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Tech Mahindra: Leading with NXT.NOW™

Brand Finance
26 January 2023

Tech Mahindra (brand value up 15% to US$3.5 billion) is one of the fastest-growing brands in the Brand Finance IT Services 25 2023 ranking, improving its ranking by four positions this year, from 15th to 11th – a bigger jump in ranking than any other brand. Its brand value has increased by approximately 66% since the beginning of the pandemic. The company is well positioned to further integrate sustainability with digital transformation, reflected by its strong performance in this year’s ranking.

Interview with Harshvendra Soin.

Harshvendra Soin, Global Chief People Officer and Head of Marketing

What are the successes and initiatives you can attribute to your continued brand growth and nearly making the top ten IT services brands and becoming the fastest to grow in brand rank?

Today, brands that are strong and evocative not only raise customer expectations but also elicit an emotional, purpose-driven connection to solidify relationships with every stakeholder associated with the business. This extends beyond the bottom line, beyond measuring success in numbers.  Every brand action has a message – a meaning or purpose – behind it that drives positive impact across the communities it exists in. That’s how you succeed.

To put this simply, how we act impacts the world. And that’s where brand Tech Mahindra’s strength and success lie. We are and always will be a brand for purpose. We have been a trusted digital transformation partner across industries for over decades, delivering connected experiences to create a connected world. And we have succeeded because of our people who are inherently committed to doing good for the world while delivering stellar experiences to all our customers.

With recent socio-economic and technological disruptions, we decided to reiterate, rather reemphasise, the narrative around the need for embracing sustainability to ensure all of us progress towards an equitable world. Through our NXT.NOW™ framework, we have been pushing the sustainable transformation agenda powered by emerging technologies across the world while encouraging C-Suite leaders and decision-makers to collaborate and generate insights and solutions that will once again unify our now fragmented world.

All our strategies and initiatives are built around being people first, performance-led, and purpose-driven. And with an added focus to our planet, our brand playbook has been strongly advocating for measurable actions on ground, be it around climate change, diversity and inclusion, workplace ethics, employee engagement and experience, community outreach. As we are part of the heritage Mahindra Group brand, we are guided by our Rise pillars for a more equal world, to be future-ready, and to create value. And we continue this path as we build resilient businesses that are governed by mindful growth, empowered by next-generation technologies, and guided by the need to build a better world for future generations to come.

How actively is Tech Mahindra involved in the whole development of metaverse, and are we moving to a whole new world of metaverse?

It is in our nature to take bold steps when it comes to technology-led innovations. The metaverse in many ways is a natural progression as we continue to strengthen key technology pillars as and when they emerge. From telecoms, 5G, communication, artificial intelligence (AI), Web3, blockchain, NFTs to human-centred connected experiences, their evolution has played an interesting role in setting up the foundation of this metaverse. Since the launch of TechMVerse, which is Tech Mahindra’s own metaverse practice, we have been working on an extensive suite of solutions and services that can elevate customer experience by enabling our customers with high-fidelity immersive experiences, high interactivity and enhance brand perception in the market. Across our diverse customer base, the metaverse is a rapidly growing segment, spanning industries such as BFSI, media and entertainment, edtech, retail, automotive, healthcare and telecom.

We currently have several meta environments across industries and plan to create more over this year. Our leadership in blockchain, 5G, quantum computing, and AI will further help us build immersive, inclusive experiences we have never seen before. Our research and development arm, Makers’ Lab, has even introduced the 'Meta Village', a virtual replica of Pargaon village in Maharashtra, to utilize the gaming features of the Roblox platform for education and stimulate creativity in the education sector at a local level. It is the first village in India to have a digital twin in the metaverse.

We have conceptualised and built several projects such as DealerVerse, a metaverse-based car dealership, Middlemist, an NFT marketplace, Meta Bank, a virtual bank, an occupational training environment for a leading oil and gas player, among others. We are even working with Mahindra University to set up Makers Lab to spearhead R&D in quantum computing, XAI (Explainable AI), and the metaverse. You see there is tremendous potential in the metaverse, especially when it comes to industrial metaverse comprising performance twins and design simulations for ‘factories of the future’ in manufacturing, and complex use cases involving remote collaboration such as drug discovery and gene sequencing in the healthcare industry. We have unlocked a new reality all together with the metaverse which will only enhance the state of the world we are in and lead us towards a better future.

