Tata BSS: Metamorphosing into a High-End Digital CLM Consulting Firm

Date:   Monday , March 28, 2016

If I tell you that people nowadays buy houses worth crores online without much physical interaction, you probably wouldn\'t believe me without double checking the internet. This colossal digital disruption is also jolting the Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM) industry and resetting the space afresh for everybody, regardless their size. As customer loyalty, impact and positive experience are outpacing product capability as the predominant differentiator, every enterprise dwelling in the CLM space has some footage to reap the heaps of opportunities cultivated by this disruption, depending on their speed, investments and the extent of risk they are willing to take.

Consuming a huge portion of this pie is TATA Business Support Services (TATA BSS). Having hopped on the digital bandwagon by successfully implementing a competent digital CLM team sooner than others, the Hyderabad headquartered CLM enterprise is racing to the zenith with a head start. Having the right fusion of IT services and BPO services, TATA BSS adapts to technologies, platforms or applications or even reengineers existing processes to administer a better customer brand experience. Meanwhile, the company focuses on customer experience, and not on just technology or process. \"We focus on our client\'s business outcome in terms of growing their revenues, enhancing customer experience and enabling efficiency. We Simplify. This is the motto we live by,\" explains Raguram Gopalan (popular as Rags within the industry), SVP - Business Transformation Services, TATA BSS.

Digital Business Acceleration

While some organizations are more mature and seek niche solutions to enhance their productivity or customer engagement, others are looking for acceleration in their \'Brick to Click\' journey for their digital adoption. TATA BSS handholds them, puts together the pieces of their strategy and helps them execute the same adeptly to bestow them with top dollars as RoI. The company\'s offering \'Digital in a Box\' provides a set of solutions, tool kits, processes, platforms and people based intervention that actually reduces the time frame to adopt digital business. The company provides a seamless solution by stitching together multiple offerings such as Omni Channel Services, Automation of Customer\'s field force &integration of digital delivery across the organization, Adoption of Cloud based CRM from the legacy system, Integration of digital wallet, Social dash-boarding & intelligence, organizational reputation management, and BI& analytics.

While independent implementation of these platforms would typically take 18-24 months, TATA BSS can effectively accomplish all this within 4-6 months. Resultantly, clients attain a faster time to market, quicker adoption and a competent team to help the customer with re-engineered processes and people skills. Noting that these initiatives are backed by a brand like TATA, the value proposition becomes unmatched. Let me explain the rationale behind this value proposition with a case study. For one of its clients operating out of 16 locations nationwide, TATA BSS invested in building an all India backbone infrastructure with a real-time switch. If there is an excess volume flow in the first location, it automatically and dynamically carries out a load balance and shift to the second best location, where there is someone available to take the call. All this is done seamlessly within a matter of seconds with a virtual network of 4000 people spread all over the geography exclusively helping that client. In addition to voice, the impressed client opted for email, chat & social media support, all of which got looped into this network, using the same principle with vernacular language support in English, Hindi and dozen other languages, in different time zones, and so on.

End-to-End CLM Preventing Lead Leakage

CLM is comprised of several hand offs such as running campaigns, tracking leads from phone calls & social media enquiries, passing down qualified leads to sales persons, sales, installation of the product and after-sales service. Hence, there tends to be significant leakage of leads, devoid of an end-to-end view. By deploying the customizable cloud-based overarching CLM software, TATA BSS knits together this cycle with modules such as campaigns, leads, sales and service in one box. It endows clients with more predictability, visibility and assuredness, since the hand offs are automated and the reports are just a click away. Successful deployment of this new age CLM integrated solution in several banks, retail companies and infrastructure reality customers substantiates TATA BSS\' metamorphosis into a technology product & solution led CLM company.

Steadily Growing in Indian Market

Kick starting its journey as an in-house section that catered exclusively to TATA customers, TATA BSS opened its wings four years ago and flew outside TATA group to acquire non-TATA customers. While most of its competitors have either reduced exposure to Indian market or wants to exit this market, TATA BSS with its presence in about 400 cities has been consistently growing in this market with an 18 percent growth rate, surpassing the industry growth rate of 12 percent; tremendous credit to its unique optimized operational model.To be more cost-effective, the company is pushing a few business processes to urban areas (tier 2 & 3 cities), where connectivity and manpower are readily available as well as to rural areas (tier4 & 5) that need to evolve a lot more. Already having a footprint in those areas, TATA BSS aims to become leader in the rural outsourcing model.

Balancing Portfolio for Customer Base

TATA BSS is stern on keeping its focus on CLM to emerge as the World\'s top end-to-end CLM provider, rather than diluting its value by foraying into many other potential synergic vertical or horizontal areas. As its outcome based model has been successful for the past two years, TATA BSS plans to push it further up. Though the company anticipates a significant portion of the growth to rise from India, it aims to re-enter the U.S. market and establish itself in the U.K. and other strategic countries this year; ultimately making its mark in international directories as a specialist. \"Besides gaining profits, acquiring a boutique digital CLM consulting firm in a matured market will help us learn more and plough that back here. This will propel our high-end consulting & technology enablement to take the center stage,\" explains Srinivas Koppolu, CEO & MD, TATA BSS.

Aspiring to be part of the billion+ dollar club, the company aims to double its revenue over the next 24-30 months, while enhancing its revenue mix from the current 90:10 (India Revenues Vs International revenues) to 70:30. As Srinivas endeavours to tilt the TATA vs. Non-TATA ratio from 70:30 to 50:50, the company is chiselling its operational excellence, sales, leads, investments and competency. \"We will reorient the whole hierarchical model to increase agility and create impactful layers between me and the customer care executive on ground,\" says Srinivas. Functionally, the company\'s strategic thrust is on DRIP: D - Digitalization (for TATA BSS and its clients), R - Right Sourcing, I - Internationalization and P - Premiumization. Whether it is sales, HR, operations or support, TATA BSS is tuning every function to embrace DRIP, to provide premium services internally & externally as well as to satisfy the needs of international & rural areas.

