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IBM Eyeing Telecom, Financial Sectors for Growth in India

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From left, Sunil Jose, senior vice president and country leader, Salesforce; IBM Senior Vice President Global Business Services Mark Foster; and Lula Mohanty, managing partner, Global Business Services IBM, at 'Think Forum' in Mumbai. (IANS photo)

MUMBAI — When it comes to digital transformation, sectors such as banking, financial services and insurance, and telecom, will become India’s growth engines IBM is ready to meet the technology requirements, a top company executive has said.

"The biggest growth for us is going to come from the financial services. We are going to consolidate telco and look at new revenue streams because telco is an industry that is turning on its head. There's going to be a lot of conversations around integrated telcos which is getting into network domains," Lula Mohanty, managing partner, IBM Global Business Services, told IANS in an interview.

IBM organized a two-day "The THINK Forum" here Feb. 12-13 attended by senior IBM and key business leaders from across the country who discussed the future of the business and technologies that will shape the economy and society.

"The third vertical which we are very interested in is what's going on in the domain of the retail industry in terms of Internet of Things platforms as a service on products," she noted.

When it comes to skilling and preparing a workforce for new-age technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, big data and IoT, IBM is working with various state governments via skill development centers.

"We are also in talks with NITI Aayog and other learning and development organizations to understand what is the platform that we can put in place to skill more people," Mohanty told IANS.

IBM recently announced a collaboration with the Telecom Sector Skill Council to spur emerging technology skills in the domestic telecom industry.

IBM's student developers' program – a career education pathway – that infuses software capabilities that are industry-specific and market-relevant has helped more than 24,000 students and faculty members develop industry-relevant software capabilities.

Present in India since 1951, IBM India has expanded its operations with regional headquarters in Bengaluru and offices across 20 cities.

With the aim to help Indian enterprises deliver next-generation consumer experiences, global consulting agency Bluewolf, an IBM company, also announced a new practice in the country with "Salesforce," a global leader in the customer relationship management solutions.

The dedicated practice will leverage Bluewolf's expertise and delivery capabilities in augmented reality and innovation strategy – combined with IBM's leadership in cognitive and design-thinking with "Watson" – to help clients connect customer experience to value.

IBM currently manages 100-200 customers for Salesforce in India and expects the number to grow significantly in the coming years as enterprises and government agencies begin riding on digital transformation initiatives.

"India is one of the highest-growth markets for Salesforce," said Sunil Jose, senior vice president and country leader, Salesforce India.

"We will continue to double our investments in the country. We welcomed our 1,000th employee in India in November last year. We will hire 1,000 more employees in Hyderabad alone by 2020," Jose told IANS.

"We already have a strong base in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi. India is the market that is continuously growing for us," Jose added.

Highlighting the strategy for the country, he said: "To drive business value, success and growth for its customers, Salesforce will focus on customer-centric digital transformation."

The CRM solutions provider also has a "Center of Excellence" in Hyderabad, the company’s first major center in India.

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