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Interview with Deepak Mittal, CEO & Co-Founder of TO THE NEW on Digital Transformation

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Pradeep Chopra – CEO at Digital Vidya

Digital Transformation is everywhere. Taking a look at any process in any given industry, things are changing and digits are being invoked to make the processes more and more efficient. This transformation has permeated the Marketing department too. From responsive websites to public relations via the social media, digital is the way to go.

While Digital Transformation impacts processes, it has a significant impact on brands too. I caught up with Deepak Mittal, an old friend who happens to be an expert in the field, someone with whom I took my engineering classes in IIT-Delhi to know about this new shift. Let’s tune in directly to what he said about the phenomenon of Digital Transformation.

Deepak Mittal is the CEO and Co-founder of TO THE NEW formally known as IntelliGrape Software Private Limited, an Agile based software development company that leverages cutting-edge technologies to develop business critical web and mobile applications.

He spearheads the creation and execution of the overall business strategy for TO THE NEW; and loves being close to technology & action. He is actively involved in technology and delivery related aspects of TO THE NEW.

Deepak graduated from IIT Delhi in 1999, and co-founded IntelliGrape/TO THE NEW in 2008. They have successfully accelerated & transformed the businesses of more than 200 companies including Fortune 500 companies as well as Silicon Valley startups across the world.

During last few years, they have rapidly grown from a niche technology player to a full-service digital transformation and product engineering company. TO THE NEW has also won several Awards including Great Place To Work Award in 2017 and Excellence in Digital Transformation Award by DataQuest.

What do you do at TO THE NEW? What is the main thing that sets you apart from your competitors?

Deepak Mittal: TO THE NEW is a premium digital technology company that provides end-to-end product engineering services. We build disruptive web and mobile products with a design-led approach. We cover the entire gamut of product engineering including Experience Design, web & mobile development, Cloud, DevOps, Big Data, Automation Testing and Infrastructure Managed Services.

In my role as a CEO, I guide the technology teams to deliver high-quality software in an offshore model. We constantly work on exploring new technologies and building capabilities around them. I strongly believe in Innovation & R&D and have started several initiatives in this space. We are currently working on exploring technologies such as AI, IoT, Machine Learning,  etc. and have recently launched our offerings in Blockchain. 

There are multiple factors that differentiate us including our DNA, our expertise in digital technologies, our lean and agile mindset and a continuous learning approach. The DNA of our Product Engineering services include design-led engineering, CICD led processes, automation testing and Microservice driven architecture. This backed by strong agile practices, help us build high performing products faster. We also have expertise in cutting-edge web, mobile, cloud technologies, such as Spring, Grails, SprintBoot, Node.js, React, Angular, AWS, MongoDB, AEM, Drupal, iOS, Swift and Android. 

Digital Transformation is a Buzzword today. What exactly does it mean and how is it shaping the way in which businesses operate?

Deepak Mittal: Experts have tried to describe Digital Transformation in various ways. In simple terms, leveraging digital technologies to transform 4 pillars of enterprises –

1.) Customers who look for omni-channel and personalized experience

2.) Employees who look for information which is available anywhere, anytime

3.) Partners who demand transparent process and

4.) Innovation for cost-effective business models in Digital Transformation.

Digital Transformation is no longer just a buzzword, it’s the continuous innovation in technology over the years which as impacted the overall business ecosystem. The impact of digital transformation is such that it has completely altered the way businesses operate.

Traditional businesses were delivering experience through people such as the customer service agents and branch representatives. With the advancement in technologies and increase in competition, companies had to launch products faster and provide experience across different channels, both online and offline.

The modern outlook is now focusing on innovation, value creation, and platforms, among others. In a nutshell, everything centered around delivering a seamless and unique customer experience.

The modern outlook towards business model transformation also emphasizes on personalization, velocity, data, analytics, artificial intelligence, cloud, mobility, and multiple other technologies aspects that in turn generate higher value and retain customers. Moreover, unlike traditional legacy IT infrastructure to deliver product to end customers, modern businesses actively leverage microservices. DevOps, Cloud to enable continuous delivery and seamless experience to customers.

These are just some ways in which digital transformation is reshaping businesses.

What is your advice to businesses that are reluctant to change, or perhaps they want to change but are not able to pave a pathway to change?

Deepak Mittal: Today, it’s all about disrupting or being disrupted.

We live in a continuously evolving universe where technology has become the new mainstream. This evolution has changed the way customers interact with a brand and make purchasing decisions.

With an easy access to technology and digital channels, customers prefer to consume information, purchase and provide feedback online. Businesses have started to resonate with this change in the consumer behaviour and acknowledge the need to digitally upscale and transform their business.

Only enterprises that are able to leverage new technologies to digitize and disrupt business models would truly survive or else will be replaced by new age digital startups. What organizations actually need is the flexibility and adaptability towards new age digital technologies to successfully implement digitization.

While the journey to Digital Transformation can be challenging, it is a for sure way to stay ahead of the competition.

Digital Disruption and Marketing 

It is said that marketers have been the foremost in accepting the trend. Is it true and how?

Deepak Mittal: Yes, this is true to some extent. Over the last few years, we have seen the overall marketing across industries evolving for a simple reason because the customer now has changed. The customer is more tech-savvy and digitally enabled, unless enterprises be there where the customers are they won’t survive. So, for marketers worldwide, it was not actually a choice but a necessity to witch from traditional ways of marketing to a more digitally enabled marketing model.

