Pragash Pillai

Known for literally going the extra mile to speak in-person with customers and employees across the country, Pillai has incorporated some of the insights he’s learned into a proactive approach to customer care—with a digital-first mindset—that’s helped differentiate Altice USA from more traditional cable providers. He calls the company’s affinity group model, which connects people from coast to coast, “the most successful diversity project I have seen, not just in my career, but in the industry. People connect and interact with others, from participating in Pride Parades to promoting Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Months to giving back to the community through AUSA-sponsored causes that promote diversity.”

What does your company/organization do to ensure all employees feel included?
Altice USA has taken proactive steps to foster an inclusive mindset. Not only do we have a diverse set of employee affinity groups, we have an entire team that strictly focuses on employee engagement. Our goal is to keep employees connected and happy through a variety of platforms—communication channels, volunteer days, and employee gatherings to name a few.

Can you share a successful diversity program at your company or one you’ve observed at another company or organization?
The AUSA’s affinity group model is the most successful diversity project I have seen, not just in my career, but in the industry. We look for unique qualities in our employees, we connect them with other employees, and we publicly celebrate those connections. People from West to the East Coasts can connect and interact with others from participating in Pride Parades to promoting Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Months to giving back to the community through AUSA-sponsored causes that promote diversity.

What questions is the industry not yet asking in its efforts to be more diverse and inclusive that it should be?
As an industry, and overall really, we need to ask ourselves what defines diversity. There are obvious answers that we all focus on—race and gender to name a couple—but diversity really spans such a broader landscape and we must be cognizant of that. We as industry leaders need to ensure we are constantly challenging and considering the definition so that we remain relevant and inclusive.