July 4, 2011

Internal Marketing in ITES in India

India has seen considerable growth in the service sector particularly the ITES during the past couple of decades. The growth of this sector has slowed down due to many reasons external to the Indian economy. But there have been major internal challenges too. One such impediment internal to an organization is the lack of Internal Marketing.

The first waves of ITES companies were closely aligned with their global partners therefore it was easy to bring in systems, processes & practices that have been followed in the global context. The market was agog with their employee friendly policies and five star office spaces. Therefore talented people never stopped looking for such organizations. The scene has changed a lot.

Just a causal walk into any IT park in India would apprise you of empty spaces that were once buzzing with youthful activity. What has gone wrong with India’s ITES dream? The answer is pretty dumb. Once Indian managements took over such facilities they turned it into what they knew best, a product centric approach to business rather than the understated intensity of the service management.

The scaling down of quality, due to several business and other considerations has affected the delivery process so crucial to the ITES enterprise. Internal marketing have been ignored or forgotten. Training & development have been reduced to mere ceremonies. Once the delivery quality suffered it was normal for the client to change the vendor leading to weak financial performance.

Business organizations in service sector have to leave the HR policies hardened over the product marketing fire in a closed market. Internal marketing & quality of the internal customers would be the only two crucial parameters of success of a company in Education, Hospitality, ITES, Energy & Telecom domain. Investment in the internal customers & their quality must go up as they only determine the delivery.

A service company must not live on the old fashioned adage of ‘organization is bigger than an individual’ and allow its great people leave them for greener pastures. No HR policies must restrain a service organization to pamper their stars performers for the elusive search of team building. You would have bigger team if you are successful, that would be a consequence of an inspired leadership of an individual. Teams are great but greater are your talented people. How would you rate the success of Apple computers without maverick Chief Steve jobs? Therefore it’s good to have HR policies that recognize & reward the talent. If your operations are global then it pays to play by global rules.

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