Cooperating with other companies is key in this fragmented world. Are there any collaborations you are excited about?

There is much to be done before our world reaches the desired state of stability. And as business leaders, we can do a lot more than we are already. And that’s the mindset with which Tech Mahindra has been moving forward. From a technology perspective, I am excited that we are making next-generation technologies the common denominator to constantly engage in dialogue on global platforms, synergise with the best minds across industries, and create solutions that can significantly improve the way we live.  From a global perspective, 5G, network modernisation, cloud, cyber security being some of our key focus areas, we are working with our long-standing partners like Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Airtel to create data centres and networks of the future.

In fact, our recent collaboration with Swimming Australia has helped us strengthen our position in the ANZ region, giving us the unique opportunity to become the official technology partner of the popular Olympic and Paralympic sport. We will be working on enhancing the experiences of athletes and fans alike utilizing technologies like AI, augmented and virtual realities (AR/VR). These are exciting times for elevating customer experiences.

As we redefine business operations and delivery, we are also focussed on driving conversations across the global C-suite audience. We have several curated thought leadership programs with partners like The Wall Street Journal. These have been pivotal way in the way we built, nurtured, and deepened the right relationships, engaged the right conversations, and influenced the way forward across our C-suite audience.  It was proud moment for us to be declared Gold Award winners for deepening leadership engagement through this WSJ program at the ITSMA Marketing Excellence Award 2022.

As a brand focussed on promoting responsible business growth and sustainability, our partnership with Mahindra Racing for the fifth consecutive season of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship showcased the utilisation of an advanced eRace track analytics platform, live analytics, wind tunnel simulations, and AI-based systems—designing innovative green automotive solutions of the future. We are rewriting engagement and experience delivery every day, moving leaps and bounds to enhance human centricity with increased focus on investing in emerging technologies, solutions, and collaborations that enable this sustainable transformation. In the end, we must be prepared to meet the evolving needs of our world.

How can Tech Mahindra help with sustainability and the need for technology?

The thing about sustainability is that it’s not just about pledging for carbon neutrality and climate change. Companies will also have to show credible data on how they are achieving this because soon there will be an audit which will require hard proof on how we are working towards the betterment of this planet. And technology will play a crucial role here. For instance, blockchain will address concerns around transparency and access to information by improving the way data is managed, measuring the impact of actions, and ensuring the veracity and traceability of goods.

It feels good to be part of a brand that has kept sustainability at the core of every action. For years now, Tech Mahindra has been recognised for its sustainability efforts across the world. We are proud to be one of the few IT companies in the world to drive this momentum ahead. And this starts with people behind the brand driving us to do better every day. We believe in wellness before business and pride ourselves on having an intentionally diverse and globally inclusive workforce. And that is the reason Tech Mahindra is amongst the 7 Indian companies to be included in 2022 Bloomberg's Gender-Equality Index (GEI).

This sustainability goal can only be achieved if we all work together. Our associates dedicatedly work with clients and partners to create eco-friendly solutions for environmental issues, fostering sustainability in its supply chain. The aim for us is to build business practices on the three crucial aspects of sustainability: people, planet, and profits. We have an end-to-end environmental, social, and governance or ESG portfolio to help our customers and stakeholders configure, analyse, manage sustainability targets, and help them achieve their ESG goals.

We want to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint by transforming their operations and processes. This will enable our customers to strengthen their sustainability commitment, while maintaining and creating business value. We have consecutively been featured in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices – Tech Mahindra is amongst the only 5 IT companies in India to be part of the DJSI World Index, and one of only 15 Indian companies ranked in their Emerging Markets category. In 2022, we made it to the number one position again with a score of 89 (100%ile as of Oct 2022)in the ‘TSV IT services and Internet Software and Services’ segment. Our goal as a trusted technology service provider is to create a sustainable future where the positive impact of our transformation efforts is equally felt across our stakeholders and our communities.

About the Author

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy. Headquartered in the City of London, we are present in over 20 countries.

For almost 30 years we have helped companies and organisations of all types to connect their brands to the bottom line.

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