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Pandemic has put us on new tech upcycle, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan

IT major TCS’s third quarter results announced on Friday indicated a sharp recovery from the lows in the early months of the pandemic. In an exclusive interaction with TOI after the results, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan talked about the surge in demand for cloud. He said cloud will enable a whole new set of transformation opportunities for enterprises. Excerpts:

The revenue growth from Q2 to Q3 was TCS’s best in nine years. What does this indicate to you?

It’s a validation of many of the themes we have been speaking about for quite some time. Speaking about the pandemic, we had shared how the impact will be deep and we should be able to recover, as technology is at the heart of the solutions (for revival).

Second, technology adoption at the enterprise level is now well-established and in fact, the pandemic acted as a trigger for adoption and it put us onto a new tech upcycle. The base level cloud infrastructure adoption we are seeing will enable a host of new things.

The most basic change is if somebody is shifting to Office 365 or the Google Suite. The next level in this borderless fabric of cloud is when you can extend IT seamlessly to your remote workforce, and roll out, say, security services like two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication is very difficult without cloud. You can also bring all your digital properties, websites, onto a single sign-on functionality.

So there is a strong demand for hyperscale-driven cloud solutions?

We are seeing cloud as an integral part of this transformation journey, and we are seeing large-scale adoption of this infrastructure across our customer base. And this is only Horizon 1, of adoption, whereas Horizon 2, Horizon 3, where the business benefits will be of an order of magnitude significantly higher, are yet to unfold. That’s why we are so optimistic.

What is Horizon 3?
That’s when you can collaborate better with your ecosystem partners. Let’s say, airlines and hotels being able to collaborate to provide a seamless travel and stay experience.

Like in this pandemic, offering a solution where the customer identity is authenticated and the customer’s safety documentation is authenticated and handed over to airlines and hotels seamlessly.

To roll something like that in the past would have taken six months to a year; now we can do it in weeks. Many industries are realising that they are only part of the total value proposition to the customer.

There’s strong growth in transformation services. What are the new models aiding these services?
If you take insurance, to be able to make a quote or to settle a claim, an insurance agency should interface with multiple other providers. In the case of auto or home insurance, there are 10-15 external stakeholders that they need to interface with.

By completely changing the way these interfaces are done, by introducing digital channels, by exposing APIs, by introducing blockchains as a means of a non-reputable public registry, we can transform the way this entire process works.

BFSI has moved to positive growth. Where do you see demand recovering?
Earlier, we had said there is greater traction in insurance compared to banks. But in the current period and looking forward, we see equal opportunities.

Life sciences grew 18% year-on-year. What’s driving the momentum?
The three big areas, which had not been disrupted by technology were healthcare, government and education. And all three will get disrupted. What you are seeing is a significantly increased leverage of technology in the healthcare space and we are participating very well in that.

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