Off the beaten path: A digital journey in India

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Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a customer event in India. Having not been focused on the domestic market in India for quite some time, not only was I excited at the opportunity to be back where I started my career 23 years ago, but I was also excited at this opportunity to listen to our customers and learn from them.

The event itself was focused on driving the digital agenda for insurance clients. Like all other industries, the insurance landscape is changing, and fast. Companies are being forced to deal with the dual agenda of bringing in the new while managing legacy systems. I expected to see a lot of similar initiatives given that the disruption in the industry is the same for all the companies.

But the event’s location in India addressed an interesting topic for many insurers. A country like India throws many additional challenges their way when it comes to digital transformation. For instance, data connectivity is poor, especially in the remote corners of the country, so going digital – in an inclusive manner – is easier said than done. Equipping insurance agents with cool mobile applications is simple. Getting them connected on a real-time basis — in order to actually do the magic that you can do today —  is where the challenge lies.

The experience a company can provide to a (potential) customer in a metropolitan city would be significantly different from the experience of a fellow customer in a small town. Imagine the ability to capture customer data, run analytics on a real-time basis, and offer a tailor-made insurance solution – not a standard product – that exactly fits the customer need. Now, contrast that with a this-is-our-latest-and-greatest-policy-and-here-is-why-you-should-buy-it kind of a sales approach within a small hamlet, where we can position only a standard product with basic options.

Think again of a let-me-capture-your-information-and-get-back-to-you-in-a-few-days kind of approach in that same hamlet, where you lose precious time in an industry that is hyper competitive. Combine it all with paper-based information capture – not even an offline data capture with a simple mobile device – and the experience is completely devoid of any wow factor. This last mile has often put a spanner in the wheels of digital motion. With above 68% of India’s population still living in rural areas, inclusion and comprehensiveness are big considerations for any marketer.

In the end, it wasn’t surprising to learn that companies are in various stages of their digital evolution. Many have found workarounds to the challenges that the varying levels of communication, infrastructure, and population pose. Others are still grappling with it.

DXC’s mission is to lead clients on their digital transformation journeys. The synergies derived from the HPE Enterprise Services and CSC merger amplifies DXC’s offerings for the insurance industry and hence, places it on a firm footing to help the insurers further their digital agenda.

DXC’s Workplace & Mobility offerings are all about the end user. It is about their preferences, productivity, and experiences: whenever, wherever, and however they wish to go about their business.

Providing that kind of experience uniformly across the customer base in India can be a daunting prospect and something for the IT vendors to keep in mind. Solutions are often designed for the developed economies, like those in the US and UK, but with growth happening at a faster clip in emerging markets, players can ill afford to ignore them. They need to be creative in designing solutions that address challenges such as the ones delineated above.

Sabyasachi Das (Saby) is the Product Engineering leader for Workplace & Mobility in DXC Technology. He has been in the industry since 1994, spending the last 16+ years with HPE / DXC. He joined the company in 2001 as a Business Manager in California. Prior to HPE, Saby worked with IBM selling mainframes to enterprises across India. Saby has also worked with leading Indian IT companies like HCL and Microland in various functions across Marketing, Sales Support and Field Services (Customer Support). He is currently based out of Bangalore, India.



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