The world’s fourth-largest software firm, Salesforce, entered India 13 years ago. Today, India is one of the U.S.-based firm’s fastest-growing markets. Its clients range from microfinance company Janalakshmi Financial Services to IT services company HCL to beer maker United Breweries to furniture and decor retailer Urban Ladder. Salesforce senior area vice-president Sunil Jose tells Fortune India why digital transformation in India is no longer just a buzzword for Indian firms. Excerpts from the interview:
What is your India focus? How are Indian companies looking at digital transformation?
When we look at the kind of work being done in India and areas of digital transformation, for organisations in India today, digital transformation is no longer a boardroom discussion. Digital transformation is not just about taking some processes and putting them on a mobile phone; it is beyond that. That’s where we start talking to people about the fourth industrial revolution, the first being steam, second being electricity, third being computing and the fourth being the ability for us to look at artificial intelligence, machine learning, 3D printing, robotics. Today, customers can look at data in different ways, and we are helping them by bridging the gap between an organisation and its customers and see how organisations can service the new-age customer in a very different manner. That’s the thinking which is different today.
How are you helping in digital transformation?
Think of it as our ability to look back at a brickand-mortar company and how they can reimagine their business as a part of digital transformation. For example, a logistics company today could be in a business of moving parcels; tomorrow it may look at giving information to customers on their parcels. We have the ability to deliver the parcel at the lowest possible cost while ensuring that the customer receives it at a time given by them. This is where we come with our technology.
A quarter of your revenue comes from outside the U.S. How does India fit in?
There are two aspects to that: the ability for us to look at India not just from revenue perspective but from an ecosystem. The larger aspect is how India will contribute to the Salesforce economy globally. Probably 1.1 million jobs will be created in India by 2022, and $17.2 billion in pure play revenues through the Salesforce economy. The ability for us to look at one billion-plus people, the ability for us to look at trail heads and skill sets of people around the Salesforce technology and technologies that are being very commonly used around the fourth industrial revolution, that’s the journey and that’s where India becomes extremely important.
(The interview was originally published in June 2018 issue of the magazine.)