COVID-19 to transform digital process of small, medium firms: Tata Teleservices

Tata Teleservices is focussed on fulfilling the need for digital services of its customers and improving efficiencies for companies, especially small and medium-sized firms, even as the covid-19 pandemic has hit its business momentum, said Harjit Singh Chauhan, president – enterprise business of the company. Following are the edited excerpts of an interview with Mint.

With the complete disruption in business due to the covid 19 outbreak, what will be your market strategy this year?

With most of the businesses moving their operations to a work from home mode, our overall market strategy is to empower businesses with secure solutions targeted at improving their efficiency and productivity while their employees work remotely. Some of these solutions include Hosted IVR, which allows Enterprises to quickly set up distributed call center and enable agents to work from home, Audio and Web conferencing solutions which enable collaboration across employees, partners and customers, International Bridging Services that allow business to remain globally connected and Secure Document and Data Management solutions that address security concerns arising out of a distributed and remote working environment. We anticipate the speed of digital transformation to accelerate across SMBs (small and medium businesses) in 2020 given their experience during the pandemic.

How has the pandemic affected business momentum for Tata Teleservices this year ?

We had started 2020 with appreciable business momentum for new orders and customer engagements. While covid-19 outbreak has muted some of this momentum, our focus at this juncture is to ensure that all our critical customer processes, including service delivery and service assurance are running smoothly through a mix of remote operations, increasing use of digital tools and field engagements wherever required.

What are the business opportunities and challenges that you are seeing for Tata Teleservices in the current environment?

There are broadly two factors at play. First is a sort of digital re-awakening where organizations would realize that digital is not just a good-to-have but an absolute imperative for survival, growth and market leadership.

Digital adoption and transformation may start to progress even more rapidly as India becomes the largest work from home market. We would see an accelerated growth in adoption of cloud-based solutions, collaboration solutions, AI and IoT, Data Management solutions that allow enterprises to integrate, secure and manage data as well as collaborate effectively.

The second factor is that of an inevitable slowdown of the economy caused by a sluggish demand across a basket of goods and services. This will stress the balance sheets of organization and may slow down their growth focused capital investment plans including investment in digital systems, tools and platforms. The organization which is best able to achieve a balance between the two opposing factors in play would emerge out of this crisis in a much better shape than its competition.

Where do you see growth coming for Tata Teleservices in the Indian market? Is it from metros and Tier I cities or smaller cities and towns?

Much of the growth and innovation in most advanced economies is fuelled by the SMBs in that country. And SMBs, typically in these countries, are well represented across their geographical length and breadth. It will be no different in India. SMBs, irrespective of whether they are in metros or otherwise, need to be nimble in adopting digital technologies to stay relevant and future ready. Physical location will increasingly become irrelevant as organizations like us will extend their full suite of products and services to SMBs across the country.


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