Nobody wants to stick to old models in tech space: Salesforce’s Arundhati
If there’s any industry that has benefitted from the debilitating Covid pandemic, it is the technology sector: companies of all sizes across businesses subscribed to digital solutions to steer growth through the crisis and reach customers, most of whom restricted by the lockdowns moved online. After two years of boom, the industry may be staring at headwinds posed by an unsettling global macro environment, marked by steep interest rates and high inflation. The market is sure divided over the implications of the economic challenges for the tech space but CEOs leading the sector seem unfazed.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairperson & CEO at Salesforce India argues that today it is imperative for companies to equip themselves with digital capabilities, and digitisation ‘is a given’. “Earlier, it was being looked at in order to ensure growth because during the pandemic years, suddenly growth stalled. So, people were scrambling in order to become omnichannel, in order to own their customers, their dealers, and their suppliers. So, digitisation was geared more towards ensuring growth. Today, digitisation is being geared more towards ensuring efficiency, productivity, and cost-cutting. Digitisation is not something that people are giving up on or they feel it is not required. Everybody very clearly understood that it needs to continue,” says Bhattacharya.
The former banker says that nobody can afford to cut back investments in technology as restricting tech budgets would essentially imply compromising one’s ability to be agile and react to changes as quickly as possible. “Yes, there might be a little elongation of the cycle in the sense that people will be more deliberate in taking the actions that they take. But there will not be any cutbacks. Agility and nimbleness are things that are absolutely going to be required. Don’t think anybody wants to stick on to old models, which are not amenable to change. I don’t think that is what industry is thinking at all,” says Bhattacharya.
As the world assumes normalcy, a hybrid operational framework will gain currency. “All of the experiences that we were having are actually now becoming multi-channel, omnichannel and therefore the need to have the digital platform to be able to support all of these seamlessly, that needs to continue in full force. Our focus is to ensure that we give you omnichannel access, to all your stakeholders,” says Bhattacharya who believes that a CEO needs to have the ability to be able to listen, and to pick up signals from the surroundings. “Change is the only constant and therefore, changing is very important. How you change, what you change to will depend upon your understanding of the situation and that understanding comes from close observation of the ecosystem around you, being open to new ideas, accepting the fact that certain things might need to be jettisoned,” says Bhattacharya.