Homecoming: Chirag Patel returns to Avanade with a new appreciation
- Posted on July 10, 2019
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
“Homecoming” is our new series in which we tell the stories of Avanade “boomerangs,” employees who left the company for other opportunities before returning. Careers are long and winding, and personal and professional aspirations vary from person to person. It’s natural for people to want to branch out, but wherever you go and whatever you do, there is always a home for you at Avanade.
Chirag Patel first came to Avanade in 2009 and grew his career with the company over the following eight years. But when an opportunity arose two years ago to serve as the technical lead for a smaller customer service agency, Chirag felt the job was too good to pass up.
“I was excited at the prospect of being able to lead and manage a team and help grow an office,” he explained. “The company is mostly based here in the U.S., so not having to work as many offshore hours and things like that also appealed to me.”
The new role didn’t disappoint when it came to giving him a chance to grow. But it became clear fairly quickly that there were things Chirag left behind at Avanade that he missed.
“Avanade has a lot of processes and policies that are either inherited from Accenture or worked out more thoroughly,” he said. “Whereas when I went to the smaller company, there were a lot of growing pains and a lot of things that were much harder to deal with. There were times I had to come up with my own policies for doing things, like an estimating model for example.”
But Chirag had left Avanade on good terms, and the lines of communication between him and his former employer remained open. From the moment he put in his resignation, Avanade expressed that there would always be a place for him within the company.
“While not fully happy with my decision to leave, everyone was very supportive and understood why I was leaving,” Chirag said. “They had expressed, ‘We know exactly what you’re looking for, give us some time to get there, if there’s ever an opportunity to give you what you need, we’d love to have you back.’ That kind of helped, because I was also able to stay in touch with my colleagues.”
Staying in touch opened the door for him to return to Avanade earlier this year. His role is different now than it was when he left; though he was once mostly focused on delivery, now he combines that with responsibilities in pre-sales, working with the digital marketing team in the west to identify and sell digital marketing solutions. He’s excited that his time at a smaller company forced him to be more agile and understand how we can do some things more efficiently here at Avanade.
“Coming from a much smaller company, I had to hire and train folks that were more cross-functional, and I hope that’s something I can bring back and do here at Avanade,” Chirag said. “Being able to sell and deliver projects on a smaller budget, which a lot of our digital marketing customers are looking for.
Chirag is hardly alone as someone returning to Avanade after time away – at his onboarding in Chicago, he took a picture with a few other boomerangs who had be re-hired in the same span of a few months.
“Everyone talks about things being greener on the other side,” he said “In the case of Avanade, I think there were things I didn’t appreciate until I left. Having left and seen some of the challenges on the other end, there are some things that I just took for granted. At the same time, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my experience and bring something new back to Avanade.”