Harnessing the economic surplus of a digital economy

Harnessing the economic surplus of a digital economy
Harnessing the economic surplus of a digital economy

Tata Group firm TCS is the perfect place to start the 'Global View' series of 'India Global Business', which goes in-depth into what makes Indian firms seek markets overseas and what are some of the ingredients that create truly global brands. Mumbai-headquartered Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) prides itself as one of the world's largest services firms, with revenues of $15.5 billion and a brand value estimated around $9 billion. The firm's European arm has bagged over 30 awards for excellence in communications and branding over the years and has established itself as the fastest-growing brand in the IT services industry between 2010 and 2016. Abhinav Kumar, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Europe, speaks exclusively to 'India Global Business' on the recipe for success for a global Indian brand, the Digital India initiative and which way the Indian tech sector is headed. What is the secret of TCS′ worldwide success We are extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve over the years, leading to TCS emerging in the topmost tier of the IT services industry on almost any parameter you look at - whether it is revenues, market capitalisation, employees, customer satisfaction, innovation or any other measure used to define success. On the brand front, this year we were rated for the first time ever as the No. 1 most powerful brand in the IT services industry with an industry leading brand strength index of 78.3, accredited by the valuation authority called 'BrandFinance'. There are many ingredients that go behind creating this momentum but the two foremost ones are - our intense focus on customer centricity and the sheer talent base we have in the company. In a recent survey of 1,500 business leaders across 13 countries in Europe, TCS has been ranked for the third consecutive year as the leader in customer satisfaction in the industry, reflecting our culture of always putting the customer first and remaining relevant to them. The reason we are able to do this is that as one of only eight companies in the world which has been recognised as a "Global Top employer", we have 344,000 employees who represent the very best of talent that is available in the 46 countries we operate in. Ultimately it is this immense energy of talent, enabled by a strong and stable leadership team, which has led the company to where we are today. But we remain hungry for more, to keep going and always keep raising the bar. What are some of the company′s highlight plans for global markets in 2016 While we have attained immense scale worldwide, we remain committed to growing our operations in all of our key markets, including the United States and Europe, which as the two largest segments account for 80 per cent of our revenues. We are making significant investments in the “digital” part of our business, including the training of 100,000 of our employees on new technologies, so that we remain at the cutting edge. We are also looking to scale up our innovations on the digital front such as Ignio™ - the world's first neural automation system for enterprises, and Optumera™ Digital Merchandizing Suite, that enables retailers to leverage the power of computational intelligence to deliver shopper centric merchandising. Apart from our business growth, it is a high priority for the company to strengthen its brand across the world. Over the last five years, our branding, public relations, sponsorships, employer brand and community programmes have been recognised with 80+ awards worldwide. The company is a major brand sponsor of marathons globally, including the TCS Amsterdam Marathon and the TCS New York Marathon. Over recent years, TCS has significantly upgraded its brand presence at leading industry and leadership forums worldwide, such as the World Economic Forum at Davos and industry forums such as Dreamforce, Mobile world Congress, SIBOS and others. We will look to continue building on this growing brand presence in the year to come. How is TCS working with the Indian government on the Digital India initiative The Digital India initiative is a crucial and vital effort launched by the government of India to take the country forward. It involves three primary pillars - firstly, creating world class IT infrastructure in India including its rural belts; secondly, delivering government services more effectively through digital channels; and thirdly, boosting digital literacy. TCS has been involved in supporting the government's drive for better citizen services for many years. One strong example in this area is the Passport Seva project, which has been implemented in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode between the ministry of external affairs and Tata Consultancy Services. The initiative, which used technology to revolutionise the delivery of passports to India's citizen, has had over 30 million passports processed since its inception. TCS is very supportive of the Digital India initiative and was pleased to support the 'India Inc.' event last year in Brussels that strengthened the bilateral dialogue between India and the European Union on digital cooperation. What role can technology & innovation play in India′s growth story India' biggest opportunity remains its upcoming demographic dividend. Expectedly over 100 million people will join India's labour force in the coming 10 years till 2025, the year it is expected to become the world's most populous nation, overtaking China. In 2025, it will also have a very young population with 70 per cent of it in the working age group and only 5 per cent older than 65 years. If India can gear up its education and skills to full potential, it will at that stage be potentially comprising an entire quarter of the world's total labour force. Increasingly the skills being demanded in tomorrow's economy are knowledge, technology and creative skills. It is crucial for India to harness the opportunity and capture the economic surplus that the digital economy will present, with major technological advancements in fields such as Internet of Things, Data Sciences, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Both technology advancement and a focus on innovation are crucial in this regard. What makes TCS a ′Top Employer′ in the UK It was a proud moment for our 11,000 employees in the UK to have the company rated in February 2016, as a top employer in the UK for the sixth year in a row. The company was also rated No. 1 on the list, ahead of 70 companies in the UK which were accorded the “Top Employer” status. This follows a rigorous assessment by the Top Employers Institute based on in-depth research into nine core HR criteria: Talent Strategy, Workforce Planning, On-boarding, Learning & Development, Performance Management, Leadership Development, Career & Succession Management, Compensation & Benefits and Company Culture. The results were then audited by Grant Thornton. In their own words, the institute concluded that “Tata Consultancy Services provides an outstanding employee experience, with high quality initiatives that engage, reward and motivate employees, ensuring that people can develop themselves personally and professionally, and build a rewarding career.” How would you forecast the Indian IT industry′s growth in the coming decade The fundamentals of the Industry are strong and it should see many opportunities growth in the coming period. The Indian IT Industry is looking to close the current financial year with revenues of $160 billion (of which $108bn are exports) and already has an employee base of 3.7 million. A decade is too long a time frame to make any predictions on. The best forecast for the Industry are provided by the Industry association - NASSCOM - which is expecting a 10-12 per cent growth in exports and 11-13 per cent growth in the domestic market over the coming year 2016-17.

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