October

World Mental Health Day: how corporates are ensuring the mental wellbeing of their employees

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, SocialStory spoke to corporates to understand how they are enabling employees to cope with mental health issues and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Since the onset of the pandemic, IT services company CSS Corp has been mindful about the mental wellbeing of its employees and has been offering sessions and 24×7 counselling support. Launched in April this year, it is motivating employees through its exclusive CHEER framework — ‘C’ stands for Communicating with employees; ‘H’ for Highlighting their accomplishments; ‘E’ for Energising them; ‘E’ for Engaging with them; and ‘R’ for Recognising and Rewarding them. Additionally, it also has an employee assistance programme called the Turning Point — an initiative that focusses on mental health, providing employees with the necessary time and resources to counter problems and strengthen themselves.

“Through this programme, we have ensured that the lines of communication are constantly open so that people can easily have access to professional help, as and when required,” says Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP, Head of HR (Global) and Corporate Quality. With constant feedback from its employees, CSS Corp has been trying to resolve the problems of remote working. “We believe that having a healthy work-life balance is crucial, especially in the current scenario when people are struggling to delineate between work and home. We aim to proactively neutralise burnout, anxiety, stress, and the problems that emerge from working virtually over an extended time,” he notes.

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Leaders need to be in perpetual mode of listening, understanding & acting to tackle employees’ mental health challenges

In these difficult times when organisations are trying to balance the economic compulsions with employee safety and health, Dr Rahul Kalia, Medical Director, India International SOS, said, “The inability to focus on the emerging mental health and wellbeing challenges amongst the workforce will surely undermine the overall health of the workforce and hence of the organisation in time to come, if not already.”

As companies are working remotely with employees geographically distributed, experts opine there will be a need to increase employee engagement with a greater focus on psychological safety so that people adapt to the new way of working and be more open in admitting their mistakes, without fear.

Working from home full time can sometimes cause one to feel isolated and lonely, which can further cause psychological distress. Therefore, as specialists say, communicating with your co-workers and staying in touch with your colleagues and friends are extremely important to remain mentally fit during these uncertain times.

Need for leaders to listen to their employees’ concerns and problems

Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head of HR (Global) & Corporate Quality, CSS Corp, said organisations need to go the extra mile to support employees in these times of need and to counter the probable seclusion and loneliness that has emerged owing to the remote working conditions.

He said CSS Corp recently introduced a platform, called Turning Point, that allows its employees to directly speak to experts and mental health practitioners, and seek their help towards alleviating the rigours and stress that emerge from working in today’s new normal.

“The innate need for socializing and human contact drives and motivates people. The lack of it thereof can lead to alienation and a disturbed workforce,” Visvanathan said.

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Independent research firm names CSS Corp as ‘Strong Performer’ in customer analytics services

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company has been recognized as a “strong performer” in The Forrester Wave

CSS Corp is strongest for customer support. CSS Corp excels in delivering state-of-the-art customer support solutions to its clients. And since artificial intelligence is quickly transforming the world of customer support, CSS Corp is making considerable investments in AI. Its Innovation Lab, an internal team consisting of 50 designers, programmers, and AI and natural language processing (NLP) experts, is tasked with designing next-generation AI platforms for its clients. Cognitive Customer Experience Platform, CSS Corp’s virtual assistant platform enabling voice and text interactions for customer service, is one of the lab’s most recent innovations,” said Brandon Purcell- Senior Analyst serving Customer Insights professionals at Forrester Research.

CSS Corp’s indigenous customer analytics platform, “Active Insights”, is an end-to-end solution with extensive data ingestion, analytics, and reporting capabilities. The platform is powered with AI capabilities and advanced statistical models that drive customer lifecycle management to understand customers’ intent, issues and proactively hit the target with the right recommendations and remediation.

Active Insights platform connects to multiple data sources including structured, unstructured, semi-structured, social media and sensor data. It analyzes and predicts data in real-time, high velocity, low latency, and batch processing modes. Active Insights offers intelligent insights about customer sentiments, buying behaviors and satisfaction scores that drive business success.

We are delighted at being recognized as a “Strong Performer” in Customer Analytics Services by Forrester. At CSS Corp, AI and Analytics are at the heart of our business strategy. We are trying to break the stereotypes in the services industry through the adoption of new age digital technologies that are complementary in nature. Our customer analytics services act as a catalyst for growth by enabling companies across industries to transform from traditional business models to new age service models and helps them identify new revenue streams,” said Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp.

