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Issue of February 2007

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Cholamandalam AMC manages mutual funds for retail and institutional investors. Managing a large customer base, consolidating it and avoiding duplication were the company’s imperatives. The company opted for a Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solution to sort out these issues.

Market Driven Needs

Faced with the challenge of attracting and retaining customers in a fiercely competitive market, CAMC felt the need for a reliable and consolidated database. The company’s transaction processing is handled by Computer Age Management Services.

As per the company’s guidelines certain procedures had to be followed. For example, details like name, folio number, calls or e-mail had to be categorised into a finite set of options. Apart from that, they needed to fulfil some of the customer redressal and reporting requirements mandated by SEBI.

CAMC needed a solution that would give it a 360 degree view of its customers. The company also wanted to track investor queries more efficiently. Sashi Krishnan, Chief Executive, Cholamandalam AMC informs, “We wanted to know our investors better so that we could address their needs within a given time period. We also wanted to track the time that we took to resolve investor grievances.”

Identifying each investor as a unique stakeholder irrespective of his investments in different schemes is quite a complex. Take the example of a customer who registers under different funds. At the time of registering for different funds, he might register under slightly different names—Ashish Kapoor one time and Ashish V Kapoor on another occasion. Due to these differences, the company may face problems in locating the relevant records the next time Mr Kapoor gives it a call. Database consolidation was undertaken to avoid such issues and track the customer.

Finding the Right Partner

The company needed a service provider who could offer customisation and understood the mutual fund business. “After comparing our company’s requirements with various solutions from different companies, we found that Talisma matched our requirements,” Says Krishnan.

CAMC is currently using Talisma’s modules from its CIM suite—Talisma Service, Talisma Sales, Talisma Campaign and Talisma E-mail Response Management.

A Phased Approach

Started in April 2005, the project took four months to complete and it was implemented in two phases. The first phase was divided into three steps. The first step was a system study of CAMC conducted by the Talisma Team. Using ‘de-duplicating’ algorithms, engineers removed errors and folio-duplications in the company’s database.

In the second step, the company’s specifications were finalised and frozen. They came up with a detailed specifications document, which was signed off by CAMC and Talisma. After the data clean up, database consolidation was performed to create a single folio number for each customer.

“In the final step, a detailed user acceptance and stress level testing was conducted by the project team, consisting of the sales and the service functions at Talisma’s premises in Bangalore,” adds Krishnan. After this phase, sales and service users started using the data at a few locations.

Going Live Throughout

In the project’s second phase, data was tested and imported into Talisma’s system. Initially the data was uploaded day wise and then compared with the database maintained in the register. After this the system went online and it was extended to more locations. Talisma provided necessary feature upgrades from time to time for CAMC.


“One of the challenges for CAMC was that each investor of Cholamandalam needed unique identification since various investments are classified under different folios,” Says Krishnan. Another challenge was to identify an investor even if he does not quote his folio number at the time of the call.

Tracking Benefits

Talisma solutions helped CAMC handle its customers better by tracking their transactions with the company. “By deploying Talisma solutions we are able to track all our customer interactions,” says Krishnan.

Krishnan feels that with regards to sales, it has helped the company manage potential sales leads at various stages. On the marketing front, the company has benefited by its capability to send regular personalised mailers to investors.

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