Krishnakant Gaitonde (Head of IT - Avantha ERGO)

My primary challenge is for myself and my organization ensuring that we do a catch up with more established players. Some of the players who have had a need of over 15 years in the space who have set up their platforms, who have set up various tools that enable their sales and done this all over a period of 15 years. I have to do this in the space of year and half, so that’s being one of the primary challenges.

Additionally, given the economic scenario as well as some of the conditions that are prevalent in the market. The pressure is extremely high on trying to make sure that investment in technology is very cost effective, so these are some imperatives under which I operate. Also from a sales and consumer perspective, they expect technology with latest tools. You cannot compromise on the delivery and the quality of the output. But you are forced to deliver within the budgetary countries.

Some of the emerging trends and some of the heartening developments in the technology area over the past few years have been the emergence of cloud, the emergence of platforms and solutions that are offered on the cloud as a OPEX model or as PaaS etc that enable me to being a small player to leverage upon the best of the platforms without investing heavily and acquiring licenses.

When I am in organization of 600 people strong I’m probably able to spend as much as it requires to keep those 600 people operational. When I grow to 2000 it will enable me to spend accordingly. The spend on technology is variable to the growth of the organization and that is one of the developments. I think around 8 years or 10 years ago when we had originally started we did not have the benefits of these models and this is definitely a welcome in development.

One of the other welcome developments has been the emergence of these low cost devices, the emergence of tablets, different form factors which enables our sales guy to operate more effectively. Originally you had an insurance pitch being made only on opponent people. Today sales folks are able to actually engage with our customer or prospect on entire basis. If I have to predict that what might happen over the next couple of years I think increasingly with need to reach out to more and more of the Indian population, the salesforce will not have the level of knowledge to be able to engage with the customers for deeper business. They will engage with the customer at certain points but beyond that if customer starts asking specific questions or queries with respect to the state of economy or predictions with respect to how the interstates are going to go then they probably need some support from the expert’s backend office. So collaborative solutions enable them to do either a voice chat or a video conference, while on the field is something that tops my agenda and I am sure that this is different for various industries since I come from B2C industries. For our industry this kind of spreading intelligence without really moving the expert on to the field is one of the key initiative that I can think of in the coming year.

So one of the key trends that emerging in the industry has been the reduction of monopoly of state insurance. The service and sales are doing well and focusing more on insurance company. All of us are operating in that same space where we are actually going out and trying to make sure that we are able to get our higher share of the customer. In order to do this therefore one of the key trends have offered personalized solutions so early you probably had lead analysis. Now you can actually see that is it banking relationship manager, investment advisor or an insurance advisor.

Currently we are at the state is that we have seen a sharpening focus on some of these kind of tools. We feel that these solutions will still sharpen because the customer is now spoiled for choice. So branches and physical presence is slowly going down and we will soon have point of sales being done out of individuals homes because that reduces the cost of enterprise. With the economy growing we see that year growing will definitely going to be more important in our skim of things than they were before.

Digital Security - On one hand you want the flexibility and on the other hand there are always the threats about customer data getting compromised. So I think the solution relies in trying to get the right balance of what data you are going to secure and guard with your life and what data you are actually content to put out on the cloud and put somewhere of security but at the end of the day it’s still that data which you are not guarding as much. But some of our core systems we put our own hardware, we secure it and make sure that is compromised.