CSS Corp Bolsters Costa Rican Operations With 300 More Staff

Outsourced CX vendor CSS Corp will add 300 more employees to its operations in Costa Rica, where it runs two delivery centers.

The Dallas-based company hosted a job fair in the Costa Rican city of Heredia in the second week of September. All the new hires would report to duty in October.

The recruitment program will take CSS Corp’s total headcount in the Central American country to more than 2,000, as the BPO already employs over 1,600 people there.

“The new workers will join the company’s 1,650 employees who provide multilingual consumer and business support in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, and Italian to global customers,” stated the BPO provider.

CSS expanded to Costa Rica in August 2013 with a contact center in Heredia. Four years later, it launched another delivery center in Cartago, a small town about 12 kilometers east of the capital, San Jose.

While multilingual tech support is the major service it provides from Costa Rica, its recent hunt for gamers indicates that the company is also using the Costa Rican facilities to support gaming consumers in the United States.

CSS was founded in 1996 in India’s southern city of Chennai. Today it employs over 11,500 people across 20 global locations, including Colombia and China.


With more patents and products, women in tech shine

If you think women don’t belong to the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, think again.

While women have traditionally been underrepresented in the STEM [Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] field, their contribution to research and development at leading companies is increasing significantly, according to many executives interviewed by DH on International Women’s Day.

The proof is in the pudding: The number of women in tech is rising and so are the patents filed by them and their inventions that won a patent.

Volvo Group India said women accounted for 38 per cent of the patents filed in 2021, versus 10 per cent in the year-ago period. German software firm SAP said about 630 patents were filed between FY16 and FY21 where at least one of the co-innovators was from its Indian arm. Uber said women now account for 42.2 per cent of its workforce, out of which 23.2 per cent are engaged in technology.

“Multiple organisations have introduced flexible working policies, anti-harassment policies, women mentorship programmes, and leadership support to establish an equitable workforce culture,” said Punitha Anthony, Senior Director–HR at technology services provider CSS Corp India.

The executives interviewed by DH said they were optimistic about more women joining the workforce, especially due to the recent initiatives at their firms.

That said, there is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to tackling issues ranging from unconscious bias to pay parity.

For instance, an unconscious bias might stop someone from calling a woman by her name in a group conversation while constantly calling out her male peer’s name, pointed out Vanya Seth, head of technology at Thoughtworks, a tech consultancy firm.  “This kind of behaviour can make people feel invisible. Yet, most passionate technologists who are women are showing up to work with the same grit every day.”


How Tech Service Providers Can Rediscover Themselves Through Rebranding

It’s been over two years since the pandemic. Two years of disruption. Two years of brands having to pivot and realign their strategies, and two years of near-constant change.

The pandemic forced brands, especially tech businesses, to deliver their services with a digital-first approach. If previously, they had relied on in-person experiences to drive impact, they now had to digitalize all those experiences. The result was that tech service providers did not just have to rediscover themselves; they had to rapidly reimagine themselves.

Simplify, Declutter, Demystify and Rebrand: Brand Trends for 2022

In this shifting landscape, some brands have armed themselves with four tools:

  • Simplification
  • Decluttering
  • Demystification
  • Rebranding

This year, brands have shown a marked shift toward simplification. Some brands have even gone as far as to ‘debrand’ themselves. The most famous example may be Facebook changing to Meta last year. A shorter brand name? Yes, why not? It’s simpler, and brands are thriving on simplicity these days. Autodesk, in September last year, said that it was ‘reimagining’ its brand with a ‘strong, simple logo.’ And the same year, TransferWise shortened its name to Wise, signifying through the simpler name that it now offered a more complex suite of services than just money transfers.

Decluttering is another trend that brands are utilizing to reinvent themselves. What does decluttering have to do with branding? Ask Pringles, which changed its logo by removing the hair on its mascot! In the brand’s words, that change was done keeping simplicity in mind.

And in keeping with the ‘simplify’ trend, brands are also seeking clearer messaging, moving away from obfuscating jargon to more subtle messaging. Aggressive campaigns are passe. Empathetic campaigns are in.

All of this means that many of the pre-pandemic ways of branding have now ceased to hold relevance. So, what better way for brands to become relevant again than through rebranding? Brands that have been nimble and agile, and adapted to changing customer expectations faster, are well-positioned to be the brands of the future.

