Given the impact of technology on global consumer businesses today, Brillio, founded by Raj Mamodia, is helping 42 of the Fortune 500 companies digitally transform their systems and processes to compete better in the global market and stay relevant to their customers
To understand the ambition behind Raj Mamodia’s maiden venture, Brillio, we need to draw a parallel to a fundamental practice Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had inculcated into his meetings; the empty chair. Periodically, Bezos leaves one seat open at the conference table with the idea that every employee at the meeting should consider that seat as one occupied by the customer, the ‘most important person in the room.’ “If you observe the company closely, Amazon tracks its performance against about 500 measurable goals and nearly 80 per cent of these relate to customer objectives,” notes Mamodia.
This practice of customer centricity inspired Mamodia to found Brillio. “After spending 12 years in an executive role, when I joined Collabera in 2013, I was hoping this platform would help build a company for the future, one that adapts and innovates to keep pace with advancements in technology and scale around customer centricity,” he reflects. But, having spent a year spearheading a 12,000 member organisation with a set culture, Mamodia decided to part ways with his leadership role and instead, create a future focussed company. “Culture plays a very important role in innovation. And, although Collabera was a good business, I didn’t see this as a company where I could build a futuristic business for the next 20 years,” he shares.
Step one in entrepreneurship
With the single-minded goal of understanding the impact of technology on consumer businesses, Mamodia spun off Brillio in April 2014. Established as a technology-first business, with a specific focus on the new know-how in technology, Brillio was built on the premise that newer technologies such as wearables, artificial intelligence, big data and virtual reality are fast becoming mainstream, as a result of which consumer behaviour is also fast changing. “This change requires companies to have a different set of skills and implement new technology in shorter cycles to compete better and become technology first businesses. This is the gap we wanted to address,” explains Mamodia. To do so, the company realised that speed is important and operating as an external partner would ensure quicker implementation.
Once the larger vision for the company was set, Mamodia carried forth key learnings from his earlier stints which he made a part of Brillio’s work culture. First among them was to build a culture of speed which would in turn trigger rapid innovation. The second was to design a clear vision and strategy for the business, right at the beginning. “Our vision was to drive new know-how in technology to our clients and speed of execution for customers. Once we had clarity on this front, the next step was to convey this proposition to every single employee within the organisation,” he says. The third learning he implemented was people recruitment and management. “You cannot achieve your objectives if you don’t have the right people. It’s a learning curve, it takes time to get this right, but you don’t build businesses overnight,” he opines.
A spectrum of solutions
With over 2,500 employees currently on board, Brillio works with 42 of the top Fortune 500 companies across retail, banking, pharmaceutical, consumer goods, media and telecom industries. Its practices focus on five aspects; firstly, digital transformations, wherein Brillio helps companies arrive at the right digital strategy to stay ahead of their consumers and competitors. Secondly, digital experiences, wherein it helps companies design user interfaces which enable customers and employees to gain easy access to applications and systems, engage, communicate and transact in a manner familiar to them. Thirdly, big data analytics, through which companies can make better sense of numerous data points and generate relevant and high impact discoveries about their customers. Fourthly, digital engineering, through which it enhances the underlying technology foundation which ensures digital security, aligns technology solutions, business processes and strategies to digital and business goals and analyses opportunities for automating operations and designing smart workflows. Lastly, apps next, which helps build a flexible foundation of business and enterprise systems which can seamlessly integrate into the digital world and stay relevant with technological changes.
To explain the company’s business model better, Mamodia uses an example. Micheal Foods Inc., a U.S.-based food processor and distributor of egg products, refrigerated grocery and potato products, wanted a technology partner to improve business agility and provide IT efficiencies. Brillio tackled this through a three-step process; one, upgrading its system to SAP 4.7 to ECC6.0 within three months, thus helping the client realise US $500,000 in saved opportunity cost and zero business disruption. Secondly, the liquid egg conversation mobile app enabled the client’s sales team bring together the customer community and demonstrate the value proposition of their products. Thirdly, through a hybrid mobile app for the RFP (request for pricing) sales process, Michael Foods eliminated manual and laborious processes and gained sale cycle efficiency through built-in workflows.
Incubation and imagination
On India, Mamodia points out that 30 of the top 100 companies collaborate with Brillio on technology know-how in the country and reveals that revenues from the country contribute to seven per cent of its overall share. He makes a surprising observation, “The Indian market is way ahead of its western peers in terms of technology adoption. For example, we’re now working with a savings company to analyse millions of transactions every week to deliver relevant consumer insights.”
Being an agile, technology-reliant business, innovation forms the core of Brillio. To keep pace with the rapid evolution in tech, the company has built two teams; the incubation team, which experiments with technologies which may be relevant to customers and the imagine team, which focuses on rapid ideation. “About 100 employees work as part of both teams. Aside from this, we also invest in academia to skim through additional information,” says Mamodia. In fact, the company has recently invested in artificial intelligence, with the goal that every one of its solutions will be powered by AI by 2020. “We have already started incorporating machine learning into our systems. We want to become a pure play digital leader in the near future,” he shares. As for the numbers, in the same time period, Mamodia hopes the company is able to touch the billion dollar mark in revenues.