Digital Innovation in India: The Road Ahead
India is rapidly becoming a digitally-empowered society and economy, opening up new growth and efficiency opportunities for corporates along the way. Successfully embracing digital innovation is both a science and an art, however, as four industry experts explained during a lively panel debate at HSBC’s recent Global Liquidity and Cash Management Digital Innovation and Transformation Forum hosted by Lance Kawaguchi, Managing Director, Global Head – Corporates, Global Liquidity and Cash Management, HSBC in Mumbai.
Enabling business transformation through digital innovation
Eleanor Hill, TMI:
How is India’s digitisation journey progressing – and how can corporates take advantage of digital innovation to transform their business models, drive growth, and re-engineer legacy processes?
Divyesh Dalal, HSBC:
Digitisation is advancing at a rapid pace across India, even in remote locations. Government and regulatory initiatives are among the key drivers, but consumer trends and technology evolution are adding to the momentum.
In terms of milestones, the reach of the country’s digital ecosystem has improved markedly since the government launched the Digital India initiative in 2015. Alongside this, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has been working hard to build out new digital infrastructures, including the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in 2016.
On the back of these co-ordinated efforts, the retail landscape has evolved, since more consumers are now able to make digital purchases with ease. Their confidence in technology is also growing, and cash transactions are steadily being replaced by electronic ones – for everything from utilities to insurance and investments. In turn, corporates are quickly adapting their business models to better leverage digital innovation and revamping customer experiences to meet this new demand.
Rahul Tayal, LG:
Absolutely. Updating and even reinventing our business model to leverage the power of digitisation is a top priority at LG. As a consumer electronics giant, our aim is to know our customers as well as we possibly can - in order to drive sales through one-to-one targeted promotions. The best way for us to do that right now is to further embrace digital innovation.
Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing provides a platform to focus on a specific target audience. Moreover, campaigns are designed on the basis of consumer habits and preferences. Already, over 400 million consumers in India are connected to the internet. The country is also home to 300 million smartphone users, each spending an average of four hours a day using apps. There is therefore a tremendous potential to target a particular audience; digital media is evolving and new trends are emerging.
The other important aspect of digital marketing is that brands can now go beyond the 20- or 30-second television commercial and create more effective, and more amplified, digital communications. For example, today we are capable of launching a product in one city and then connecting our trade partners, employees and consumers to it – across India and the world – through social media platforms at the same time. This helps in creating awareness and recall for a new launch. It also creates engagement with the audience, which in turn translates into leads.
Srinivas Jain, SBI Mutual Fund:
We are also looking into the possibilities that data holds, as well as digital innovation as a means to improve legacy processes. The back end of our business has been digital for some time, but the front end has traditionally been paper-based and many of our treasury customers still send us instructions by fax. While we have an automated fax management system that has led to process efficiencies, we wanted a better way to serve our 6,000 odd institutional clients.