As businesses become more insights-driven, it becomes imperative for analytics vendors to deliver the real, measurable impact that makes a critical difference to clients’ businesses. We help companies simplify business processes, understand customer’s next best action and drive additional revenue. We provide insights into customer operations, propensities, and issues resulting in enhanced experience and new business opportunities. I believe that this recognition by Forrester marks yet another milestone in our journey towards becoming the partner of choice for global organizations,” added Sunil Mittal – EVP, Chief Sales, and Marketing Officer.

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CSS Corp Emerges as a Global Leader in ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services 2020 Report

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has been recognized as a Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services Global 2020 report by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The report by ISG underlines CSS Corp’s ability towards meeting the needs of enterprises for well-orchestrated intelligent automation capabilities to automate processes and to deliver higher productivity, reduced costs, improved data accuracy and enhanced customer experience. CSS Corp was named a Leader in the AI & Analytics quadrant of the report. It was also positioned as Product Challenger in the Digital Operations quadrant of the ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services US 2020 report.

The company has received this recognition for its comprehensive suite of services driven by solutions such as Digital Contact Center 2.0 (DCC 2.0) to drive transformation and OpsMAX framework to empower employees, and by exhibiting traits of partnership to seamlessly meet and address the needs of its clients. In addition, its differentiated outcome-based pricing model and expertise in delivering insights for customers has been adding value to its fast-growing portfolio of clients.

“Disruptive technologies and engagement models are accelerating the pace of digital transformation at contact centers as they re-imagine how they can ensure a smooth and frictionless customer experience. CSS Corp has constantly endeavoured to provide world-class end-to-end support, enabled by innovative technology solutions and business models. We are proud to be the leaders in this domain and aim to continue to maximise the value we deliver to our clients,” said Sunil Mittal, EVP, CSS Corp.

“CSS Corp has put AI and analytics to effective use across enterprise clients. The company has exhibited skin in the game with its differentiated pricing models and significant business outcomes that have enabled growth for clients,” said Namratha Dharshan, ISG Lead Analyst.

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CSS open to IPO or strategic buyer, says CEO Manish Tandon

We can either do an IPO or if there is interest from a strategic buyer giving us good valuation, we are okay with it,” said Manish Tandon, CEO, CSS Corp, a $140-million technology company owned by Swiss PE firm Partners Group, on the company’s growth plans for the next three years.

In 2013, Partners Group acquired a majority stake in CSS in a $270-million transaction, and now owns 92 percent stake; the rest is held by employees, Tandon told Business Line. CSS has around 5,500 employees globally with nearly 3,950 of them in India, he said.

All PE-owned firms need to have an exit path. Some PE invested companies go through an IPO or are acquired by strategic buyers or bought over by other PE firms. Each fund raises capital for a defined time frame. They work in the private market and need to exit because they need liquidity. CSS’ case will be either an IPO or sale to the strategic buyer, he said.

If revenue crosses $200 million (about ₹1,400 crore), CSS can do an IPO, which will be mostly in India or any other capital market that gives more value, he said. For fiscal ending March 2018, the company will end with revenue of around $155 million, said Tandon.

Tandon said the company is in talks to acquire a fairly large company compared to CSS and expects to announce the deal in February or March, he said without giving further information.

Tandon said when he joined CSS a year ago there was too much focus on technical support, which was a business that was getting commoditized and without any growth prospect. The company’s strength was working with top global technology companies, including Alcatel-Lucent and Unilever.

Bets on digital

The company decided to limit its focus on technology, media and telecom sectors, and on e-commerce and digital businesses of brick & mortar companies with the focus on end customers. “We have moved from a pure services company to a new age services company by creating a platform and ecosystem for new digital world. We expect demand for digital services to be there for next 15 years,” he said.

Tandon said for a client making Wi-Fi routers, CSS used to provide technical support for end customers but today offers premium support where CSS bears the cost and shares revenue with the client.

For example, if a customer of the router company calls, CSS checks if the customer is interested in buying technology support for the entire home. Based on this, CSS sells and services that plan for which it takes 80 percent revenue and gives the customer 20 percent. It is a profit for the router company, he said.

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CSS Corp Wins Gold at the 12th Annual 2020 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards®

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Gold Award at the 12th Annual 2020 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards. The company won the award for driving ROI for clients through technology and business model innovation.

