A new value proposition for Tech Mahindra is “BORN”
In November of 2019, IT and BPO giant Tech Mahindra issued a press release that it acquired a leading digital transformation agency, BORN Group. As a firm that has never shied away from gutsy acquisitions, Tech Mahindra has quietly accelerated within the services landscape as a company with an appetite for innovation. With this most recent acquisition, Tech Mahindra is jumping deeper into the digital transformation and customer experience space to develop a more robust and streamlined OneOffice value proposition for customers. And its competitors should take notes.
Why service providers need to align with OneOffice Experiences
The HFS OneOffice Experience (Exhibit 1) outlines how enterprises can break down silos to unify all functions for a streamlined, digitized workplace that works together to flow smoothly. Organizations need to ensure they get the right balance of emerging technology with a robust business case to improve customer experience (CX) to the long-term benefit of the business, getting the right information flows in place to ensure exceptional employee experience (EX) and CX. Most organizations will need support from third parties across each of the elements from the back office to the front office; thus, the OneOffice experience is a roadmap for service providers to assess which areas they can help their clients develop.
Exhibit 1: The HFS OneOffice Experience is a roadmap for service providers
Source: HFS Research 2020
Service providers should assess their strengths and weaknesses across the OneOffice Value Chain
Tech Mahindra is one of the service providers currently demonstrating how to take steps to ensure their company has a solid portfolio of services across the OneOffice value chain, helping its customers connect the dots from back to front. For services firms with a deep heritage in IT services and engineering, it can be quite a pivot to articulate the customer-focused business acumen required for CX and outcome-driven front-office design required to span the OneOffice. Tech Mahindra is betting on BORN’s expertise to more completely fulfill its OneOffice value proposition by bringing in sophisticated customer experience expertise.
BORN enables the comprehensive customer experience data platform
In the cluttered and confusing “CX” services space, Tech Mahindra and BORN have worked to develop a clear and concise message around what the firms’ collective expertise means to clients. The complete customer experience model involves creative design, building out content, and putting it all together on a tech platform. BORN’s proprietary framework “Stella” combines brand experience and customer behaviors across channels with CRM data (the “book of record” experience) to create a comprehensive customer experience data platform. The program helps to deconstruct what brand strategy does via creating road maps, pricing strategies, country selections, merchandising, audience data, how to stay compliant with companies, and building persona. Stella is creating exactly the type of bridge companies need to build between the silos to create OneOffice experiences.
According to Dilip Keshu, CEO of BORN, “BORN sits at the intersection of art and science,” making it the ideal type of innovative company and filling an important gap for Tech Mahindra’s front-office capability. BORN’s global delivery model was also a huge draw for the acquisition; it will help Tech Mahindra as it expands its overall global influence. Many of its competitors have opted for very geo- or industry-focused niche acquisition targets. BORN also synergizes nicely with one of Tech Mahindra’s other heavyweight assets, Pininfarina, which has a physical design capability for in-store experiences (and BORN has an impressive portfolio of retail clients.)
The Bottom Line: Services firms must meticulously assess how their assets work together to promote a OneOffice value proposition; for Tech Mahindra, developing a customer data platform will drive its impact in the front office.
Whether building a OneOffice capability organically or taking a “buy” approach to developing expertise, all is lost if a service provider is unable to get the message across. This acquisition could help Tech Mahindra to address a perception challenge across its ability to bring innovation to engagements outside of its traditional strength in managed services. While it is wise to keep BORN operating separately to retain its creative culture, Tech Mahindra can use this shiny new asset to bring forward innovative stories to the market, which helps clients with their OneOffice vision. Other services firms wanting to span the breadth of OneOffice value proposition should perform similar assessments of their resources and consider partnering with or acquiring companies that will help strengthen their weaker areas to propel themselves to their OneOffice futures.