BFSI VISION | Human Resources


Parag Arora

Area Vice President & Country Head - India Subcontinent, Citrix Systems

Management Mantra: The Four Promises

Much has been said about the need for organizations to adopt a customer centric approach to business dealings. This applies to every possible scenario, whether in the B2B or B2C landscape. That said, I’ve often found that the concept needs to be defined in a more actionable manner. Something that serves as a guideline for companies that truly wants to adopt the customer centric approach. In keeping with this, I like to define it in the form of promises that companies can make to their clientele. One’s that is a call to action while also being realistic.

The promise of experience
I believe that the future is about experiences and not products and solutions. It is not the products alone that will drive customer relationships forward. Industry understanding coupled with technical expertise make for knowledgeable discussions, but when delivered by great people, they create true engagement providing customers with a unique experience.

The promise of culture
Management gurus say that culture is the behavior of people in a company when no one is watching. It is pure and true – like going beyond the call of duty for the sheer satisfaction it gives. I don’t think that anything cements your position as a customer centric company or leader like the ability to create a culture of service excellence that extends beyond a formal contract. That said, I believe that one also needs to look at this from an internal lens. Ask yourself if you’re doing the same for your people. Good work ethics are as much a product of nurture as it is of nature and people need nurturing even in the work environment.

The promise of leadership
I believe in leadership rather than management – the view that being involved in the business versus overseeing it and its people is critical to the success of a customer centric approach. It means rolling up your sleeves and putting in some elbow grease to get the job done. The objective being to lead by example, but also to be at the frontline when things go wrong. That said, I also believe in the duality of leadership– that the people managing customers directly and are the first point of contact are the real leaders.

The promise of partnership
While all of the above promises are pertinent, I believe the promise of partnership is truly unique – in that – it is more of a two way street than the others. Many vendor companies have spoken of this – the ability to become a part of solving real business problems so as to ingrain yourself with a customer more deeply. Making their problems yours, but I think there are some more grass root tenets that nurture partnership; and it has to come from both sides.

  • Cooperate: While this seems like an ask from the customer, vendors are often as guilty of this too, driven by a template approach and lacking flexibility.
  • Appreciate: The customer’s problems and the vendor’s challenges or limitations. It is when we appreciate the issues on both sides, that partnership becomes truly possible
  • Collaborate: We live in an era of instant gratification where the customer is always king. But the truth is that it is about creating synergies and working as an extension of each other’s teams. It is easier than one thinks because at the end of the day, we’re all on the same side.

I’d love to believe that I can deliver on these promises through the course of my career but the beauty of it is that it is fairly dynamic and almost always a work in progress. I try to live by their spirit and hope that I can leave behind a legacy that will be inspirational for others.