INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
Chief Operating Officer,
Bharti AXA Life Insurance
1. What does it mean to be a real time enterprise? What is really driving this change?
Customer expectations are now being shaped by their experiences in the digital economy. They now have instant access to information, ecommerce on the go, and literally the web on their fingertips. This service oriented ‘economy of now’ has drastically changed the dynamics of operating a business.
Enterprises now need to exhibit responsiveness, agility and innovation across all touch-points. A real time enterprise is one that is able to provide the right information at the right time in order to facilitate the right decision.
2. In your view, how critical is it for enterprises to put their act in place for becoming a real time enterprise?
Real time is no longer an option for enterprises but a matter of survival. Enterprises which do not keep pace with the expectations of their customers will face an existential crisis and we have seen such examples in the past, where companies have failed to transform to meet the requirements of a changing environment.
3. How do you believe enterprises are driving this change? What good practices are you seeing being adopted?
Becoming a real time enterprise is not just about adopting the right technology. It’s a change in the very manner that organizations work Organizations need to think about how it aligns with its overall business strategy and goals, what are the processes that need to be revamped or even reinvented and build a culture where employees and other stakeholders embrace this way of thinking. Culture in fact will determine how quickly companies achieve their objective of becoming real time enterprises. As demand for speed increases, the role of senior management may well move towards direction setting and enhanced, data backed decision making across all levels of the organization.
There are several good examples that one can learn from. Adobe’s business model has fundamentally changed, instead of selling boxed software, its business is now driven by cloud-based subscriptions. Google and Amazon analyze vast amounts of data to serve up instant recommendations to users. Retailers like Walmart and Tesco developed their supply chains into just-in-time operations. FedEx and UPS transformed themselves from simple shipping companies to providers of up-to-the-minute business intelligence.
4. How should an enterprise best measure the impact of these investments on their business?
Enterprises will be able to derive value for their businesses by simplifying and streamlining their systems & processes, and providing better and more relevant customer experiences. Real time information also means the ability to forecast for the future better. The impact of this will be seen in the form of reduced costs, a healthier bottom-line and increased product penetration.
5. What initiatives are being driven at Bharti AXA in this regard? What kind of success have you seen from these initiatives?
We are actively working on a number of initiatives around customer centricity and digital with analytics as the backbone.
To further strengthen the innovation ecosystem in Asia, AXA has set up three ‘labs’ in the region this year. These include the AXA Lab Asia (to accelerate digital awareness and form partnerships) in Shanghai, the Data Innovation Lab in Singapore and AXA strategic ventures in Hong Kong. These will help foster the digital culture and further the spirit of innovation across the Group.
A proactive and time sensitive approach is ensuring deeper engagement with our customers.