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February - 2009 - issue > CEO Spot Light
Opportunity-for-Transformation
Vipul Jain
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Every challenge is an opportunity for change. I believe that the current economic downturn poses an opportunity for change both for our customers and for us as suppliers of solutions for airline, travel, and logistics industry. All these industries face a slowdown in demand and are in an environment of intense competition. We are in the eye of the ‘perfect storm’ as the IATA calls it. In response to these challenges, the ALT industry is driving initiatives that will make them leaner and more agile. This means simplifying business processes and outsourcing non-key business processes. There is an increased focus on profitability, reducing revenue leakages, and faster cash flows. Another thrust is in terms of innovation and understanding the customers better. Those customers who can transform their businesses despite the challenging environment will continue to thrive, while others will find it very difficult.

We all know that for a customer the end goal is an efficient and effective business process. Traditional BPO only looks at replication of the customer process and thus the value lies largely in cost savings. Transformation of the underlying application technology can deliver huge savings and a more efficient process. And that has been the promise of technology companies. Customers, therefore, had to go to two different suppliers - one for BPO and the second for technology and have had to deal with the problem of managing both. The platform based outsourcing takes this problem away and delivers transformational as well as outsourcing benefits. Kale follows this model to provide revenue accounting services to the industry, and slowly but surely the model is gaining wide acceptance in the industry. We see this as well as SaaS as being delivery models that hold great promise and provide access to untapped markets.

The current economic scenario is definitely a trying time for entrepreneurs. The very basics of business acumen and corporate governance are subjected to severe tests and companies built on flimsy value propositions will perish. But history has shown that the best and path-breaking ideas emerge during the worst times. A positive can-do attitude, unrelenting perseverance, and a die-hard commitment to excellence can lead any entrepreneur to success.

The author is CEO & MD, Kale Consultants.Kale Consultants is a Pune, India based company providing solutions to the logistics industry.
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