Uplifting the Underprivileged Community

TATA BSS doesn\'t stop with strategizing profoundly to continue its reign over the CLM industry, but it also leverages its victory to bring change in the lives of underprivileged people. TATA BSS\' Lab Skill program augments the computer labs of Government high schools in areas that have highest percentage of SC/ST population. And the company made this program even more fruitful by placing a teacher over there from the same community to help students understand the subject matter better. Currently running in four schools in Telangana and Andhra, this two years young program aims to add two or more schools per year and might also diversify it to touch the lives of children of Maharashtra. Besides offering permanent vendor contracts to budding entrepreneurs in underprivileged communities, TATA BSS also provides them a marketplace called ApnaBazaar to setup their stalls and has another initiative for women in underprivileged community to bond over shopping.\"Approaching CSR activities much more pragmatically, our TAAP (Tata Affirmative Action Program) runs on four pillars - education, employment, employability and entrepreneurship,\" explains Anamika Sharma, AVP, TATA BSS.

As the sincerity of the TATA brand follows TATA BSS in every nook and corner of India, people take these initiatives seriously and request them to replicate the same in their areas. When asked about her challenges, Anamika responds, \"24 hours are not enough. We may have a bigger heart, but our profit margin decides the extension layout of CSR. But, if your intentions are genuine, right collaborations, partnerships and networks will fall in place\". However, the company contributes over a crore rupees for its CSR initiatives, which is above the government mandated two percent. TATA BSS also chips in to relieve people from unforeseen disasters, for which its employees also contribute personally. During the Chennai floods, TATA BSS donated 5 percent from its CSR outlets, while it collected twice as much from its employees voluntarily, not to mention the number of volunteers who worked in relief operations on the ground due to its encouragement. TATA BSS also has a huge diversity program that interconnects women across all of its 28 centers to promote women leadership within the workplace, and basically for giving them a voice.

Improving Employability by Tackling Communication Hiccups

With a completely industrialized module comprising of group learning, situational learning and on-job training, the company trains the people sourced from underprivileged social strata to attain the skills of cultural fitment, communication, independent thinking and capability to handle multiple situations; thus ensuring a progressive career path as well. Since communication is the major hurdle for them, TATA BSS\' communication lab puts them through a rigorous 45 days long training, after which they get certified on every aspect such as pronunciation, comprehension skills and so on. The company invests heavily in building extensive digital based talent acquisition &training programs to create a digitally-ready employable pool. \"We positively discriminate people only based on their merits. Our merit & role based reward program rewards them based on the value they create,\" says TS Mohan, CHRO, TATA BSS.

Teamwork Wins

Setting expectations right while recruiting, transparent connect programs with six level escalation matrix and the homely ambience at TATA BSS has elevated it into a best-in-class domestic BPO organization with an outstanding 94 percent retention rate. The company creates a community level impact by including its people\'s families during celebrations. TATA BSS\' new Mission, Vision and Values poise employees as the pivot of its business design, which is manifest from the fact that two out of the four Values focus on them - Buck Stops With Me and Teamwork Wins.

Basing this as the foundation, TATA BSS has created an Employee Engagement vertical (availing one HR manager round-the-clock to ascertain every support besides typical mundane processes), a Learning & Development vertical (customizing learning programs throughout the year to impart training incessantly) and a Talent Acquisition vertical (ensuring on-time deployment). Horizontal to these is a service center that encompasses policies, governance, pay roll, compensation & benefits, performance management and retention among others. Beneath this, Mohan has foot soldiers nationwide to handhold every employee during one of the phases of their employment lifecycle. With its beneficial training programs, pragmatic CSR activities and continuous innovations to improve customer experience management, TATA BSS is making a huge difference to our country and its economy.

Some of the Key Management:

Srinivas Koppolu, CEO & MD
Having contributed to the growth of legendary organizations like Wipro and Satyam in their initial stages as their fulcrum, the flavour of Srinivas’ career can be defined as learning &growing with a new setup. This IIM Bangalore alumnus has gained a global exposure during his decade long tenure in U.S., which helped him in perspective & personality building.

Raguram Gopalan (Rags), Sr. VP
A distinguished Member of Harvard Square, Rags has proven his ability as an adept strategist and entrepreneurial thinker with 22+ years of extensive professional experience in multi-cultural environments along with 13+ years in senior leadership positions.

TS Mohan, CHRO
Mohan leverages his 21+ years of HR expertise across industry segments and experiential knowledge in dealing with different situations, geographies & cultures to proficiently spearhead the HR functions at TATA BSS.

Anamika Sarma, Associate VP
Orchestrating the sustainability initiatives at TATA BSS, Anamika is one of the most inspirational leaders with kind demeanour, who leads from the front and is passionate about the cause. This process oriented leader is very strategic in her approach and always pushes for innovation.

1. Fun at work award by world HRD Congress in 2014
2. Mother Teresa Award for the Corporate Citizenship by Loyola Institute of Business Administration in 2014
3. VIT and Think Media award for Best Brand Website of the Year by Digital Media Channels in 2014
4. National Awards for Excellence In Outsourcing & BPO by World CSR Day in 2014
5. Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Award by BIS in 2014
Best Contact Centre Award and Rashtra Vibhushan Award 2015 by FACE to name a few