CSS Corp’s unique proposition of transforming business models for clients by offering innovative outcome-based and gain-sharing models has been instrumental in transforming front-office support and client facing infrastructure at organizations. The company has been focused on redefining the customer engagement landscape with cutting edge innovation and rendering tangible business value across client engagements.

CSS Corp’s Innovation Labs is the epicentre of cutting-edge solutions with a mandate to deliver a solid business ROI to clients. The company’s home-grown solutions like Contelli, an intelligent automation platform, harness new-age technologies to drive business initiatives at digital touchpoints, improve customer satisfaction and increase quality through intelligent business operations. Digital Contact Center 2.0 (DCC 2.0) is a platform that unifies end-user experience, operational efficiency, and engineer productivity, thus eliminating cost and human effort. DCC 2.0 improves customer experience and customer lifetime value at the point of customer interaction.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said “In today’s era of digital acceleration, organizations are looking beyond the traditional services approach to create performance and outcome-based models that feasibly integrate into existing systems. CSS Corp takes pride in being one of the leading companies that pushes boundaries towards accelerating innovation and seamlessly meets customer and business needs through our portfolio of technology-driven services. We are honoured to be the recipients of the Golden Bridge Awards consecutively for three years in a row, and we will endeavour to keep transforming and creating an impact across the industry.”

Judges from a broad spectrum of industry voices from around the world participated and their average scores determined the 2020 award winners. Winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a virtual awards ceremony in December.

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CSS Corp wins NASSCOM customer service excellence award 2017

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, has been named as the winner of the Customer Service Excellence Award 2017 by NASSCOM, India’s premier IT industry body.

CSS Corp emerged as a leader in the transformation category for its proven capabilities in creating additional revenue generation opportunities for clients globally through its proprietary tech support and analytics platforms.

The NASSCOM Customer Service Excellence Awards – 2017 were given out on October 12th, 2017 at their prestigious BPM Summit 2017 to recognize innovations by organizations that deliver highly personalized, outcome driven and revenue focused services to their customers.

CSS Corp has been redefining customer engagement by focusing on enabling customers in generating additional revenue streams by leveraging new-age technologies to understand customer behavior. CSS Corp’s REAP (Revenue Enablement and Profitability) Framework – Growth Navigator Suite offers a gamut of modular solutions covering Premium Tech Support, As a Service Model, White Labeled Managed Services and Professional Services.

Known for rapid adoption and success, this solution has created opportunity for faster customer acquisition, and generated new recurring revenue streams for global clients in IoT, Hi-Tech, Retail and Telecommunication sectors.

It is really heartening to see the pledge that the companies in the industry have taken towards enhancing business delivery for clients; today companies are working towards creating processes and leveraging new technologies to increase the delivery quotient of their customers. This trend will go a long way, helping firms in leveraging the technologies they invent today to ensure business sustainability in the future. Out of the 115 submissions received from 54 firms across the BPM industry, firms were adjudged on the parameters of Co-Creation, Process Improvements, Return on investment and Transformation, NASSCOM would like to congratulate all the companies who were felicitated as part of the same,” said chairman NASSCOM, Raman Roy.

We are thrilled to be recognized by NASSCOM. It is another indicator of our capabilities and positioning that helps drive unique value creation for and along with our clients. For the past 50 years, the primary focus of majority of large outsourcing contracts has always been to reduce cost, automate back-office business processes & manage IT remotely. Driving revenue for customers has been farfetched. IT vendors seldom discuss solutions whose value proposition is around helping customers generate new and additional revenue streams,” said chief executive officer CSS Corp, Manish Tandon.

At CSS Corp, we have created a compelling framework with innovative commercial models and engagement strategies that enable our clients to generate additional revenue and significantly reduce costs involved in managing support operations,” he added.

At CSS Corp, our mission is to consistently deliver high on customer requirements, while creating opportunity for additional revenue streams. We continue to see strong and growing traction for our solutions amongst some of the world’s leading brands and this recognition by NASSCOM marks yet another milestone in our journey towards becoming a trusted partner for enterprises globally,” said EVP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Sunil Mittal.

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CSS Corp to Open 100 Jobs Positions in Costa Rica

CSS Corp, a leading IT Services and Technology Support company will add 100 new job positions locally.  The company has been in the country for several years and its growth reflects CSS Corp’s continued commitment to Costa Rica.

CSS Corp launched its first center in Latin America in Costa Rica in August 2013, to cater to the steadily rising demand from clients in the region and globally for multi-lingual tech support capabilities.

