There’s a need for speed in the race to digital: Sunil Jose, Senior Vice-President, Salesforce India

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December 10, 2020 2:30 AM

“India continues to be one of our fastest growth markets and we are extremely committed to digitally transforming businesses and redefining experiences leveraging the massive cloud opportunity that the country offers,” says Sunil Jose, senior vice-president and country leader, Salesforce India.

Sunil Jose, senior vice-president and country leader, Salesforce India

Sunil Jose, senior vice-president and country leader, Salesforce India, says businesses in every industry need the tools to digitally transform with speed, flexibility and scale to keep up with changing times and customer demands. “India continues to be one of our fastest growth markets and we are extremely committed to digitally transforming businesses and redefining experiences leveraging the massive cloud opportunity that the country offers,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

How has the pandemic impacted Salesforce India and the market it operates in?

Consumers of all ages have been forced to be digitally savvy overnight with companies at all levels rethinking how they deliver to customers in a nearly 100% digital world. There’s a need for speed in the race to digital. Companies unable to pivot will be left in the dust. Digital-first is the only option, from customer service to streaming entertainment to e-learning, the UX (user experience) bar rises by the hour to maintain a desperate hold on the market. Agility and speed are critical. Projects that were planned for years down the road now need to happen in weeks and months, a necessary move to maintain customer trust during these times.

McKinsey report suggests we have vaulted five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in a matter of around eight weeks. We are proud of the breadth of industry solutions we offer to help customers get on track faster. We developed Work.com, to help businesses build trust and resiliency with employees and customers and make data driven decisions.

Given the pandemic-related economic stress, how are SMBs funding their digital journey with tools from Salesforce?

Globally, SMBs are at a critical juncture. The key to accelerating consumer demand and solving problems for scale, come down to how they leverage technology to deliver the best customer experiences. According to our Small & Medium Business Trends Report, SMB leaders in India have displayed remarkable strength and resilience with only 16% of SMB respondents expecting an entirely new structure post the pandemic and 30% expecting business to be as usual post the Covid-19 pandemic. This demonstrates that SMBs in India are resilient and positive of business continuity ensuring they get back on track.

What has been the role of digital transformation in driving business resiliency?

Necessity is the mother of invention and digitisation is more important than ever. Winning companies are prioritising speed and adaptability to both make it through the storm and seize emerging opportunities. Forget digital natives; post-Covid, everyone has been digital-primed. In the span of several months of quarantine, generations of people all around the world have been transformed into the kind of fully digital consumers previously associated only with people who had grown up digitally-native from the outset. This means large segments of society are now addressable by products and services previously out of reach because of hard-to-break analog habits.

What is the strategy behind Salesforce Industries?

Globally, Salesforce has officially introduced the next chapter of Salesforce Industries by welcoming four new industry-specific clouds for customers in communications, media, utilities and the public sector. In total, Salesforce now brings 12 industry clouds to market in order to help companies accelerate time to value, go digital faster and transform their industry. Salesforce’s existing industry capabilities and product knowledge open up new industry capabilities built on the Salesforce platform and provide customers with even more tools and expert guidance to digitally transform. We will continue to accelerate our focus on innovation across key industries, creating an ecosystem of trailblazers. Currently, in India, financial services has been a huge contributor to our business; our focus is on manufacturing, retail/consumer goods, education technology and healthcare.

Any key priorities for the year ahead?

By 2023, we will add 3,000 jobs across the country, making India a leading global talent and innovation hub for the company. Businesses are also realising a multi-cloud strategy can transform an enterprise’s capabilities as well as contribute to the bottom line. We will look at completely re-imagining what technology can do for certain industries, delivering the power of the Salesforce platform to drive innovation, business growth with scalable industry solutions. Our customised solution Salesforce Essentials, will empower every small business to get started and tap into the power of Salesforce with apps for sales and service that are easy to use, setup and maintain. Additionally, Tier 2 and 3 cities are showing great propensity to adopt and buy technology. We will focus on expanding our footprint to these regions.

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