"We look to engage and identify the needs of the country, community, clients, and the needs of our company, and align these 4 Cs to make sure that our goals are aligned,” begins Kumar Subramanian, Senior Vice President, Banking and Financial Services, Sutherland. This briefly defines Sutherland’s focus while setting its foot in new geographies. When the company entered one of its primary market- the Middle East, it followed the same philosophy and created employment opportunities, understanding the needs of the community. The company witnessed an opportunity where using technology, it could make a difference by creating employment for Emirati women. Sutherland identified the local trends and created employment outside the two key growth zones in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The company recognized the clusters of educated, unemployed nationals, largely women who were not keen to move out of their town looking for better jobs. Sutherland leveraged technology to create a secure way for their female employees to participate in the national growth through employing them in various roles. This initiative driven by Sutherland attracted support from a leading commercial bank in Abu Dhabi. The company created a centre of excellence fully staffed by UAE national women, based on two models—where it created work at home and work near home.
By making this possible, Sutherland proved that national women could be as productive as any other expat by doing similar kind of work and it consequently bagged other similar projects where the company created employment prospects for Emirati women. Sutherland, apart from contributing to the society through technological innovations, focuses on streamlining the processes and workflows of its clients by largely focusing on digital transformation. Subramanian believes many organizations while deploying the nationals to perform certain operations, are concerned about the costs they would incur while doing so. To address this concern and bring a balance regarding costs, Sutherland facilitates digital transformation and brings ideas that can help streamline, automate, and improve the customer experience and reduce costs.
Sutherland is a process transformation company that accelerates performance and achieves high-impact outcomes through winning execution strategies across the business and customer lifecycle
“Our company has invested much in design thinking, robotic process automation (RPA), big data analytics, digital transformation, and we have created two innovation labs in London and San Francisco.We use these labs manned by professionals who have experience in AI, customer journey mapping, design thinking, and big data analytics,” adds Subramanian. The concept of innovation labs gives an edge to Sutherland over others in the market. This concept prototypes and helps to fast forward thought processes of organizations on how they would look five years from now and then Sutherland identifies and integrates the portions of those future possibilities into the current line of business. The company helps bring the desired technology to the table and engages with the client in an outcomes-based model where the customers pay for the benefits of the services.
The company carried out a major transformational change for one of its clients—a large bank in Abu Dhabi, which experienced challenges with customer confusion when trying to reach their contact center. They had an IVR and were expecting more calls on the IVR for routine transactions, but customers often contacted a personal banker, resulting in higher transaction costs. Customers also struggled with remembering passwords when prompted by the IVR, causing frustration and a challenging experience. Sutherland partnered with the bank to address this problem and developed a voice biometric solution where a customer could be recognized by their voice, eliminating the need for any password. It helped the bank automate processes to improve the overall customer experience.
Sutherland helps a large client base consisting of banks in the Middle East to transform processes and improve overall operations. The company brings tools that help banks automate the back end processes using RPA. In the Middle East, Sutherland is working closely in introducing several innovative solutions for banking institutions, retail companies, telecommunication players, and healthcare institutions.. On the technology font, Sutherland offers big data analytics capabilities and artificial intelligence to offer their clients new insights to drive their business forward.
Kumar Subramanian strongly believes that the region is going to adopt and adapt to the technological innovations at a faster pace than the other geos. He adds “It is going to revolve around understanding the customer needs and how we leverage technology to bring a digital transformation for our clients in terms of improving the overall customer experience, reduce turnaround time and transaction costs with straight thru processing. An area where we can bring value to banks is in terms of reducing fraud using AI techniques as the world goes more digital. What makes our engagement model attractive for clients is that we believe in outcome based and gain share models. We host technology on the cloud to make it easier for our clients from a near ‘plug-and-play’ experience.”