of the business outlook, and you could read a lot of things coming out of the World Economic Forum in Davos where a lot of positive messages about the business environment are actually currently coming out. Very closely tied to that macro is essentially the technology transformation and shifts. We’ve always seen this technology transformation that we used to refer to as S curves. Now, these S curves, typically in the earlier days used to take a long time for adoption— five to 10 years adoption cycles for any S curve with the transformation.

One of the things that we are seeing now is the adoption cycles for these S curves are shrinking. So what used to be 5 to 10 years in the dot com days, then, started shrinking. All these different cycles like automation, using RPAs, the adoption keep shrinking. And today that adoption curve for AI, led by companies like Google and Chatgpt, making it live, available for a larger consumption is actually shrinking the adoption curve for AI even further.

So that’s what is really going to lead to a lot of opportunities. And primarily, if you really look at it in this shift, tech shifts, one of the key things that we’ve always noticed in history is that. Companies that lean forward and adopt not only for themselves, but also for their customers are going to be winning these cycles, whereas companies who are not leaning forward and cautious about some of these things have always had trouble, you know, getting through these curves and they don’t end up on the other side.

So I believe that this is going to be a year of opportunities but with a lot of really forward looking thinking being required by management teams in companies to actually go towards this shift that’s being brought by AI. 

SatJ: It’s actually heartening to note that you’re pretty bullish and positive about 2024.

Now in the context of India, how do you view the rise of GCCs and their role in the country’s business ecosystem? You spoke about shrinking S curves, faster S curves, and so on with that comes a lot of opportunity. So how do you think India is positioned to grab some of these opportunities thanks to this?


From a talent perspective, you’ve very closely worked with the US and the Indian talent ecosystem. Our audience would love to understand your perspectives on what the talent-related challenges that you foresee are and the opportunities that you predict, thanks to AI and the faster S curves and the rise of GCCs in India, especially. 


Sowri: I think GCCs is not a new trend. So it’s been again, like S curve GCCs are always, you see adoption curves and then you just come back and then you see adoption curves again in terms of larger companies doing it. And secondly, if you really look at it, companies have always insourced some part of their work. It’s not that they always completely outsource, right? So it’s definitely always been there. And some of these adoption are actually

opportunities really for some of the parties that are servicing these, customers who are really creating GCCs.


Having said that, one of the key things that we would see in all of these GCCs establishments that are actually coming in is that, from a talent point of view, they are going to go for the top tier talent. That’s what they would want. Right? So essentially they’re going to start creating pyramid structures loaded with top tier people, because they want a lot more innovation coming from this and adoption and things like that. Now, naturally, when you do that, that becomes an opportunity as well as a difficult one to manage because you load A players, it’s difficult to continue to manage. We’ve seen that all over the place. So that’s where I feel like GCCs are going to continue to get established. They’re going to focus on insourcing, but the partners that can work with GCCs are going to have a clear opportunity to really work with them by showing value. It’s not going to be a cost arbitrage play. It’s not going to be a play that is focused on actually finding the talent, but it’s going to be about what is the right way to actually use the talent and actually providing a lot of things like IPs and accelerators and innovations. So partners who are working with GCCs or supporting GCCs, if they can bring in a lot more, complete innovation, that’s where their opportunity would truly lie in supporting, because GCCs are going to focus on actually bringing their top talent into their network, as supposed to really focusing on, understanding some of the broader things.


And secondly we’ve always seen again in GCCs they have very limited capability to attract and retain broader sets of talents, because they are too focused on their business. So partners and services companies still have a great opportunity in attracting the right talent, but providing them into GCC in a way that is innovative and not just as a cost arbitrage kind of a scenario. So I feel like there are a ton of opportunities still going to be presenting itself even with this adoption curve on GCCs. 


SatJ: Now from an investor standpoint, the community that you represent, how excited are you about the year ahead? Again, would love to understand your viewpoint on typically what are the expectations or considerations that you have, and the factors that you use to influence some of the investment decisions for 2024 again in the short term, not really in the long term, but in the short term?

Sowri: Let me first cover the factor of what I look for in investing in some of these companies, especially technology and technology services companies. The three factors that I look for are:

  • Are you running a profitable company? That’s fundamental. If you’re not having a profitable venture, it doesn’t interest anybody. You got to clearly monitor your cash flow and make sure that you’re running a profitable organization. 
  • Are you leaning forward into some of the technology transformations that are happening and are you leaning forward into adopting them? Now, when you say lean forward, it does not mean that everybody has to actually only work on AI, but leaning towards adopting some of the tools and capabilities that are coming out of AI to actually enhance the workforce’s capabilities. And that’s what I call leaning forward.
  • What is the niche that you’re really going to focus on in adapting some of this lean forward thinking into the space? For example, are you going to focus on health care and on a specific area of health care or things like that. So that’s a time tested model where when you lean forward with a specialization in a domain, that’s a time tested model that has beaten a lot of S curves and adopt, you know, move through those S curves. So what is that focus? Because you can’t be a jack of all trades, you need to actually really have some focus. What is that focus? If you really step back and look at it, none of this, what I’m saying is new. These are all basic fundamental things that you’d look for, whether with AI or pre AI or pre any S curves. If you really look at it, these are still the fundamental principles. 