CSS has currently 760 employees that deliver enterprise and B2B tech support services. The company is looking for another 100 professionals to join them in the next 3 months.

Duayner Salas, acting Minister of Foreign Trade commented: “Over the last years Costa Rica has evolved from transactional functions to multifunctional sophisticated processes and the country has a mature environment for complex business activities in services. Nowadays, we stand as the main exporter of high value-added services in Latin America. In that context, we celebrate the expansion of CSS Corp because it will allow us to generate more quality jobs and better lives.”

Jayagopi Andhoor, country head and vice president at CSS Corp, Costa Rica, said “Costa Rica’s central time zone makes it a favorable location for real-time collaboration globally. In addition, the stable political environment, ease of access, and the availability of high-quality, diversified talent, multilingual capabilities and technical skills were the key differentiators that led CSS Corp to establish a delivery center in Costa Rica”.

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, commented: “CSS, a company from India, one of the countries with the greatest contribution in IT companies, found in Costa Rica the strategic partner to grow its business. With the new hires, CSS will add a total payroll of 860 employees. According to CINDE, 85% of the employees in the companies from the services sector have staff that comes from public schools, and also, 42% of the total workers in the sector are women, exceeding the national average of 39%, which demonstrates inclusiveness in job creation”.

CSS is recruiting candidates with English 85% (B2+), 1 Year Consumer tech support Experience, or 1 Year enterprise TAC/Security support Experience. Interested candidates
can apply at https://csscorp.cr-jobs.com or write to costarica.jobs@csscorp.com

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How To Leverage Digital Tech To Drive Revenue Growth

The digital revolution has improved consumers’ lives in many ways. For many businesses, the same revolution (including mobile, social media, cloud, artificial intelligence and analytics) has created fierce competition.

But the news is not all doom and gloom. At CSS Corp, we help companies leverage digital technologies to increase their top line — turning the digital revolution “enemy” into an ally.

Building The Brand Around Digital Customer Engagement

Research by Harvard Business Review shows that customers who are emotionally connected to a brand are twice as valuable in the long run. Today’s digital natives appreciate brands they can interact with on their own terms. Sure, some companies will need to rethink their entire business model to survive (Toys R Us and Blockbuster failed here and were eventually overrun by the successes of companies like Amazon and Netflix). But many companies simply need to use digital channels to connect with their core audiences.

Burberry has worked for more than 10 years to transform its historic luxury brand into a digital experience. The brand developed an advanced platform and emphasized integrations with Twitter and Facebook. It collaborated with leading fashion photographers and encouraged customers to upload pictures of themselves wearing Burberry’s signature products. The work paid off, and the company’s impressive revenue growth has been attributed to the digital brand experience.

Digital customer engagement starts with identifying target audiences and segments and understanding their existing digital footprints. Choosing the right channels is an early decision with long-term impacts. While Facebook and YouTube dominate as social media channels (about 68% of adults use Facebook), other social media platforms can attract more specific audiences (Pinterest, for instance, is used much more by women than men).

Finding The Next Customer With Advanced Analytics And Targeting

Traditional marketing uses a combination of historical data, marketer’s experience and informed guesswork to create buyer personas and to choose the right methods to reach them. Today, AI-based tools automatically evaluate what is working and what isn’t, and autonomously adjusts marketing to reach the right potential buyers.

Tools that once required enormous investments and overhead to implement are becoming easier and less expensive. They don’t require data scientists; with SaaS models and pay-as-you-go pricing, they can be used by almost any business.

Harley-Davidson of New York City uses an AI-driven marketing platform to identify the customers most likely to buy and then looks further to identify additional people “in the wild” with similar attributes. The new leads are automatically targeted with the marketing campaigns proven most effective. The system works: The company found itself with a 2,930% increase in sales leads.

Of course, not all AI systems achieve such impressive results right away — they can take time. It’s important to remember that the difference between traditional analytics and AI-based systems is in their abilities to autonomously improve. The volume of transactions and data will influence the model more than the passage of time, as the system has more reference points to learn from.

Who, Where And When: Increasing Sales Through Location-Based Analytics

Insights gained from analyzing location-based business data can be collected from cameras, sensors, mobile devices and social media channels. The results can help make strategic business decisions as well as guide immediate operational decisions.

