Sunil Kumar, Global Delivery Head Europe, EXL Service
- What was the most challenging thing your company, people, and you, personally, had to face in 2020?
I think 2020 was one of the most challenging and unpredictable years our industry has ever faced. As every challenge brings with it multiple opportunities, so did 2020. It changed the way we work and do business. Our biggest challenge initially was to ensure we continue to support our client’s business and service their customers while ensuring the health and safety of our employees. Business models had to be changed almost overnight. Service had to be delivered from anywhere than from a designated office. Contracts had to be modified. Data security and compliance became more critical. We balanced all priorities and were able to service our clients without any disruption. Our customers really appreciated our efforts which was apparent in the significant increase in our Net Promoter Score this year. Personally, this year gave us an amazing opportunity to enjoy our families more, strengthen our bonds and improve our health and overall wellbeing.
- What pleasantly surprised you last year? / What are you grateful for?
I think the resilience of our people and our industry and the speed with which we adapted ourselves to the changed world was the most surprising. It was agility combined with ingenuity, commitment, and hard work of our people. I am thankful that all our employees are safe and healthy and proud of our teams that ensured we were all safe. I am even more grateful to thousands of health workers who have been working non-stop for months.
- What are your plans and expectations for 2021?
The business models have changed. I think, in 2021 work from anywhere will stay and become an integral part of our business. I expect our industry to return to normalcy towards the 3rd or 4th quarter of 2020. I think, this pandemic will open many more opportunities in sectors like insurance, technology, financial services and supply chain, etc. I feel very bullish about what the future holds for us.
- What do you foresee it will be different this year and what impact it will have on our industry/Romania/your company/your people?
Some of the obvious changes will be:
- Growth: I do think the business will recover and our industry will see growth especially in Eastern Europe as companies start to build resiliency and move a portion of their work from West to East.
- Distributed workforce: Working from anywhere will provide access to a big pool of resources which were otherwise not available in traditional work from office set-up.
- Quick Adoption of technologies: The world has learnt that digital is cheaper, faster and better. We will see more and more people adopting digital in the coming months and years.
- As organizations become data-led, data and the use of data and AI will become central to how companies manage their businesses. In the age of data and AI, information security will become even more critical.
Overall, I think, our industry has recovered rather quickly and these trends will help drive growth in the industry as well the overall economy in Eastern Europe. Especially countries like Romania, with outstanding talent pool, will see a surge in demand coming from Western Europe in services sector especially technology and financial services and supply chain. We at EXL, continue to be bullish on Romania and the growth of our overall business in Europe.
- What is your message for the ABSL community?
I think ABSL is an excellent organization which is bringing the industry together and sharing best practices. Its and excellent platform to learn from each other and grow together. I would urge ABSL to continue to provide the value additions to the industry.
- What could we do to grow stronger as a community?
Continue to engage more leaders from related industries. Perhaps when we have a critical mass, it may be prudent to create centres of excellence for specializations such as AI and analytics as well as several ‘chapters’ or industry specific mini sub-communities.
- A message for ABSL or a suggestion.
Continue to add value to the industry by sharing best practices, provide thought leadership and bring about disruptive ideas. Represent Romania in Western Europe to gain more business.