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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
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 is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
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 is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
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.
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.
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
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 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 (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 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 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.
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
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
José Pérez is an experienced customer service leader for Latin American (LATAM) markets in the diagnostics industry. The diagnostics industry is playing a key role in testing patients for COVID-19 and tracking the pandemic’s evolution across various countries. In this scenario, José helps enable the adaptation of processes, strategies and operations in his current organization to improve stakeholders’ experiences in LATAM markets.
Interviewed by Ritu Josan
// What significant challenges are you facing as a result of COVID-19, and how do you work around them?
It is obvious that our customers and environments are changing. To make decisions in an uncertain environment and keep delivering new products and services regularly have been some of the major challenges we have been facing as we have been forced to do things differently without any testing. To survive in this scenario, it is key to enable people and customers with positive energy and to keep them motivated, which is definitely a challenge when you are not completely clear on how long this situation will last and what is the size of the effort we still need to make.
// Have your customer service delivery levels been impacted by COVID? How?
The majority of activities included in our service delivery have remained the same, thanks to the passion and commitment from our people in the field, along with the decisions taken to keep them safe. The main impact that we have seen is in activities requiring travel across long distances as lockdown restrictions are something beyond our control. This situation, basically, has led to us using our creativity and working together with our customers to collaborate and close the gaps when required.
// Has rep productivity been impacted by COVID-19 circumstances? How are you addressing this?
Productivity in the field has been even higher than in the past. For sure, we experienced some unexpected limitations in our operations, which is why we realigned our focus on specific tasks to achieve impressive performances. We learned that some things were not completely necessary in our operational processes.
// How are you onboarding and training your customer service executives under current circumstances? How effective has it been?
There have been many new developments, out of which the most relevant has been the ability to stay connected with the help of new training models and other digital tools. Many things have changed, but what remains relevant is staying connected with the willingness to learn. This is very important as it makes any training effective, even in the most challenging scenarios.
// What changes have you observed in customer behavior during this period?
The COVID-19 situation has led to companies coming up with more creative ways to do business and dealing with their customers with more empathy. The customer service aspect of our operations is even more relevant nowadays and the value we provide has become more visible. We are thankful for the adaptability our customers have shown to experiment with new collaboration models and try out new products designed to improve their experiences.
// Have you noticed a change in the difficulty level of calls fielded since COVID-19?
Not the difficulty, but the frequency of support requests has increased. With lockdowns, risk factors and other limitations, new people have been involved in daily customer service operations and that requires new training and learning processes, which naturally leads to more questions. The difficult part is when you have a higher demand with the same resources, but then that is exactly when we need to act.
// How has customer satisfaction trended since the advent of COVID-19? Do you have any insight into why?
Once we learned to live with the limitations created by COVID-19, it has been very positive. Customers have been under a lot of pressure to keep diagnostics available for patients and they are counting on our help to support the healthcare system. Since we are facing the same operational challenges, we appreciate the support that we provide each other. Things we considered impossible at the beginning of 2020 are now a part of the new normal.
// What has been your single biggest focus during this period?
Keeping our teams in the field safe has been the top priority for all of us at my current organization. Without them, it is really hard to maintain our operations. The other important thing has been to recognize their daily efforts and passion to support our customers, which in some cases even involves putting themselves and their families at risk. Now, we are incorporating all the learnings from the last few months and working to develop new and innovative processes.
// If you could share one piece of advice with the industry at large during this time, what would it be?
We need to keep listening to our customers. We can find the solutions to multiple problems, the keys to success, the potential for new opportunities and a whole lot more when we listen to our customers. They have the answers that we are looking for and can help solve multiple issues on both sides.
// What is the most significant learning you have personally taken away from this experience?
For several years, I have always been convinced that service is all about human interactions. That has become more relevant now than ever before and shows that when we are close to our customers, we can achieve wonderful things together. To listen to every idea and act on the more relevant ones can help us exceed customer expectations and facilitate loyalty. Sharing these findings with our teams on a daily basis should also be a part of our roles and deserves a lot more energy from our side.