Starbucks uses location-based analytics in numerous ways. The company uses a customized geographical information system to accurately project foot traffic and average customer spend, helping it to place stores where they will be most successful. The system is also used to create targeted promotions such as launching a Frappuccino promotion to coincide with a heat wave. This enables Starbucks to capture value that competitors missed out on.

Location-based analytics close the gap between social media and the physical world, turning online interactions into real-world revenue. Personalized marketers have long focused on who, what, when and how — matching the right lead and the right content, at right time and in the right channel. Location-based analytics lets them add the where component.

Technologies such as location-based sensors and beaconing services enable targeted offers to appear when your customers are in close proximity. Location-aware apps can gather information on the travel patterns of potential customers. In-store customer tracking offers deep insights into browsing patterns and lets you adjust store layouts and product displays to maximize sales.

Closing The Deal With Next-Best-Action Marketing

We are all familiar with traditional product-centric sales approaches, with their impersonal feel (“Do you want fries with that?”). The digital era has ushered in marketing and customer support techniques that offer highly personalized and contextual offers and services.

By using next-best-action (NBA) calculations, you can provide recommendations that are most likely to result in positive outcomes based on the unique customer and the specific situation. Advanced customer relationship manager (CRM) systems born out of the digital era enable real-time analytics and machine learning on the fly and help enable NBA. By eliminating bothersome and redundant offers across channels and focusing in on what the customer was most likely to respond to, NBA shifts the relevance, quality and frequency of customer contact.

It’s important to keep in mind that NBA is more than a complicated version of upselling and cross-selling. NBA requires contextual information about your customers and the situations. Big data sources of structured and unstructured data — including external data that you might not otherwise use in operations — can give the system important clues about a customer, their mindset and their likely reactions. Artificial intelligence solutions can mine this data in a way that sales or support representatives, who have only seconds to respond to a customer, cannot match.

The Bottom Line: How To Grow The Top Line

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, once said, “Companies that get confused, that think their goal is revenue or stock price or something. You have to focus on the things that lead to those.”

There are innumerable ways that digital technologies can grow your top line — building your brand, finding your customers and closing the deal. You just have to choose the right strategies and technologies for your organization.

Sunil Mittal

EVP & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at CSS Corp, responsible for driving business growth and proving strategic leadership.

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24 Years Of Experience And Counting…

Finance and I

• Why Finance and I mix?  

Might be genetic! My father was an accountant by profession and my paternal grandfather was an astrologer with a sharp acumen and fascination for numbers. Once I chose this stream, the very fact that finance is a great enabler, as well as the most reliable yardstick for business performance, made it even more exciting for me.

• Motto I live by…  

Never do anything that you would not want to see reported on the front page of a newspaper.

• Being CFO to me means… 

A conscience keeper and a provider of early warning signals to the businesses.

• When I switch any company I would like to be remembered for 

Being a team player, my scalable controls and processes that I helped devise or implement.

• Next pit stop 

CFO of a publicly listed company.

• Leadership goals 

Inspiring people to do their best and shaping careers.

Learnings

• Another CFO I look up to 

It would be difficult to single out a particular person.  All the CFOs that I have had the opportunity of working with in the past have influenced me positively as well as some of the CEOs that I have worked with. I applaud them for their ‘CFO instinct,’ and hence consider them as my ‘Gurus’ too!

• A leader/mentor I look up to and why

Outside the corporate world, it would be MS Dhoni. I admire him for the cool head over his shoulders and his ability to get the best out of his team.

• One deal I wish I had cracked 

Thankfully, I do not have any such regrets as of now. I am glad to have had great work experiences, including M&A deals and transformation initiatives.

• One thing I still want to learn 

To become an expert in the art of negotiation.

• Most overrated financial advice  

I believe that the B2C business valuations these days are certainly overrated.

• Value creation to me means? 

An equitable creation of value to the entire stakeholder spectrum – shareholders, employees, vendors, society.

• What have failures have taught me? 

As long as we are willing to learn from those failures, life always offers everyone a second chance.

• From my previous experience, the biggest learning that remained? 

Behind every great achievement lies strong teamwork.

• One misconception that CFOs have about themselves?

Being I ‘only a numbers guy’. The have successfully evolved from that phase to becoming leaders who provide strategic direction to businesses. I feel that over the last two decades, this evolution has already taken place.

• One responsibility/thing that very few understand about CFO’s function? 

Risk mitigation.

• What role does spirituality play in my life & leadership? 

Spirituality has taught me to treat others with empathy, treat success and failures with equanimity and most importantly, always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

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