“We’ve consistently applied to ourselves the organic inside-out transformation model that takes the organisation with you rather than somebody else coming from outside and artificially changing or trying to change things in a very, very disruptive way,”
CEO Rajesh Gopinathan told reporters on Tuesday, a day after the company
declared its fourth-quarter earnings. “As we engage with our customers, we’re seeing more and more acceptance of this revolutionary continuous transformation, inside-out organic model.”
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For decades, Indian IT firms have struggled to get into the “upstream” consulting business dominated by firms such as McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte, which engage with chief executives and board members of global companies to help strategize their business. Traditionally, the model has been of consultants drawing up a technology strategy and handing over the implementation to IT services companies.
As clients struggle with their strategy and business in a digital environment — where customers and employees want company applications to work as smoothly as a Facebook or a Spotify app — Indian companies who have implemented such projects for clients are looking at the upstream model as not just an opportunity, but also to own the entire cycle from consulting to implementation and managing technologies for clients.
Wipro-Capco deal warrants a mention here, for in Capco, Wipro gets a company which not only offers consultancy but also implements and manages the entire technology chain for the banking industry globally.
“If you look at consulting, say five years ago, and more, it was too far away from technology world. There was very little technology in the consulting space, a lot of consultants were not even comfortable with technology, right?” Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte had told analysts after announcing the $1.45-billion acquisition of Capco. “Conditions have completely changed. Digital has completely changed the world of consulting. The world of technology has forced a lot of consulting firms to, you know, shift to digital and digital transformation”.
To be sure, consulting firms are keeping up with the times. McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte have set up huge technology teams, largely in India, to implement the projects they draw up for clients.
And as clients embrace digital and invest more in technology, it’s up to the companies like TCS to guide them on future opportunities and needs, and drive the change, executives at the Tata Group company said.
“We don’t see it as something I’ll get downstream, we are more looking at a given transformation agenda. How do we participate in the full value chain, from conceptualization to execution?,” Gopinathan said. So that’s the approach, rather than the old waterfall approach of some upstream, some downstream. We’re looking at it as more agile, self contained sprints, but end-to-end ownership.”
According to TCS’ Chief Operating Officer N. Ganapathy Subramanian, customers are already benefiting from this shift.
TCS helped a Swiss private banking firm adopt its quartz blockchain technology to organise every single asset and seamlessly interact and connect with crypto exchanges. This helped the company engage better with their next generation of high-networth individual customers. TCS also helped the Government of Israel and the Bank of Israel break a decades-long challenge in its banking sector, by helping open a digital bank.
“In Israel, the ability to launch a new bank by the system is so difficult and complex that no new banks came up in the last several decades. So the government wanted to change, said Subramanian. “And then we actually set up a complete banking service bureau, under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Israel…The first digital bank in Israel came into operation in under nine months of time.”