Conventional marketing has to co-exist with digital: Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Tech Mahindra

Tech Mahindra’s chief strategy and marketing officer Jagdish Mitra on the company’s strategy to invest in start-ups


India’s fifth largest IT firm, Tech Mahindra is investing in start-ups and promoting innovation in India. In an interview with exchange4media, Jagdish Mitra, chief strategy and marketing officer, Tech Mahindra shared some of his views on start-up investments, consumer needs and how the IT market is evolving with time. Excerpts:

 

In 2016, Tech Mahindra board approved an investment of Rs 200 million in “garage start-ups”. How far ahead is the work?

 

Tech Mahindra both from the DNA perspective or cultural aspect always encourages new ideas and this was an idea to try to get into shape both internally and externally and convert it into a project. Well, the board didn’t have to approve a certain amount of money for start-ups; the company decided that they want to create investments around start-ups. We created at least 20 such platforms in which we have invested, there are multiple platforms in which we have partnered and it has actually worked pretty well , it is a Tech Mahindra strategy that drives both incubating internal ideas and supporting external as well.

 

How have marketing techniques changed with respect to time and consumer needs?

 

See if you look at marketing or any other aspect of communication, it will change where consumer behaviours are changing. There was a time people used to read all the information through newspapers, advertisement on print media and now we are consuming news, information and content on a variety of mechanisms and primarily it is now on digital. 

 

Marketing is also changing towards digital and what digital does is that it constantly looks at creating content, which means content is becoming the important part of targeted marketing.  Digital is allowing us to improve our focused and targeted marketing in multiple ways, with digital we have the opportunity to do analytics which tells you about an individual’s likes and dislike. 

 

Do you think digital marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?

 

Well it is an interesting world. I think the way to look at the new age services or new age things in life are just like the way we communicate or consume. We only accentuate the behaviour or reinforce the behaviour; to a large extent both co-habitat, one enables the other. In a B2C world we see advertisements in television, print and billboards but now in the digital world, the ability to consume content on Internet becomes wider. Today, we are consuming content in multiple ways. It is definitely true that shifts start to happen because it all depends on where you are spending your time to consume content. For me it is not fair to say digital will kill conventional marketing, it has to co-exist with digital.

 

How is Tech Mahindra promoting innovation in India?

 

I think from every perspective we have been focused on doing technology work which enables and solves business problems that exist in India. We have been in healthcare, if you know about EMRIs or HMRIs programmes, the technology infrastructure behind it and the whole emerging management is the platform run by us. Secondly, what we are doing with the UP Police 100 is a great example of how both technology and empowerment can deliver much better services and solution; it actually drives conversation which gives more insight to authorities in the UP Police. With our CSR we are trying to do skill development by developing 100 odd smart centres across India which enables people from the lower strata of the society to take up the jobs. 

Hence, our core strength is technology and we are constantly focused on trying to improve quality and basic necessity of life of people in India.

 

Tell us something about Socio?

 

Socio is almost part of a larger platform called ‘carexa’, it is a digital customer platform experience which takes robotic, Artificial Intelligence and digital media together and therefore enables brands to decide what is their positioning in the media and social world. Socio does social media analytic behaviour; it is an innovative software and is basically called to do an action on social media platforms. It captures sentimental analysis, it captures all the behaviour around it and tells you that this step needs to be taken in order to monitor and manage. 

 

How is the new H-1B Visa policy a challenge for the IT sector?

 

It is important to recognise H1 as a key part of our business, the H-1 allows you to use talent and skills wherever in the world, but it is not an unascertainable problem, today the digital world allows us to do multiple things together with distance and tools like Skype, telepresence, video-conference or such types of multiple mechanisms. I think there will be some minor changes, right now there isn’t anything which worries us.

 

What strategy is Tech Mahindra following to be future ready?

 

We are a technology focused company and our strategy is not only to drive or focus our company but enable our customers to transform. Our IT to DT strategy basically enables companies to change from leveraging technology to using digital as a transformation tool. We have used five vectors to drive the change in company; we call it DAVID which stands for Digital, Automation, Verticalisation, Innovation and Disruption as the core fundamental strategy to every solution and leveraging to drive in every customer. 

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