Digitisation key to innovate and remain competitive in biz: TechCircle Live

Digitisation key to innovate and remain competitive in biz: TechCircle Live
3 May, 2018

Digital transformation should be able to change customer experience, business model and the bottom line, said panellists at the TechCircle Summit.

The 2018 edition of TechCircleLive, the annual summit celebrating and providing insights into the digital revolution across Indian businesses, saw a packed house in Bengaluru this week.

The event got off to a bright start with a panel discussion on how technological innovations, or the lack of it, could make or break a business. A packed hall of budding entrepreneurs, established startup founders, chief executives of tech titans and venture capital investors also participated and shared their thoughts.

The summit discussed the need to come out of the comfort zone that traditional businesses find themselves in and seek the advice of professionals in digitising the businesses across platforms to scale up to the next level.

Panellists were also of the view that digital innovations can create new opportunities and avenues for generating revenue, only if the CEO and his team of top managers support such initiatives.

Here are some jottings from the opening session of the event which was moderated by moderated by GrowthStory founder and serial entrepreneur K Ganesh, who is also the co-promoter of Bigbasket, Portea Medical and FreshMenu.

The other panellists were HPE India CTO Krishnaprasad Shastry, Arvind Lifestyle Brands vice-president and chief information officer Piyush Chowhan, and Mohan Lakhamraju, the vice-chairman and CEO of Great Lakes Institute of Management.

Ganesh was of the view that there was an ‘overkill’ of the word ‘digital transformation’, but retail businesses were still largely physical (and static) and, unless they were willing to bring a change in customer experience, it would make them irrelevant.

Shastry, however, said that there was evidence of digital initiatives enriching customer experience, besides adding value to the bottom line and creating new opportunities, and all at a faster pace than earlier. 

According to Chowhan, digital transformation should also be able to enhance capabilities and change the business model. He added that Arvind’s decision to embrace digital technology helped it customise apparels easily and at a much faster rate to achieve scale.

“A CIO should be able to advise the CEO on the possibilities (that technology offers). When you provide different teams with opportunities for revenue growth and become part of the business, budget constraints will cease to be a problem,” Chowhan explained.

Great Lakes Institute of Management’s decision to build a mobile application to mark attendance and track the progress of students, has also yielded good results, said Lakhamraju. “By monitoring their progress every two months, we are able to address the gaps in learning for specific students and advise them on the right career choices. Right inputs available to students at the right time often has resulted in right outcomes.”

But Shastry had a word of advice. For him, the journey to digitise a business and achieve success would be long and has to pass through several small steps. “The changes should be seamless for customers and enterprises without stopping the established processes, which are on track.”

Lakhamraju added that the constant need to reskilling the workforce and the management across phases will have to be taken seriously to realise the potential of the digitisation process.