Akhil Gupta is an industry leader in the field of technology and product development with over 14+ years of experience. In his career he has delivered innovative products for businesses of various scales and using multiple technologies. A particular area of expertise for him lies in building MVPs and growing them into full-blown products that are currently being used by millions of users across many domains. Currently he is heading the technology function at Faballey (faballey.com)
DeviceNext interacted with Mr. Akhil Gupta to know more about why most businesses are struggling to implement technology solutions for better result.
What according to you are the main roadblocks of technology adoption by brands?
The biggest reason a lot of brands are hesitant with introducing new technologies is simply the human nature of trying to maintain the status quo and the fear of the unknown. For most businesses, their processes are defined and seem to be working. The fact that they might be highly inefficient or could be made better is always superseded by “don’t fix what is already working”. This is why most businesses tend to continue to follow their age-old practices and keep training new employees on the same just because they do not want to break out of the familiarity of the existing system.
In my 15+ years as a technology consultant, I have always faced resistance at some scale from the employees wherever the upper management has decided to introduce new technology. Their first instinct is always to try to mold this new technology to conform to their existing processes so that they do not have to step out of their comfort zone. Otherwise, they do not want to take the burden of learning a new thing while they continue to do their day-to-day work. For a lot of them, this seems like extra work which they try to resist.
The actual cost of the introduction of new technology is rarely a deterrent but the implementation is where things get really tricky.
According to you, how technology can help businesses grow in B2B as well as B2C?
Data is the new gold. There is absolutely no business out there that can not generate extremely valuable insights from relevant data and use it to better their business. With the onset of better data manipulation techniques and technologies like AI and machine learning, data is not just records that you maintain for the sake of compliance. Every business, no matter how niche or generics, can now harness the power of data to find the best ways of doing business. This could be in the form of identifying and fixing issues in existing practices or finding new markets for your product to deliver excellent customer service.
The extreme penetration of the internet across the world means that you are no longer geographically limited to specific areas to find customers. With an intelligent online presence and a smart data strategy businesses of every size – from a local grocery store to a multi-million conglomerate – can greatly enhance their business using technology.
If COVID has taught businesses one thing, then that is that they need to speed up their technology adoption and embrace new tools and processes that can make them resilient in tough times likes of which we are seeing right now.
Can you share any use case scenarios which you have implemented?
The best example that I can provide is the implementation of a good quality CRM solution(Customer Relationship Management). No matter what the scale of business is or whether it is B2B or B2C any business that invests in a good quality CRM will always profit from it. And I am not talking about an old-fashioned data entry kind of a CRM tool that was only good for generating reports and sending reminders. I have built and implemented tools that track every single interaction between a client and a business to capture relevant data which can later be processed to generate meaningful and actionable insights. Currently, I am leading technology at Faballey, one of the biggest brands in the women’s apparel domain and the kind of insights we are able to generate from our interactions with our customers on our websites, apps and physical stores is just incredible. We are able to consolidate data from multiple channels and as a result, are able to not only figure out what is working for us and what is but also provide incredible service to our customers.
What are the main technology trends ?
The hottest technology trends today are AI and machine learning. As I mentioned earlier, data is the most valuable asset for any business no matter what its nature of business is. So tools and services which pertain to identifying, capturing, effectively storing, and then eventually processing are really hot right now. Businesses across domains are now working on getting on board this hype train by either building such capabilities in-house or finding experts to help them as consultants. People who are skilled in such skills as Data Science are some of the highest-paid consultants in the current times.
A lot of businesses ramped up their technology adoption due to the COVID-related restrictions but it is important that as now the world slowly moves towards normalcy they do not lose steam and go back to the old ways of doing things. Technology and Data have a lot to give to all businesses and any business that not only wants to stay afloat but also lead will consider technology as a key instrument in their arsenal.