Finding your whys

Brands may want to rebrand themselves for many reasons, as with NIIT Technologies, which rebranded itself as Coforge after its acquisition by Barings. Sometimes, it could be as simple as a merger. Other times, because they needed to connect with customers better. But usually, brands that choose to overhaul their entire personality do so for strategic reasons.

In CSS Corp’s case, we found that after 26 years, the brand had evolved from its initial beginnings as a service provider to a strategic value partner. The brand is known in the industry for its disruptive digital solutions and insights-driven services approach. Our services portfolio has expanded and shifted over the last two decades. But our brand identity and perception hadn’t kept pace with its transformation to a digital-first brand.

Going deeper, we found that our existing brand identity did not reflect who we were and the pillars that had driven this transformation. We wanted our brand to be known as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Was our brand ready to evolve? We found that the answer was an overwhelming “Yes!”

No matter the reasons behind the rebranding, knowing the answers to the ‘why’ will establish the future direction of the brand at a more fundamental level.

Rebranding as a process and continuing journey

Rebranding isn’t for everyone, though. It’s more than a new logo. It’s more than a brand refresh. It’s giving a brand the chance to start afresh. Utilized well, it’s a tool for positive change. It should be leveraged as an opportunity to infuse fresh thinking into the mindsets of all employees. It is an avenue to realize that while your problems may not disappear overnight, we will at least employ new means and energy to deal with them. Realigning the organizational aspirations with a new rallying cry can go a long way to expedite the transformation.

When we made rebranding a process of rediscovering ourselves as a brand, our new identity became clearer. It led to CSS Corp becoming Movate, a combination of ‘Momentum’ and ‘Innovate’. There are two key themes behind the company’s new positioning – Accelerate and Innovate. ‘Accelerate’ represents the company’s philosophy of helping clients achieve great outcomes with speed and stay ahead of the time curve. ‘Innovate’ represents its passion for solving complex challenges through the simplest and most creative solutions. And together, they form our new tagline, which is ‘Accelerate. Innovate. Movate.’

We also unveiled our new vibrant logo that represents our organization’s vision and what we stand for. The logo has three key elements: an inverted hourglass representing agility and speed, a hidden infinity symbol that signifies infinite potential and opportunity that the company brings to the table and the X Factor underlining the multiplier effect of the company.

From our experience, we found that, for rebranding to be a seamless process, we needed to quickly bring everybody on board with our brand’s new aspirations. This included being clear about our new messaging and ensuring that our employees understood the new positioning well.

Rejuvenating a much-loved brand is not easy. But as in the case of Evernote’s or Dunkin Donuts’ rebranding, you can always look at the past as inspiration for the future. You don’t want to lose all that valuable heritage – so make that the essence of what your brand has always been while adding or subtracting new elements. This ensures that the brand continues to resonate with customers. That’s something that we also felt was critical: CSS Corp has a long, proud history, and we wanted to showcase that history of excellence with our new vision of being agile and innovative. You don’t want your new identity to confuse existing customers: it should only make your value proposition clearer.

The pandemic may be receding from our horizon, but its disruptive impact is here to stay. And whether a brand is a tech startup or a legacy brand, the reality surrounding us now is more demanding than it was a couple of years ago. Adapting to this new reality could help a brand rediscover its mojo…or bury it.



How Indian CIOs are staying ahead of changing demand for skills

Technology adoption is accelerating across industries, and newer technologies are always emerging, so how can CIOs keep track of the necessary skills and ensure staff are up to speed? the same grit every day.”

With competition for skilled IT workers getting tighter, it’s more important than ever for enterprises to be sure they’re spending on recruiting and retaining the right talent.

IT executives see talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, ahead of implementation cost (29%) or security risk (7%), according to a September 2021 Gartner survey.

Identifying which emerging technologies will prove most useful is a challenge, though. The pace of technology has evolved so rapidly over the last few years, multiplied by the pandemic, that it’s hard to keep track — and what’s most in demand today may be obsolete tomorrow. With the accelerated pace of technology adoption, how are CIOs to identify the skillsets they need in their team?

CIO.com India asked IT leaders from different industries about the strategies they use to forecast which skills they will need.

