CEO Fireside Chat CP Gurnani, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Tech Mahindra (L) with Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India (R)
The recently held Microsoft’s Future Ready Industry week, ITES edition brought together industry luminaries from across India’s dynamic ITES sector to share perspectives driving India’s digital transformation in the sector. In the CEO Fireside Chat, CP Gurnani, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Tech Mahindra told Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India about how Tech Mahindra is leveraging technology across various domains. Sharing his perspective on how India can become a digital powerhouse, CP said that the easiest way to do it is to evolve faster into business transformation, SaaS, Metaverse, or employee experience management.
An excerpt from the fireside chat session -
Anant: How has Tech Mahindra used technology not only to empower more than 144,000 people with hybrid work and cybersecurity but also its end customers through its offerings?
CP: I guess, sometimes, the velocity or the speed of the engine literally creates opportunities. And I would say that most of us always had the solution. Microsoft Teams was a product. Skype, the company that you bought, was a product. LinkedIn, again, a company that you brought, was always a product. To me, all these three moving parts were waiting for an event to be stitched. During the pandemic, all of us had to go virtual, as we did not have a choice. I am grateful that Microsoft, as a technology leader, and as a leading infrastructure player was able to bring the various pieces of technology into their product development. The fact is Microsoft Teams, two years ago and today is a huge, huge difference. And the reason is that your rate of change has kept pace with the demands of the IT customers in India and globally.
The results are here to see, the average Indian IT industry has grown by about 13 to 14% and the world over the consumption of technology has grown by about 7 to 8%, even despite the pandemic. So, I guess the future of work is here.
Anant: The Indian IT industry has been really strong around the services aspect and there's a very big trend around SaaSification. How has Tech Mahindra progressed on this IT SaaSification journey?
CP: Tech Mahindra as a system integrator or a technology powerhouse had to put all the pieces together to make sure that the client understands it is all about processes, all about technology and more importantly, it is about the business model. We are seeing today the SaaS model picking up, the data centres moving into cloud. I think SaaS is here to stay because it is a convenience, purely because it is utilized as a service, and is designed for the individual customer.
Anant: In the last couple of years, cybersecurity has become a very important aspect of business. Tech Mahindra already has lots of domain skills in cybersecurity and compliance. How are you combining that with the power of the Microsoft cloud in shaping boardroom conversations on cybersecurity?
CP: In the last two years, compliances, data regulation and the role of cybersecurity have literally become centre stage. Today when you have a physical war happening in Eastern Europe, you also know that the bigger threat is a cyberwar. Data has suddenly become a national asset. It doesn't matter whether you are a bank or a utility company, you have to make sure that you are compliant. So there are two different aspects - one is ensuring and insuring yourself, and the second is making sure that your business does not go down because you were not compliant. So thank you Azure Sentinel, for helping me protect Tech Mahindra internally and I ensure to make this point at every boardroom meeting.
Anant: The metaverse is something that everybody is talking about. Huge congratulations on the launch of Tech Mahindra’s metaverse platform, the TechMVerse. So, partnering with Microsoft, how do you foresee the impact that we can drive across together?
CP: I think, the partnership is just about to begin. At Tech Mahindra, the first question that I ask my consultant is what problem we are trying to solve. The easiest answers we all know are gamification in learning or remote working. All individuals need to have an avatar. But I think the bigger gratification to me is my employees coming back and saying it helps in productivity and efficiency, and creating a new business.
For example, a retail customer that both of us are working for, said that their biggest problem is online and that their return percentage is as high as 30%. Now, if I can bring that customer to the TechMVerse, and make him visualize, participate and take into account what the retail customer is trying to position and sell, the return percentage will reduce by 50%, in my opinion.
During the pandemic we all saw the challenges in the Healthcare sector. But think about it in the meta world - we are not only solving that issue, but we are able to personalize it. We are able to use not only the computing power but also the imaginative powers of solving a problem.
You will hear very soon about Tech Mahindra announcing the first ever global chess league in the Meta world. So, TechMVerse and the global chess league will also be a part of our joint offerings.
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