Indian Enterprises Navigating through the Crisis to Build a Digital Foundation

June, 2021

In the new normal, organizations worldwide are seeking technology to build a digital enterprise, redefine business models, and reimagine workplaces, processes, operations, and supply chains. Our report showcases how Indian enterprises are performing in comparison with global peers in areas such as prioritization and acceleration of digital initiatives, digitization of customer and employee interface, adoption of a hybrid work environment, and readiness for a collaborative human-machine digital workforce. The report also addresses how Indian enterprises are pivoting to new business and delivery models to innovate and generate new revenue streams.

The report brings you the digital transformation perspective of Indian enterprises exclusively. Avasant and NASSCOM surveyed about 280 global enterprises to understand how their worlds and businesses changed, considering the pandemic. This report is a culmination of that analysis from the 66 responses received from Indian enterprises (approximately 25% share).

Key industry highlights from the report:

    • Manufacturing firms are increasingly relying on digital technologies such as cloud, automation, bots, AR/VR, & IoT to reduce human intervention in factories.
    • Retail and CPG firms are investing in hyper-local personalization, zero-touch, and immersive solutions to cater to changing customer behavior.
    • Healthcare and life sciences firms are reimagining patients’ experience by leveraging IoT and AI and realigning operating model to value-based care.
    • Banking and financial services firms are digitizing client experience interfaces by pivoting to ​cashless/touchless payments using AI, RPA, IoT, and AR/VR.

“Seventy percent of Indian enterprises have increased their digital investments primarily to manage supply chain disruptions and enable secure operations,” said Swapnil Bhatnagar, Avasant Senior Research Director. “By using digital technologies, these enterprises can future-proof their business operations in a highly dynamic market.”

Some of the findings from the full report include the following.

  1. 60% of Indian enterprises are pivoting to new business and delivery models for business continuity.
    • Enterprises in India introduced new delivery and business models and expanded presence in new geographic and customer segments to ensure business continuity during the pandemic.
    • This has led to diversification from B2B to B2C, introduction of more usage-based commercial models, launch of contactless digital services, geographic expansion in countries with relaxed lockdown restrictions, product diversification to cater to changing customer demands, and change in operating models such as conversion of stores to fulfillment centers.
  2. 96% of Indian enterprises have increased their budgets for digital investments–higher than global peers.
    • Despite the pandemic, about 96% of respondents in India are continuing their efforts to become a digital enterprise compared to 92% globally. While most technologies such as AI, machine learning (ML), IoT, cybersecurity, cloud and edge computing, mobility, and social media witnessed a sharp adoption by Indian enterprises, additive manufacturing, AR/VR, and blockchain will witness steady investments.
    • During 2015–2020, 115K technology patents were filed in India compared to 8K in the US. The Indian government supports these digital initiatives at the macro-economic level through investments in next-gen technologies such as 5G, IoT, cloud, quantum, and 3D printing.
  3. 50% of Indian enterprises are prepared for a hybrid work environment in 2021.
    • With the second wave of COVID-19, most industries are rethinking their operational strategy. In India, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG), healthcare, and construction are leading the adoption of a hybrid operating model in comparison with global peers.
    • The distributed workforce environment is reshaping human resources and workforce management. The hire-to-retire process will become completely virtual and autonomous to an extent (ML-based resume screening, virtual on-boarding, remote induction, and virtual employee assessment). Staff-sharing alliances, crowdsourcing of talent, gig economy, and liquid workforce with hybrid roles will emerge.

“More than sixty percent of Indian enterprises are pivoting to new business and delivery models to innovate and generate new revenue streams,” said Avasant’s Principal Analyst Chandrika Dutt. “However, new consumer behavior will determine the evolution of new digital products and services.”

The report offers insights into new drivers of change across customer behavior and workforce transformation. It showcases how the pandemic has created a “new normal” for Indian businesses, forcing them to alter business strategies, digital priorities, and operating models.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of the Reimagining The Enterprise Landscape In India: A New Order Out Of Chaos report.