For Giridhar Yasa, chief technology officer at Indian online financing company Lendingkart, it starts with reading. “We follow industry developments quite closely and do our own research. This happens through reports like those published by the Reserve Bank of India, industry consulting majors, and technology papers among others,” he told CIO.com.

Rohit Kaila, vice president of Walmart Global Tech India, develops IT systems for the US supermarket chain. He identifies current skill needs by evaluating his IT inventory. “There might be 10 or 20 or 100 systems out there. What are the key technologies in those systems? That is what drives the people that I’m going to hire.”

What skills are needed?

Let’s take a look at where the reasoning of some of these CIOs leads them.

CSS Corp’s Marri says the technical skills that will continue to drive the IT industry are AI, analytics, ML, open-source, languages such as Python, full-stack development, and niche areas such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

The IT leader at the renewable energy company says there will be most demand for data scientists who can translate data into more meaningful business language, cybersecurity experts, cloud architects and business analysts who can bridge between the business and the technology team.

Intuits’ Saxena highlights the steadily increasing jobs in cloud computing as enterprises in India and globally are moving workloads and applications from traditional data centres to the cloud. The most in-demand and highest-paying talents in this group, he says, are experience with AWS, AI/ML, cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes and containers, open telemetry, Kafka, GraphQL, and React. “Developers are in massive demand, thanks to rising demand for software and apps as the globe gets more digitally linked. Knowledge of Python, Java, R, and natural language processing tops the list of the in-demanded skills… Other than these, we’re also on the lookout for top talent skilled in big data; data scientists; development managers; product managers, and designers.”

Cisco’s Patil says it’s all about ‘superskilling’ as we go deeper into the digital-first world: “Organizations should implement a culture of continuous learning and upskill existing teams on critical IT skills such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, devops, AI/machine learning, data analytics, blockchain, and software/mobile development.”

As you can see, while the core forecasting methods (looking at the constants, at the business environment, at customer needs) can lead CIOs to different, yet equally valid, conclusions about the skills their enterprise needs, there are still some overlaps. Short-term competition for candidates with these skills will continue to drive up costs, making it all the more important that CIOs look at the business, analytical and soft skills that will remain relevant when the current technology fads have passed.


World Mental Health Day 2022: How India Inc is prioritizing their employees mental wellness

The pandemic propelled many organizations to recognize that mental well-being is critical to their employees overall well-being. As these needs evolve and re-define the future of work, its imperative that companies continue to focus on helping their people adapt and thrive in a disruptive environment – one in which mental resilience and self-care will take center-stage.

On World Mental Health Day, we asked the technology leaders on how companies should invest in their people’s holistic well-being, what do employees seek from their employers in a post-pandemic world and how are organizations creating and executing their mental wellness policies in more innovative ways.

Anish Philip, Chief People Officer at Movate (formerly CSS Corp)

“Technology at workplace and corporate culture are intertwined, and their impact on employee mental health and wellbeing continues to evolve. We are a digital technology and customer experience services company, and we understand the value EX and CX hold in today’s new normal. However, at Movate, pandemic or no pandemic, we have always been mindful of our employees’ mental wellbeing and have provided a healthy work-life experience. We believe in being compassionate and responsive to the needs of our 11K+ Movators and have extended our support to them and their kin dealing with mental health concerns. We follow the philosophy of FRIENTORSHIP – ‘Friendship + Mentorship + Leadership’ creating a pleasant working environment.

Mental health has a profound impact on all areas of everyone’s life and is vital for one’s overall wellbeing. At Movate, we believe in striking the right balance between technology and people and therefore, we follow the Hi-Tech, Hi-Touch approach. I firmly believe that, to address mental health issues like stress and anxiety, technology alone does not help as it cannot replicate the human touch and reassurance. To address these, we have launched several initiatives for the holistic wellbeing of our employees. We have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and various wellness initiatives that help us create effective workplace strategies for healthier, happier employees.

Keeping our people-first approach, powered with human-centered technology, we have around-the-clock (24/7) employee assistance that provides counseling and aid to employees; HR chatbots automate responses to their queries, leading to faster issue resolutions. Besides, we run digital detox/digital quarantine to enable employees to find the right balance amid their hectic schedules and conduct virtual mindfulness sessions for their mental wellbeing. We often advise our employees to stay away from any digital device every once in a while, and allow them to spend quality time with themselves and their loved ones.



CSS Corp is now Movate

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