CRM in Indian enterprises
The Indian experience
Although CRM is not very widely used in Indian companies,
its relationship with India Inc has been sweet. by Soutiman Das Gupta
The major users of CRM are companies in the telecom
and financial services verticals. Both have a large number of users who
need to be supported through call centres
Research Director, APAC, Gartner
Indian companies have traditionally focussed on processes and technologies,
with the objective of optimising these processes using enterprise applications
such as ERP. The focus has always been inwards. Now as companies become more
customer-oriented, they realise the benefits of including customers and business
partners in their value chain. As a result, Indian companies are becoming more
focussed vis-à-vis external entities.
However, in spite of relatively mature CRM solutions being available, its use
is not very widespread. Companies in BFSI, telecom and BPO are the only ones
that use this technology extensively.
The infrastructure strategies survey conducted by Network
Magazine and IMRB among Indian CIOs reveals that only
13 percent of the companies have CRM as an IT priority. Among companies which
have already invested in enterprise applications or are planning to invest,
only 23 percent say yes to CRM. 19 percent of the companies plan to dedicate
part of their planned investments to CRM.
The figures are not very high considering that ERP is the second-highest IT
priority for 41 percent of the total respondents, and that 69 percent of companies
which have already invested in enterprise applications or are planning to invest
want to go with ERP.
Slow to gain Popularity in India
CRM is also about getting your wealth-creating processes
in place, which are the back-office processes that address customer needs
General Manager, Applications Sales, Oracle India
Indian companies are on a journey that can only end with them becoming more
customer-centric. Its only now that the use of technology to automate
customer processes such as sales, marketing, and after-sales service is getting
The reason for the slower adoption of CRM software
is that many companies do not have adequate IT infrastructure to support these
solutions. Also, many companies try to first automate their back-end processes
such as accounting, inventory and ERP before embarking on front-end processes
like CRM, explains Ashish Kamotra, Chief Executive Officer, ADAPT Software
Increased competition, margin pressures and demanding customers are forcing
companies to look at CRM in a big way. However, it is interesting to note that
while the CRM software market is indeed in comeback mode, growth may not come
from increased purchases of the enormous CRM suites as in the past.
Says Girish Krishnamurthy, General Manager, India, Talisma Corporation, Enterprises
will focus on adding specific functional modules and new business models to
their application portfolios. Instead of powerful, complex software, large and
small enterprises are choosing CRM applications that are easy to launch and
easy to use.
The growing market
||ADAPT Software IAP India
Phone: 91 124 5050 621, 5050 622 Website: www.adapt-india.com
|Sonata Information Technology Phone: 91 80 2657 5800
Phone: 91 124 5158 000
Phone: 91 124 2549 250/2549 260
Website: www.oracle.com/ applications/crm/index.html
" Sales Force Automation
" Marketing Automation "Call Centre and Service
" Business Analytics
" Hosted CRM
|Siebel Systems Software India
Phone: 91 80 5136 7505 www.siebel.com/crm/customer-
||Talisma Multi-channel CRM solution
Phone : 91 80 2361 3377
Talisma quotes Frost & Sullivans findings that India is the fastest-growing
market for contact centre systems in the APAC, with a projected CAGR of 19.5
percent. According to IDC, the CRM market will touch $11 billion by 2008, marching
at a CAGR of 8.9 percent in the 2004-2008 period. The market for Customer Interaction
Management is currently estimated at $400 million, and predicted to grow to
nearly $1 billion by 2008 (Source: Gartner).
The key verticals fuelling the growth of operational CRM in India are banking,
finance, insurance, telecom, utilities, manufacturing and healthcare. According
to the infrastructure strategies survey, companies in the verticals of BFSI
and telecom/IT/BPO show the maximum amount of CRM use. 39 percent of BFSI companies
and 36 percent of telecom/IT/BPO companies are among those companies that have
either invested or plan to invest in enterprise application tools.
After the initial phase of euphoria, organisations have realised that there
is more to CRM than just setting up call centres or deploying some sales force
automation tools. Its about getting your wealth-creating processes
in place, which are normally the back-office processes to address customer needs,
explains Subhomoy Sengupta, General Manager, Applications Sales, Oracle India.
So far, CRM has been more popular with telcos and financial services organisations,
but it is increasingly getting more attention from mid-size organisations in
other verticals as well.
The major users of CRM are companies in the telecom and financial services
verticals. Both have a large number of users who need to be supported through
call centres. There is an increasing importance of churn and customer profitability
issues, says Pranav Kumar, Research Director, APAC, Gartner.
An organisations inability to get a quick ROI is a hurdle in the adoption
of this technology. The high cost involved in deploying CRMhardware, implementation,
software, and expertise to handle the implementationacts as a barrier
to proactive adoption by Indian enterprises.
The Indian market is characterised by a pool of small and medium-sized
companies. These companies lack awareness and the necessary infrastructure to
deploy full-scale solutions, inhibiting the growth of CRM, says Prachi
Kanekar, Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan.
Not much CRM here
The reason for the slower adoption
of CRM software is that many companies do not have adequate IT infrastructure
to support these solutions Ashish Kamotra,
Chief Executive Officer, ADAPT Software IAP India
In the conventional sense, any mass-distributed product where the company
has no direct contact with the end-user would not find much value in CRM. However,
if the partner is treated as a customer then there is no vertical that can remain
untouched by CRM, explains Kamotra.
The infrastructure strategies survey reports that companies
in verticals such as FMCG, consumer durables, government and PSUs use CRM the
least, with only seven percent of those who have either invested or are planning
to invest in enterprise application tools giving it the go-ahead. Companies
in the chemical, pharmaceutical, services, auto and auto components verticals
show relatively less use as well at 19 percent.
Manufacturing organisations, especially small and medium
ones, have not been so far much interested in CRM, largely because of pre-occupation
with ERP, which is usually more important for them, says Pranav Kumar.
However, in companies where conventional CRM components such as sales force
automation and after-sales-service automation are not really needed, CRM finds
its place in terms of data mining, cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
Segments with increasing competitive pressures and high-value
sales will deploy sales force automation systems. Support-oriented organisations
are the next big gainers if they deploy CRM
Director, Small and Medium Solutions and Partners, Microsoft India
Companies that are likely to deploy CRM solutions in the future are pharmaceuticals,
BPO, retail, FMCG, healthcare, airlines and the government. Manufacturing is
also showing potential for CRM deployment with a focus on maintaining relationships
with dealers and helping them enhance their sales and service capabilities.
Segments with increasing competitive pressures and
high-value sales will deploy sales force automation systems. Support-oriented
organisations are the next big gainers if they deploy CRM. A typical example
of this would be IT resellers and systems integrators, since they need both
sales and service to remain competitive, says Rajeev Mittal, Director,
Small and Medium Solutions and Partners, Microsoft India.
Quality, consistency and customised care to the patient help the healthcare
service providers to retain the patient as well as the entire family for their
lifetime. CRM technology is implemented to minimise cost and time in healthcare,
and ultimately enhance the customer relationship, says G Radhakrishnan
Pillai, Head, IT, SRL Ranbaxy.
It helps to re-use the information available with business in order to analyse
the customers behaviour and expectations. Technology can play a role to
make this process a lot easier.
New application areas
Along with maturity of enterprise applications such as ERP and databases, companies
will want to integrate their ERP systems with CRM and supply chain software.
This will bring about, in the true sense, what is known as an extended enterprise.
It will enable more enterprise users to look at CRM as an enterprise-wide software
solution with back-end integration, rather than being understood as a stand-alone
software module for functions such as call centre automation, sales force automation,
and selling on the Web.
Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at