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Susan Joseph


Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.

Shubharthi Ghosh


Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.

Priscilla Thomas


Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.

Moulishree Srivastava


Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.

Avanish Tiwary


Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya


Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others. 



A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications. 

Prajwala Hegde


Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others. 

Rajesh Nanarpuzha


Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.


Priyokumar Singh Naorem


He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.


Dyuti Mittal


A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.

Sumakshi Singh


She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.

Purna Chandra Mahato


Purna Chandra Mahato is an artist based out of Rourkela, India. Trained in painting (fine arts) from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, Purna has participated in many prestigious exhibitions and artist camps. His paintings explore various aspects of colour, shade, textures, and strokes, while keeping to abstract themes; they strive for a spontaneity that is enjoyable to spectators.

Parul Gupta


A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.

Shweta Malhotra


Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.

Rithika Merchant


Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.

Aniruddh Mehta


Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.

Paramesh Jolad


Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.

Chandrashekhar Thakur


Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.

Concept and Direction

Nimish Vohra


Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.


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Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.


With greater computer processing speeds and availability of data at the level of the individual customer, marketing organizations are increasingly adopting hyper-segmentation. In a nutshell, this means that organizations are now capable of using the combination of technology and data availability to create customer segments of one. This in turn, could lead to profound changes in the way marketing departments see themselves. Rust, Moorman, and Bhalla (2010) have called this the movement from a marketing department to a “customer department”. As part of this shift, the authors have called for customer service departments to be handled within the organization, rather than being outsourced. An integral part of such an organization would be customer contact centers, which are at least occasionally manned by top management personnel. The focus on individual customers implies that customer contact centers are therefore, playing increasingly larger roles in B2B environments. 


Contact centers in B2B settings 


Specific to contact center operations in B2B settings, Salomonson, Aberg, and Allwood (2012) find that customer value creation is a function of contact center employees’ communicative skills. The authors find that the degree of attentiveness, perceptiveness, and responsiveness displayed in customer interactions have a direct bearing on customer value creation. In omnichannel contact center operations, Park et al. (2015) note that customer contacts occur through diverse channels including internet calls, e-mails, and online chats. In such environments, the authors note that better e-listening (defined as the process of receiving messages, evaluating them, and responding to them) correlates to better interpersonal service quality. This, in turn, leads to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty levels. 

Keeping these perspectives in mind, contact center activities seem to have considerable impact on customer satisfaction levels. However, the question of how much customer service at a contact center level is in fact optimum, is a vexing one. In the next section, I review academic research literature to search for answers to this question. 


Customer delight, anyone? 


Williams et al. (2011) study B2B services and their impact on stayers and defectors. Specifically, they find that customer service quality is only a weak differentiator between customers who stay with an organization, and customers who defect. This implies that customer service dissatisfaction is an important reason for defection. However, higher customer service satisfaction is not necessarily a means to differentiate stayers from defectors. 

Dixon, Freeman, and Toman (2010) use this insight to point out that customers tend to chastise inadequate service but do not always reward customer service that exceeds expectations. On these lines, the authors argue that customer loyalty is largely about how well customer service employees meet basic customer expectations rather than about providing a superlative customer experience. A potential ramification from this insight is that inordinate amount of resources are spent on trying to ‘exceed customer expectations’ in contact center service interactions, when organizations might be better off focusing on enabling contact center executives to provide  expected customer service. Dixon, Freeman, and Toman (2010) contend that organizations should put in resources to ensure that any obstacles to providing expected customer service are removed in contact center operations. This could of course be contextual to an organization, and would therefore need organization specific solutions. 


CMO implications


Rust, Moorman, and Bhalla (2010) have called for replacing Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) with Chief Customer Officers (CCOs). The implication is that organizations need to become ‘customer-cultivating’ rather than ‘product pushing’. This has particular relevance to B2B organizations. However, the caveat remains that aspiring for customer delight might not always be the best strategy across organizational functions. Specifically in contact center operations, the first step would be to remove all obstacles towards meeting customer expectations. Aspiring to delight customers then, could be the next step, to be aspired for after a detailed cost-benefit calculation of its implications. 


  1. Dixon, M., Freeman, K., & Toman, N. (2010). Stop trying to delight your customers. Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 116-122.
  2. Park, J., Chung, T. L., Gunn, F., & Rutherford, B. (2015). The role of listening in e-contact center customer relationship management. Journal of Services Marketing, 29(1), 49-58.
  3. Rust, R. T., Moorman, C., & Bhalla, G. (2010). Rethinking marketing. Harvard Business Review, 88(1/2), 94-101.
  4. Salomonson, N., Åberg, A., & Allwood, J. (2012). Communicative skills that support value creation: A study of B2B interactions between customers and customer service representatives. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(1), 145-155.
  5. Williams, P., Khan, M. S., Ashill, N. J., & Naumann, E. (2011). Customer attitudes of stayers and defectors in B2B services: Are they really different?. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(5), 805-815.