The second session at the GoaFest 2011 Ad Conclave saw diverse industry personnel come together to discuss the micro aspects of learnings from the service industry. The session was chaired by Nagesh Alai, President of AAAI, and saw interesting inputs from panelists Farokh Balsara, Sanjay Behl and Arun Tadanki.
The session began with Thomas Simon, Vice President and Global Head HR, Talent Management at Tata Consultancy Services, speaking on Talent Engagement and the rigorous selection process and training undertaken for employees at TCS and the integration and technical knowledge imparted thereafter. “In India, we are an average 28-year-old workforce. Meeting the instant gratification and work life balance needs for this generation is very important.”
Addressing the one question that matters, ‘How do agencies increase remuneration?’, Sanjay Behl, CEO, DTH and IPTV and President – Brand & Marketing at Reliance shared sharp insights. “Managing a service business is very different from managing a product business.” His proposition was to deploy five different key tools. “Firstly, define what one wants to achieve and admit that you cannot excel at everything. Next, get your financial framework right and know that excellence comes at a premium.” Employee and customer management frameworks came in next in the order. “We have realised that employees are not the cost, customers are too.” Quantifying that into an equation, he illustrated that customers plus employees equal to value creation, thus customer labour is cheaper than employee labour. “Innovate in costs, invest in technology to save recurring costs. Hire for attitude, train for skill. There is no best practice but connecting the dots between proposition, funding, employees and the customer is the best way. 20-25% is a healthy growth rate for the service industry.”
As an analyst at Ernst & Young, Farokh Balsara, Partner and National Leader, Media and Entertainment spoke on the fragmented business models of today and stressed on the need for combining media, creative and PR to offer a synchronised solution to clients.
Arun Tadanki, CEO, Yahoo! India presented key observations to the forum. “As a digital publisher, among the challenges we faced are drop in price realisations of inventory. Our first focus was differentiation. Agencies need to ask how different they are from each other, focus on value and not price, offer different levels of services for different pricing, increase accountability, and reach out to new customer segments and newer categories such as digital, mobile and new media, which will work well for the industry.” Another aspect he placed importance on was to explore new ways to attract and retain talent, and work at creating a talent pool.