In the realm of modern business, the pursuit of attracting, engaging, and delighting customers through seamless customer journeys is universal, spanning industries from consumer goods to breakthrough technologies. The key to achieving these exceptional customer journeys, and delivering consistent, personalised and convenient customer experiences often lies in a well-structured omni-channel communication strategy.
Yet, for many businesses today, this remains an untapped opportunity. Often, omni-channel communication strategies are piecemeal, resulting in customer experience gaps and inconsistencies. For those who have cracked the code, CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) stands as the linchpin to success.
No conversation about CPaaS is complete without the mention of Route Mobile Limited - a Mumbai based bootstrapped startup in 2004, that has gone on to being a communications giant that realises over US $500 million in revenue. It's difficult to disentangle Route Mobile from the Indian CPaaS landscape, because of the huge part the company has played in shaping it.
It's only fair then, that it falls to Route Mobile and CNBC-TV18 to create an event that brings the potential of CPaaS home to India's businesses. Route Amplify, held on Aug 9th in Mumbai, brought together CIOs, CTOs, and CMOs across industries as diverse as BFSI, Fintech, E-commerce, Online Gaming, Travel & Hospitality, Logistics, Retail and others, in an event designed to craft the narrative of cloud communications and digital identity in India.
To kick things off, Milind Pathak, Chief Business Officer, Route Mobile helped set the context for the event by highlighting the core themes for the evening: ‘Customer Engagement’, and ‘Digital Identity’, and the trends, challenges, and opportunities they bring. Rajdip Gupta then took the participants through the highlights of Route Mobile's journey, and outlined the size and potential of India's CPaaS opportunity. He also gave the audience a taste of what was to come, with a little tease about RML's OCEAN - an omnichannel customer experience platform.
Network18's Lata Venkatesh had an incredibly insightful conversation with V. Vaidyanathan, Managing Director and CEO of IDFC FIRST Bank, about the realm of digitization within the banking industry and the transformative impact of cloud communication. V. Vaidyanathan drew a direct line between digitization and banks' ability to small, short term loans for amounts as small as Rs 2000. "The ecosystem which could not be banked before has been opened up. Once, money was available only to the rich or emerging rich, now it's available to the poor and the emerging middle class."
This was followed by a riveting panel discussion between Ali Zoomkhawala, AVP & Head Messaging, Reliance Jio; and Sameer Ratolikar, CISO, HDFC Bank; with Network18's Ritu Singh. While Ali Zoomkhawala talked about the specific data points that telcos can leverage in conjunction with a strong CPaaS solution to help authenticate users and transactions, preventing fraud in real time; Sameer Ratolikar drew the audiences' attention to the size of the opportunity. "UPI transactions crossed US $74 billion in 2022 and by June 2023, we've already crossed US $15 trillion, and the penetration is only going to get bigger." He also pointed out the need to stay one step ahead of fraudsters because we urban and semi-urban customers are rapidly adopting these technologies.
Route Mobile's Executive Vice President, David Vigar's announcement was perhaps the most awaited presentation of the evening. He unveiled Route Mobile's TruAuth, TruScore and TruFA suite of products, calling out the advantages and use cases for each. TruAuth helps businesses verify phone numbers and user device possession, creating frictionless user experiences. TruScore is a customer intelligence platform that feeds businesses insights on user behaviour, activity and preferences. TruAuth and True Score seamlessly integrate with traditional communication channels such as SMS and WhatsApp into a single interface within a single API call via TruFA, giving businesses a serious edge in both fraud prevention and hyper personalisation. All these solutions fall under the umbrella of TruSense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Route Mobile Ltd.
Joe Emanuel, Sr Vice President at Route Mobile and Milind Pathak introduced the audience to Route Mobile's ICE framework: Insight, Conversations and Engagement. While Joe Emanuel narrowed down into the possibilities OCEAN unleashes by bringing together data from various data sources to power insights into customer behaviour across the customer journey, Milind Pathak drew attention to the larger perspective. "We're one of the few companies in the world which touches PII data. We touch data, we are custodian with the brand, and we are constantly on the quest: how do we use that insight for the brand by the brand and of the brand? How do we use that to bring the consumer and the brand together, and how do we really engage with them to derive delightful outcomes? It has no finish line, and we will keep iterating and evolving."
In the second panel discussion, Network18's Shibani Gharat discussed the growing influence of social media, user communities, and user-generated content with Shweta Srivastava, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Tata CLIQ, and Tushar Agnihotri, India and Regional Head - APAC at Route Mobile. Shweta Srivastava sees the storytelling potential of social media and user generated content as a powerful combination, should brands get them right. She also talked about the need for alignment between brands and influencers on brand values and philosophy, to create powerful, compelling content.
Tushar Agnihotri focused on the challenges posed by varied data sources to the omnichannel strategy - the data often sits in scattered and siloed databases that may not talk to one another, creating pockets of frustration for customers, particularly when things go wrong. He also stressed on the need to marry customer interactions and preferences with the grievance handling processes to design not just hyper personalised customer journeys that work, but also to create customer delight when they least expect it.
The event drew to a close with Gautam Badalia, Chief Strategy Officer, Route Mobile who presented insights into the future of cloud communications in India and summarised the key takeaways from the day.
Indian consumers and businesses are spoilt for choice today. Between India's high mobile penetration rates, and high rates of adoption of digital payments and e-commerce, Indian consumers have become adept at parsing through products and services on offer, and zeroing in on the ones that are interested in having a relationship beyond the sale. When it comes to B2B sales, India's startup ecosystem is powering a market where product differentiation is no longer the moat, customer experience is.
If customer experience is the moat, CPaaS powered hyper personalised customer journeys are the password for the drawbridge.
To get in on all the action, watch the event summary here.The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.