India is becoming digital; every business is focusing on adopting the new technology that help them to grow. Be it enterprise or small, every business is looking for the easy and effective solution to cater their needs. In conversation with PCQuest, Sai Pratyush, Additional Vice-President, Product Management – Managed Services, Enterprise Business, Tata Teleservices, spoke the new TDBS which is helping business to move ahead in this digital world.
How is TDBS enabling SMEs to adopt digital solutions?
The SME segment is seeing promising growth and companies are moving up the value chain by integrating digital technology into their operations. Businesses today acknowledge that while faster adoption of technology helps them in cost rationalization, it also enables them to reach their customers faster, service them better and manage the organization more efficiently by connecting offices, partners, and the larger ecosystem for closer collaboration and proactive servicing.
TDBS, today, effectively plays the role of a ‘Technology Catalyst’ that enables the SMEs to chart their digital growth strategy and realize their full business potential. With continued innovation in our products and services, we have evolved from simply being connectivity partners to being a holistic one-stop-shop ‘business solution partners’ providing overall ICT requirements of SMEs. We have the expertise not only in the connectivity space but in the digital space as well which allows us to take end-to-end ownership of the entire solution, be it devices, applications, or connectivity. Our extensive channel network gives us the ability to offer these solutions across the length and breadth of the Country as we believe that the need for these solutions also lies beyond the top tier cities.
SME customers want solutions which are easy to deploy and are cost effective. TDSB offers SMEs the widest portfolio of services which includes not only telecom infrastructure but Cloud, SaaS, and other enterprise mobility solutions. It is our continuous endeavor to ensure that our customers can procure these services easily and more importantly, in a cost effective manner. We have empowered our SME customers by developing solutions which can be configured on a pay-per-use basis and are cloud based which means that they do not have to make upfront investments.
Digital and process automation have changed the way businesses operate and hence they are now opting for solutions like Internet of Things (IoT), Fleet Management, Mobile Device Management (MDM) and other ICT services. We follow ‘lifecycle management’ approach to addressing the specific needs of customers on a regular basis. Through this, we intend to take care of every requirement of the customer in a more engaged and persistent manner. Irrespective of the size of the SME customer, we provide an “individualized” account management experience through our Sales and our ecosystem partners.
TDBS is also doing its bit to educate SME customers on the whole concept of digitization. We are doing this through symposiums, forums, and webinars. Every year, we conduct Do Big Symposiums – a thought leadership platform, where industry stalwarts from across business verticals convene to discuss how digital technologies are used to deliver compelling products and services, connect faster with customers and optimize costs. TDBS spends a lot of time and efforts in terms of conducting events, which helps enterprises understand a lot more about what digitization and what it can do for them and how soon can they go digital.
How do you see growth in digital adoption in India?
According to various industry forums, India is home to 36 million SMEs employing close to 80 million people across the country. The SME segment is growing rapidly and is fast adopting technology to become more effective and efficient in their deliveries. Digital technology has become the crucial driver in shaping the economy and has evidently become more embedded into the fabric of businesses in each sector.
At the heart of this very development is the new age consumer who is always connected to the internet to make informed decisions and demands a very responsive and customized attention. Companies which are quick to adopt innovative technologies and move towards this growth curve will remain fittest to survive. The digital ecosystem will fuel the economic growth and create tremendous new business opportunities, especially for the SMEs. The internet economy in India is becoming a major contributor to GDP and is expected to grow exponentially in next few years. The Internet is enabling businesses to interact with their customers in an entirely new way. Social media is also impacting the way businesses operate and businesses realize that Digital is a medium they cannot do without. With increased penetration of the mobile technology and highly democratization of data particularly in currently internet dark regions, one would see a major socio economic transformation.
What are the challenges faced by SMEs in digital solutions
Though SMEs are more flexible and open to evaluate and implement off the shelf digital solutions, they often face challenges both before and after they decide to adopt Digital solutions. These challenges include lack of technology know-how, availability of skill-sets, funds, cost, and return on investments among others. Addressing these challenges will be critical to growth and development of SMEs. While most SMEs are keen on adopting the technology, a lack of awareness and skill-sets holds them back. They are also unsure of which technology model to choose since they have varied requirements in terms of scalability, flexibility, and costs.
Once these SMEs have decided to go down the path of Digital, they face numerous challenges in the implementation phase as well. Digital solutions constitute multiple components from separate providers and typical challenges arise in terms of getting these different OEMs/providers to work together towards a common goal.
What are TDBS’s business, and network expansion & optimization plans?
SME and mid-market space is growing, and we continue to grow our market share in this space. TDBS has one of the largest channel partner networks in India, which allow us to reach out customers who are geographically spread out across the country. As a Digital Evangelist, we are committed to enabling SMEs in the country to realize their full business potential.
For the next 2-3 years, we aim to –
- Focus on reaching out to the next one million potential SME customers. TDBS aims to double the customer base to 1 lakh in the near future, with the help of our comprehensive product portfolio
- Double the growth trajectory to 25-30 percent in the coming years. The optimism for such high growth curve stems from the huge headroom available for growth in the SME space
- Reach more locations through physical partnerships, the digital medium and our transition from a connectivity provider to a one-stop-shop business solutions provider.
In terms of network growth, TDBS will be strengthening its services by adding 2,000 new fiber locations every month to the existing 125,000-km-long fiber network.
How much growth do you see in terms of technology adoption for Internet of Things/M2M/Cloud/Focus on Smart Concept?
The ICT market is all set to boom with the massive digital disruption SME’s and MSME’s have created in India. In India, IoT is gaining traction in a few areas but it’s early days yet. Most research companies project that 2-5 billion devices will get connected by the year 2020. According to a recent NASSCOM study, in the next five years, the global opportunity brought about by IoT is likely to touch USD 300 billion and in comparison, India too would boast of a USD 15 billion market.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is fast becoming a major transformative opportunity for enterprises both large and in the SME space. Many organizations have started their IoT journey in the recent years, but most of them are yet to move beyond pilots to create enterprise-level transformative IoT strategies.
Despite widespread awareness, large scale adoption and implementation of IoT is still a challenge primarily because organizations are still struggling with the IoT ecosystem and more importantly, the business case to justify IOT investments. That, however, is set to change. We are witnessing the successful adoption of IoT in Utilities, Logistics, Transport and Retail in India.
As per an EY report, companies have enhanced their focus on mobility as against social, resulting in a change from Social-Mobility-Analytics & Cloud (S-M-A-C) to Mobility-Analytics-Cloud & Social (M-A-C-S). The second-generation entrepreneurs are currently opting for M-A-C-S technology to boost revenue, bring operational efficiency and transform the customer experience. Cloud technology has seen a significant rise in the SME sector. SMEs recognize the value of cloud and have begun their transition. According to industry reports, 90% of SMEs in India feel cloud adoption is increasingly important for innovation and enabling business success. Additionally, 87% of very ambitious Indian SMEs believe enterprise applications, analytics, and mobile solutions will play an important role in achieving their ambitions.