Mr. Joyjeet Bose, a veteran of over two decades in the telecom industry, chats with Team Smart CEO on digital transformation in SMEs, the role of technology as a catalyst and opportunities for Tata Docomo Business Services in India’s SME landscape.
Digital Transformation is a critical action item for management teams/promoters of SMEs today. What are the key products/services in Tata Docomo’s offering that can help them make this transformation with ease?
Tata Docomo Business Services (TDBS) plays the role of a ‘Technology Catalyst’ enabling 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’ to SMEs.
Our digital offerings across following service categories are –
- Cloud & SaaS: Colocation, InstaCompute, Managed Hosting, PrepTest
- Collaboration: Conferencing, Document Management, International Bridging Services
- Connectivity: Data Solutions (ILL, MPLS etc), Managed Solutions (CDN), Voice Solutions (PRI, SIP etc)
- IoT: Asset Management, Fleet Management, Workforce Tracking, School Bus Tracking
- Customer Connect: Call Register Services, Hosted IVR, SMS Solutions, Toll Free Services, Digital Survey, Live Chat
- Security: Mobile Device Management, DDOS, vUTM
We follow the ‘life cycle management’ approach to address the specific needs of customers on a regular basis. This helps us in taking care of customer requirements in a more engaged manner. Irrespective of the size of the SME customer, we provide a “personalized” account management experience through our Sales and our ecosystem Partners. Our extensive channel network gives us the ability to offer our solutions across the length and breadth of the Country, going beyond the top tier cities.
What are some of the biggest challenges faced by SMEs, and plans to tackle these challenges?
Some of the biggest challenges faced by SMEs include lack of technology know-how, availability of skill-sets, funds, 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 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.
TDBS is effectively playing the role of a ‘Technology Catalyst’ by digitally transforming companies, helping them chart their digital growth strategy. With continued innovation in our products and services, we have evolved from connectivity partners to being a holistic one-stop-shop ‘business solution partners’ providing overall Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) requirements of SMEs. We offer SMEs the widest portfolio of services and solutions which include not only telecom services but also Cloud, IoT, SaaS and enterprise mobility solutions. TDBS is strongly focused on product innovation and has been offering many “firsts” to the industry and businesses alike. The product portfolio is built to offer best fit solutions to SME customers across India.
Creating awareness and educating enterprises about digital benefits is important for the industry to evolve and catch-up with a fast-growing economy and ever changing technology landscape. TDBS educates customers on the whole concept of digitization. We are doing this through symposiums, forums, and webinars.
What are your top priorities at TDBS today?
The SME segment is growing fast and is adopting ICT aggressively for business benefits. We are the leading players in the enterprise space and we continue to grow our market share in the small and mid-market segment. There is huge potential for future growth in the SME space, as technology adoption is still at a nascent stage.
Our top priorities today are –
- Focus on reaching out to the next one million SME customers, across key industrial clusters in India
- Reach more locations via channel partnerships and digital platforms, for a closer collaboration and effective customer servicing
- Transition from being a ‘connectivity provider’ to a one-stop-shop ‘business solutions provider’. Continue enhancing our portfolio of services, with major focus on Managed Services offerings to customers
- Keep adding value to our existing customer relationships by introducing more relevant services and upgrading to the next level
While the Telecom industry’s role in the B2C world has been emphasized a lot, there is not much written about the opportunities for telcos in the SME ecosystem. Please give us a perspective of the major opportunities for TDBS in serving SMEs
According to industry estimates, 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 business in each sector.
At the heart of this very development is the new age consumer who is always connected on 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. Digital ecosystem will fuel the economic growth and create tremendous new business opportunities especially for SMEs. The internet economy in India is becoming major contributor to GDP, and is expected to grow exponentially in next few years.
Which sectors within the SME landscape are exciting for your firm?
We are an established telecom service provider in the ICT space, and have the capability and capacity to deliver all ICT need of SMEs across all business verticals.
In the South, our primary focus is on sectors such as BFSI, IT & ITeS, e-trading, Gems & Jewellery, Manufacturing, Pharma, and Start-ups.
Please share some interesting marketing approaches to reaching the SME ecosystem
We regularly organize consultative workshops for SMEs to help cultivate basic digital understanding, and advise on how to scale up business with efficient operational mechanisms.
In addition, we have multiple engagement platforms such as symposiums, forums, and webinars. Do Big Symposiums – our thought leadership platform is where industry stalwarts from across business verticals convene to discuss how digital technologies are being used to deliver compelling products and services, connect faster with customers and optimize costs.
Recently, we launched the Digital Advisory Council (DAC), a panel of industry leaders whose only agenda is to help SMEs craft a cogent digital and business strategy to get to the next level. We had our first round of entries in March 2017, and are looking to continue this initiative in the coming years for the benefit of businesses across industries and across the country.
Please share names of few of your South-based customers in SME/ Start-up space
Here are details of some of our customers:
- Swiggy: A food ordering and delivering company based out of Bangalore
- Local Ramu: A one stop home service provider based out of Bangalore
- Kalyan Jewelers: A Kochi based jewellery Retailer
- Indus Motor: A Kochi based car dealer