Just to summarize again, profitable lean forward and specialization— if that is there, I believe that it’s a good company to look at investing because your fundamentals are strong and you can really look at, you know, winning the market share from that point of view again. So those are companies that I would look for you know, investing if personally, that’s what I try to focus on. 


SatJ: That brings me to my next question – with all the changes that you described, I’m sure the way work is executed is also going to undergo significant changes. It’ll be great to hear from you what your observations are? Has delivery mechanisms or the way work is done are undergoing any major transformations?


Sowri: I think one fundamental thing on the work model, which has shifted over the last couple

of years with, remote working work from home and all of these combinations of

things one of the fundamentals that we have to understand is that, with adoption of AI and lean forward things that we talked about – your teams are not going to be large. Your teams are going to be small . They’re going to be compact. They’re going to be really high performing individuals in a small team focusing on actually building or transforming any application.

Now, when you talk about high performance individuals in a small team that really has to allow for flexible working models because these are high performers. So if you put that layer on top and then look through that lens, then the work model, I believe, has to be clearly flexible, which means that, a co working space will be required where you meet up once in a while to actually make sure that you put a name to the face, you interact, you can converse and things like that.

But it’s going to be largely remote working. That’s going to be an expectation because these high performing individuals are definitely going to have some gig work on the sides. That’s a given, right? And we can’t fight that . But the point is can we actually enable a model that, embraces this attitude and allows for people to really contribute their best into our the view is really what I feel is going to be the future, which is what I’m trying to, you know, preach to some of the investments that I have made. And I believe that that’s going to really help in three, four things. One is essentially, of course, attracting the talent and retaining them. Because it’s still a talent play. It’s still a fight for talent— that’s not changing. And number two is, you know, you’re actually going to allow a highly productive workforce.

Because you’re actually allowing them to really choose what they need to do, how they do what they do. Naturally, with the advancement of technologies, we can easily monitor,control, put all of the different factors around it. And I’ll enable security and all of those things, different things, but from a model perspective, I believe this would really help companies to really keep talent, make them really produce some real IP, create innovation and, you know, give that model. Naturally there are a lot of companies that are in India, especially looking to bring people back into the office. But that’s up to them. But I believe that, you know, having this flexible model is definitely something that a talent that at least the high quality talent that we are looking for is really going to look for. 

SatJ: It’s a very interesting perspective on moonlighting when across the world, people have very strong objections to the concept of moonlighting, you have a very different opinion and a different perspective. I have one, last question for you, a more personal question. Now, Sowri, there are many people out there who look up to you as a role model who are technologists turned entrepreneurs turned investors. You have gone through that journey. You started off as a technologist, became a business leader, an entrepreneur. And now, and now you are wearing the investor’s hat. What would you like to convey to those people who aspire to be entrepreneurs and investors? What would be your advice to them and, and, and what is the path to getting there quickly?

Sowri: I don’t know that there’s a path to getting there quickly, that I’m not too sure but there is a path for everybody, right? This is not rocket science. One of the key things is that measurable risk taking that’s something that I learnt from leaders that have taught this to me. And that measurable risk taking is something that we have to really keep in mind when you’re becoming an entrepreneur or an investor or whatever you call it. And the reason for that is, when you come from large companies and you’re trying to move into an entrepreneurial role. If you’re coming out of college and you want to be an entrepreneur, that’s a different approach. But if you worked for some large companies and then you want to become an entrepreneur, one thing that you have to keep in mind is that, you’ve never, you always had a cover above you. If you had a great boss, that person is going to protect you, so you take risks and then, you know, hey, there is always a cover, you learn, and then you move forward. But in this world you are taking the risk for yourself and that’s why measurable risk taking is a very key thing to learn from a perspective to say, hey this is, there’s nobody about me trying to come and say, hey, you know, this is better or that. There are advisors. But that’s not truly like working for somebody, right? So, that’s a very important lesson. And, and that’s one thing that you have to keep in mind. The second thing is leaning forward. I believe in leaning forward. I believe in leaning forward towards adopting towards what is next. You should actually in my view be open to lean forward fast. Those are a couple of things I have followed personally, which has helped me since I left the large companies and moved into the world of PEs and the world of investments and entrepreneurship— that’s been a journey for the past eight, nine years for me. These two principles have helped me guide through these you know, last eight, nine years is what I would say. 

SatJ:. Before we sign out. Sowri has an important announcement to make.

Sowri: It’s a pleasure to officially launch Diamondpick’s latest publication the Talent Trends ebook for 2024. And I’ve gone through it. It’s a comprehensive guide that distils insights from industry experts offering a road map for organizations to navigate the evolving talent landscape. Like we talked about right now, how the talent landscape is going to be really changing. In my view, I believe that this is going to give you guys a road map or a guide towards talent, and that’s what Diamondpick is launching. I’m pretty thrilled to actually launch this as part of this episode. An informative episode and a great start to our brand new season of Hireside Chats. Plenty of takeaways for organizations and for aspiring entrepreneurs/investors.

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