The advent of innovations in Social, Mobile, Big Data, Analytics and Network connectivity has led to a drastic evolution as these emerging technologies act as a catalyst to the ovrall marketing spectrum.

Why is it necessary for a business to design its customer experience? How do you see it evolving in the future?

Deepak Mittal: Oracle’s Global Insights surveyed 1,300 senior executives and estimated that their company’s potential revenue loss for not offering a positive, consistent, and brand-relevant customer experience is 20% of annual revenue or $400 million for a $2 billion company. Another top research firm Forrester’s stated in its “The Revenue Impact of Customer Experience” report that just a one-point gain in the Customer Experience Index is found to be worth $175million in additional revenue to a wireless provider, $118 million to a luxury automaker, and $65 million to an upscale hotel chain.

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Looking at these staggering figures, no doubt that designing a product or a service with an aim to deliver great customer experience should be the top priority for the enterprises today. Customers are taking full control of how they want to interact with a brand and on which touchpoint. They want to have access to information across channels and at all the times. Moreover, this will further evolvewith the innovations in the space of AR/VR, Machine Learning, IoT and connected devices. These new technologies would further open new opportunities for businesses to transform themselves to cater to evolving customer experience requirements. We would see more advanced products and services being launched leveraging these technologies.

Can you share something about your best stint at helping clients with Digital Transformation?

Deepak Mittal: One of the biggest distributors of Cloud services, Westcon, conceived a new business model to sell Cloud services through online. We built a global online marketplace to simplify ordering, delivery and management of cloud services. This is an on-going engagement. We have worked across the spectrum covering design (UI/UX)., Java, MEAN, Cloud & DevOps, AEM, QA and managed services. We have been working on this platform for last 1.5 years and went live in 6 months after started working on it.

What are the kind of risks that can come along with the process and how to you advice Mid-Sized companies to tackle them?

Deepak Mittal: Digital Transformation is no way easy. Succesful transformation comes with multiple challenges. Some of the common challenges that impede the organization from taking advantage of digital trends are lack of an overall strategy, lack of organizational agility, insufficient technical skills, lack of entrepreneurial spirit, willingness to take risks, lack of collaborative and sharing culture, and legislative and legal constraints.

To tackle these challenges, it is imperative to have an exhaustive and overall digital strategy. Moreover, it would require a lot of flexibility and adaptability to accept the change and embrace it.

What can businesses do today in order to be prepared for the disruptions that they are likely to see from technology?

Deepak Mittal: What businesses need is a strategic roadmap for implementing technology that can transform the businesses. Placing the customer at the heart of transformation they would have to understand different touchpoints of a customer buying cycle and connect data points to understand and visualize customer behavioural patterns and integrate user experiences across multiple channels to provide a superior, contextual experience.

Business largely would have to consider moving away legacy systems and investing in IT modernization and Cloud technology, creating a great user experience, leveraging big data and analytics to gauge customer behaviour, implement high-end security practices leveraging blockchain etc. to stay head and survive. 

Predictions and Advice

We all know that this is a continuously evolving landscape, how do you keep yourself abreast with the latest in the space?

Deepak Mittal: There are multiple game-changing technologies such as Blockchain, IoT, AI, ML, AR and VR that are reshaping industries and transforming businesses. Augmented reality is already having multiple use cases in retail enabling customers to try products virtually. Data and analytics as we all know are main pillars of superior customer experience. Companies are using predictive algorithms, recommendation engines, filters and much more to segment data for a personalized experience.

In order to keep ourselves updated with latest in the market, we have strongly imbibed the culture of learning and knowledge sharing. Moreover, our research and development labs are constantly working on new technologies and learning to build capabilities around it.

Moreover, we have also partnered with couple of premier education institutes to impart training on digital technologies with two-fold objectives – preparing students for digital transformation and also increase our pool of candidates who can fit into our hiring needs.

What is your advice to newbies who desire to enter the Digital Marketing Industry?

Deepak Mittal: With technology, marketing has become highly advanced and complex. There are numerous and endless ways in which a product can be marked to a customer today. To make this even more complex the customer dynamics have changed causing your target audience to be at various channels and places further leading to marketing becoming even more complex.

In this crazy scenario, my advice to newbies is that while they should consider having an in-depth unerstanding of each and every aspect of marketing, be it email, content marketing, social media, AdWords, SEO, analytics, etc. they should consider gaining expertize only in few areas of their interest.

Moreover, they would have to keep themselves abreast with latest trends and technologies and would have continuously updates their skillset to keep pace with the changing ecosystem. 

Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Deepak Mittal: 

I believe you are already touching the niche of the market and today every organization is on lookout for great talent in the field of digital marketing and technology. You guys are doing a great job in providing organization with great talent and at the same time helping right talent to find their right place.

To know more about Deepak Mittal, you can check out his LinkedIn profile.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

[CEO, Digital Vidya]
Among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, Pradeep has been part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for last 17 years and is currently a Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya, a leading Digital Marketing, and Big Data & Data Analytics training company.

A graduate of IIT Delhi and a recipient of Adobe Content100, Pradeep is one of the most sought-after international speakers in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

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