IT more widely sought now globally: WNS CEO

Digital push bolstering BPM prospects

October 23, 2021 10:46 pm | Updated 11:12 pm IST - Chennai

Technology is gaining wider acceptance globally, said Keshav Murugesh, group CEO, WNS Global Services, pointing to the widening prospects for the IT-BPM industry in the wake of the pandemic.

“Every business across the globe, even if it be in a traditional area with a conservative outlook, has now climbed the bandwagon in terms of a technology-first and digital transformation agenda,” he observed.

WNS had in July raised its forecast for full-year revenue to $961- $1,009 million from the $945-$997 million it had projected in April.

While Mr. Murugesh did not give specifics as to which verticals had bolstered the revenue prospects, he said, “Insurance is a contributor; the banking and financial services vertical has done extremely well for us. The shipping and logistics area, as normalcy returns, is also very positive. I would also like to call out travel and airline business because that's definitely been a positive. We are seeing more people taking holidays”.

With normalcy yet to return fully even as the pandemic appears to be receding, the insurance industry’s potential customers have shown a preference to execute transactions online rather than meeting agents in person. “We have helped insurance firms move to self-service portals, where you can complete your entire transaction online.” Agents can now focus on their role as facilitators for various client tasks, including for claims, he said.

WNS had also enabled a Spanish airline to check COVID protocols using a digital interface. “This tool helps customers upload all the information about their vaccination, the forms needed to get to their destination and the like. As it is an integrated solution, the airline is using the tool as a differentiator to say: ‘look, there's minimal risk of COVID’. Because, when you come in, you just show your barcode and walk through to boarding the flight, as opposed to standing in a line, filling forms, displaying certificates, and the like.”

He also asserted that with signs that the pandemic was receding, business was likely to take off ‘probably post November, December, when fully-vaccinated countries start opening up, accepting others’ certificates’. “Wwe see corporate travel pick up across continents [at the time].” This would bolster the prospects for business process management (BPM) companies servicing the airline industry.

With regard to the overall technology services sector in India, Mr. Murugesh said, “We welcome the extension of norms allowing a work-from-home option for SEZ units till December 31.” A member of the executive council of the apex industry body Nasscom, the WNS chief observed: “The extension is certainly a good sign. We would also like it to be longer term and permanent. Then, the industry can come up with the right models to make announcements to IT staff in terms of work-from-anywhere.”

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