Ritesh Jayswal, Director, Industry Solutions, Avaya India Pvt. Ltd, talks about the company and its services in an interview to the Retailer
Retailer: How do define the Avaya Global Connect?
Ritesh Jayswal (RJ): Avaya Global Connect is an enterprising communication solutions company and provides ‘intelligent communication’ solutions for large to small enterprises. In general, our solutions help enterprises increase customer engagement and satisfaction, enhance employee efficiency and, most importantly, make business processes more responsive. We are comfortably positioned at number 1 in various market areas such as IP telephony and contact centres.
Retailer: What is the range of solutions your company offers and how do they help retailers?
RJ: Avaya mainly provides three types of retail communication solutions to retailers viz. customer service solutions, employee productivity and mobility solutions. Using our solutions, the modern retailer can identify, while servicing customers, callers based on CLI (hence enabling to greet them by names - a wow value), get information about their last transactions, buying patterns, up-sell and cross-sell ideas etc. This personalisation made while interacting with customers, impacts retailer’s brand image as well as its sales positively. Avaya solutions can also help retailers open all the channels of communication to service their customers and also to capture the insights at each touch point with an integrated approach. Retail is getting organised but, with a wide scope and distributed operations, communication amongst various entities such as stores, HO, RO, vendors and suppliers are still unorganised and ad hoc. Branch solutions from Avaya can help retailers to seamlessly communicate across various entities as if they are parts of one and the same office.
Retailer: Which are countries where the company is operating?
RJ: Avaya Global Connect has been serving Indian customers for around 20 years. Our vision is to become the most customer responsive company and we are marching towards our goal. We were initially a manufacturing-centric company that has become today an end-to-end communication solutions company. As a parent company, Avaya has employees in at least 54 countries and has presence in many other countries where we serve our customers.
Retailer: Technology wise, how do you compare Indian retail industry to those of other countries?
RJ: We all accept the fact that ‘technology is the business enabler’. Retail industry in India, being late in adopting modern retail, has the advantage of getting some of the best practices from the West. So, the practices like POS solutions, ERP, bar coding and loyalty card are norms when it comes to starting a retail operation here. However, retail in India is still at a nascent stage and retailers have yet to reach that scale or point where complexity of business or competition drives and compels technology application. Another factor is that customer acquisition and retention has not been a challenge so far for retail industry. In the years to come, it will be a significant driver and hence technology will play a crucial role. In order to increase the usage of technology, technology partners like Avaya are playing an important role. Suppliers can always help retailers with their experience and learning from the global engagement and prepare them in advance.
Retailer: How do you compete with other companies?
Of course, it’s a very competitive market place. However, this is good and we play our strengths. Our strengths include ‘tremendous product portfolio’, Avaya’s 100 years of experience, innovation in our DNA from AT&T to Lucent Technologies and best in class customer responsive services portfolio with its huge distribution network in India. We also believe in providing our customers with the best of breed end-to-end solutions. We recently announced strategic tie-up with Motorola so that customers get benefit of integrated enterprise mobility play. We also work with various other partners, which provide excellent integrated solutions in the retail market.
Retailer: What led the company enter into the industry?
RJ: Today, retail is a very exciting space to be in. After ‘agriculture’, retail industry is the second largest industry in the country. It accounts for 39 per cent of India’s GDP. As disposable income rises and consumption patterns change, this industry is expected to grow from $ 315 billion (approximately Rs 12,600 billion) to $ 427 billion (approximately Rs 17,080 billion) by 2010 and $ 635 billion (approximately Rs 25,400 billion) by 2015. As compared to 80 per cent organised sectors in developed countries, India’s share of organised retail is only around four per cent. India has been featured as the most attractive retail market globally holding number 1 position in A T Kearney’s Global Retail Development Index for the last three years (2005 to 2007). With such huge potential, it’s a critical industry for our business. One of the key aspects of retail industry is managing customer experience. Avaya being worldwide leader in (customer services) communication solutions, there is a big role to play.