interview | ashwin Yardi Business

‘Black Swan event has rewritten global business rules’

Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini India   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

COVID-19, the Black Swan, has rewritten the rules of future businesses across the globe, says Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini India in an interview. Edited excerpts:

Can you give us a brief account of the digital acceleration the world has seen in the last 10 months?

From healthcare to edutech, we have seen digital technologies getting to the core of solution. We see health services delivered seamlessly in a virtual mode. Similarly, intensive, classroom-based education has moved online from Ivy League universities to early-stage learning. New product development for new drug discovery is accelerated using technologies like data and artificial intelligence. We believe that technology will be more than ever a part of our lives and of all chains, whether logistical, industrial, relational or solidarity-based.

Has the pandemic made technology selling easy globally?

The new normal placed CMOs and CIOs at the forefront of a massive transformation. The pandemic has accelerated the need for marketing and IT teams to collaborate and radically transform the business to drive revenue and digital maturity. Technology now is key to business models, products and services and hence the need is pervasive across the C suite of any organisation. Therefore, the key stakeholders for the tech decision-making now extend beyond CIOs to CMOs, CTOs, CFOs, and CHROs and chief product development officers. There is a greater need for agility, especially in understanding customer sentiments and accordingly deploy need-based technology solutions.

Is the new normal impacting the evolution of technology?

We are living in a new, fragile world. A robust, workable, flexible technology-driven business strategy that is resilient to the next big disruption in global operations is the need of the hour for organisations today. The two key pillars of the dramatic changes in today’s business are cloud and data. Cloud is the technology disruptor, providing scalability, agility and cost-efficiency. It is enabling new ecosystems to share resources and get connect to information like never before. Data and artificial intelligence are enabling the creation of new business models, accelerating the transformation of companies and their client relationships. In addition, we see technologies like augmented reality (AR)/ virtual reality (VR), internet of things, 5G and EDGE Computing getting mainstream. Again, with every increasing cyberthreat, cybersecurity technologies have become extremely critical for businesses. Remote working also calls for a strong cybersecurity model.

How are technology firms, including Capgemini, staying relevant to meet the ever-changing customer expectations and tomorrow's challenges?

Capgemini is well-positioned to help businesses to survive and thrive during these uncertain times. In fact our new brand promise ‘Get the future you want’ reflects the zeitgeist of current times where world events and rapid digital transformation require people to look beyond the question of ‘can it be done?’ and rather to define whether it’s the right choice for a sustainable and inclusive future.

True, customer behaviour is changing at a staggering pace, and digital adoption has become necessary for survival. When the pandemic eventually recedes, sales and service organisations will have to continue to accommodate new attitudes and behaviours. Leaders must take immediate action to meet customer expectations of the post-COVID-19 era.

How is Capgemini readying its employees to serve in a changing marketplace?

We all know the pandemic has brought about a multitude of changes and disruptions across the globe. Today, more than 95% of our employees are working from home and this is also an industry-wide reality in IT. As a result, new ways of working have evolved with great agility. We received numerous client appreciations for continuing business operations in this difficult time. Even a few security-sensitive customers, especially in banking, healthcare and manufacturing sectors were convinced with our security model and consented to work from home for teams on their projects. For the foreseeable future, this is likely to stay. Face-to-face localised communication is something we aren’t likely to see too soon and participants in the ecosystem will have to play their part to stay relevant.

We are ensuring that our team in India is future-ready and is constantly leveraging newer technologies including machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, amongst others to bridge the gap between customers' expectations and businesses.

What is the business outlook you see for technology globally?

The year 2021 will see organisations reimagining their businesses and build back better to have a sustainable and resilient recovery. Organisations will have to unlock the value of technology and innovation to transform their business and ‘’Get the future’ they want. Capgemini’s Q3 results showed strong performance improvement and particularly highlights our increased resilience and agility. More than 10% growth in digital and cloud which now account for over 60% of Group activity.

Capgemini in India has emerged as a global business platform coupled with innovation and delivery. We have developed strong capabilities in R&D and engineering, new product offerings, account management, industry content and overall delivery. As a centre of innovation, India will play a key role in shaping, building and delivering intelligent Industry services for Capgemini globally. With almost half of our team members based in India, the country is truly at the heart of the Group’s competitiveness as well as an engine for innovation. This year will be a new chapter for Capgemini India in expanding its footprint of being the business platform of Capgemini Group.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:44:16 PM |

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