The ‘One Tata’ plan is a part of the Tata Sons’ Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran’s strategy of Synergy, Scale and Simplicity. The One Tata plan comes under the Synergy part. The objective of Tata Capital is to dovetail with the group strategy and ‘ One Tata Capital’ is to synergise within the entities that come under Tata Capital business of the Tata Group – there is an NBFC; Tata Capital Housing Finance and Tata Securities, in addition to a greentech company.
The synergies will be achieved in the areas of procurement, building backend platforms, customer channels at the front end, building a common data analytics platform, etc.
“As far as the Tata Group is concerned, it’s the largest, if one goes by the number of customer, shareholder, dealer, vendor relationships and the entire ecosystem that the group operates with. It makes much more sense to tap the Tata Group ecosystem first rather than freshly acquiring customers, which is expensive,” explains Abonty Banerjee, Chief Digital Officer, Tata Capital. This is currently being synergised in a structured approach. The supplier and vendor systems are being integrated; and bundled offerings are being planned on the retail side. The dialogue is on within the multiple group companies. “Some initiatives are in the nascent stage and some have already been kickstarted, depending upon the amount of technology and integration needed,” says Banerjee.
Hitherto, the technology platforms procured by these companies was done on an individual basis. Now, the customer is seen as one and the technology evaluation is done on a holistic basis, after considering the request gathering from all the concerned companies. “The common customers of these companies will be served as if being served from one company rather than three companies, which enhances customer experience. Thus companies only remain as separate legal entities for the customers, but the customer service offered is seamless through one single entity,” states Banerjee.
The synergies will also apply to Tata Financial Services, which has a mutual fund company, insurance, etc. Cross selling of insurance, wealth management service distributing the MF products to the customers of these companies, already exists. Tata Capital is already in the process of offering bundled offerings in the life insurance and general insurance space. Efforts are also on to customise products for the subscribers of Tata Sky and Croma. Specifically, for the Croma customers, an offering already exists, the attempt is to better it further. In the area of Tata Motors, Tata Capital is beginning to lend the vendor ecosystem.
The idea is to make the offerings more integrated using digital technologies as far as possible within the realms of regulation. The objective is to appear to the customer as one, in spite of the original reach out may be from different companies. The financial products will be in the form of bundled offers – from different Tata Group companies, however, they will be congregated into as a single offering. The challenge to integrated service offering is in terms of regulation, which restricts the amount of customer data that can be accessed by different companies. For example, it’s difficult to service the insurance customer by an executive of Tata Capital because the regulation mandates access of customer data of one company by another company, no matter, if they belong to the same group.
Tata Capital has a full-time appointment to work on the One Tata Capital program. Banerjee is also working on the strategy to combine the online and offline world. The synergy aspect is not only about the online integration. It’s also about offline tie-ups and group distribution. Currently, the commercial lending to the partners and distributors in the Tata ecosystem, is done offline, which can be moved to online platforms.
Apart from the synergy aspect, scale and simplicity is also being applied to new customers. The effort is to make the customer’s journey simple and build scalable systems.
‘One Tata’, ‘One Tata Capital’ and ‘One Tata Capital Financial Services’ are different in spite of all of them being a part of Tata Sons. The scale and initiatives will differ. One Tata will include backend integration of the group companies; analytics synergy; cross sell and upsell opportunities; purchase process; partnering better with dealers and vendors. This will result in a more targeted offering to the customers with scale and speed.
Ongoing initiatives at Tata Capital
The thrust currently is to do business over digital platforms and make them scalable. The front end channels like portals, web, mobile, etc, are being transformed as a part of this initiative. The objective is to make the channels more customer friendly.
Tata Capital recently launched the online working capital platform. The newly developed online platform under Tata Capital’s Commercial Finance line of business, aims to provide customers with an easy, seamless and paperless experience. Loans up to Rs 2 crores can be approved within 24 hours on this new online platform.
Another aspect is to make the customer journeys simpler. “The customer should be easily able to purchase and get serviced online. Fintechs are also a part of building these journeys with their niche plug and play products,” says Banerjee. These specialised areas include bots; aggregators who are accessing statements and customising them for faster credit approvals; fintechs providing Geospatial information to help waive off certain field investigations, etc.
As the customer journeys are being planned and built, in addition to the capabilities in-house, the potential provided by the fintech partners can also be realised. “Building these customer and service journeys is a major part of what I do. We have partnered with specialists from various fields like design, UI, to meet customer expectations ” informs Banerjee.
Every product has its own requirement and has to be built accordingly. The company is reimagining the customer journey for each of the financial products. In some products, the focus has to be on the backend and in that case, a technology expert works better. In other cases, it’s found that the product can be designed beautifully but what gets delivered is restricted to the regulation, platform and the ecosystem available.
Initiatives in analytics
The company is currently using analytics for making credit decisions. The risk based models for pricing are being tested. “We have projects running in using analytics in the collections process and also for
customer acquisition, pre-approved offers for other products and customer propensity models. Maximum traction has been attained in customer acquisition and campaigns,” informs Banerjee.
A couple of partnerships have been struck in the space of using unstructured data. “We are working on unstructured data, in conjunction with other data sources, and not standalone,” concludes Banerjee.