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“Our CRM tool drastically improved customer experience & service delivery”

Mukesh Mehta, CTO, Batlivala and Karani Securities India Pvt Ltd, discusses developing a complete end-to-end activity tracker and data maintenance system for the entire organisation. 

With over 20 years spent specialising in the India financial markets, Mukesh Mehta is a seasoned professional. His professional tenure has seen him work with a number of reputed organisations including Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd, Flanschenwerk Bebitz GmbH, Kuoni Travel Group, Citi Technology Services, Religare Technova Ltd, Anand Rathi Securities, and Spark Capital Advisors (India) Pvt Ltd. During this time, he has handled several critical projects involving ERP Implementation, setting up HFT and institutional trading platforms, systems integration and optimisation, app-infra planning, systems and process re-engineering, and has expertise in all phases of SDLC. Today, he talks to us about developing a comprehensive CRM tool that has changed the way Batlivala and Karani Securities does business.

Need for a comprehensive CRM tool
“The primary reason behind the implementation was that in spite of the incubation of several verticals within the broking houses by the organisation, especially the equities division, there wasn’t a single platform where research, sales, profits and expenses, and short trading could be integrated. Without it the CRM system we could not integrate telecom and exchange data, among others, into the organisational structure. Thus, the main goal was to bring equity sales, research, corporate expenses, trading, and more under a single platform so as to improve collaboration, productivity, and efficiency of the team. This would also provide greater visibility and transparency of the business functions.

“We started by integrating the telecom and email functions into the internal structure, so that whenever someone is talking to a client, he/she can also stay updated about any changes, developments, and new requirements on a real time basis. This helped improve internal coordination, eliminating the need for the same information being repeated to different employees, and keeps the sales and marketing teams updated on all conversations. Whether the operations involve a single location or multiple locations, people can constantly stay updated and synchronised with the rest of the team, and their colleagues.”

Developing the tool amidst challenges
“My team and I played the key role of integrators as there were a number of external vendors involved. We worked with various third party vendors to handle the exchange data, back office data, telephone data, and pricing data, as well as the exchange of APIs. Managing the different vendors and making sure they were on the same page was a crucial part of our responsibilities. It included overseeing the integration of PBX through a TCP listener, development of Core CRM using SharePoint services, integration of voice over data with other vendors, management of historical data, bulk mail management, and so on.

“Coordinating between multiple vendors and bringing them on to the same page, however, proved to be a major challenge. The telecom vendors, in particular, were difficult to manage, as they generally don’t share their APIs. The other problem was that research publications use their own tools and means of recording data. While they were recording and updating their data on Excel sheets, we needed to make sure that the output was acquired from macros and Excel files, compiled into a readable format, and sent to the organisation’s backend before being published.”

Benefits and future plans
“After the implementation each and every key team member of the institution, including the IE and implementation teams, were aware of the LOB and what was going on in the operational processes. They no longer had to run around gathering internal data or check if there had been any changes or updates. They instead receive the entire data on a single platform, in an organised manner, and are updated on a real time basis. This has also helped improve transparency for the client, who can see the coordination and efficiency in cross base operations. When it comes to CRM it is very difficult to find a way to obtain quantifiable revenue benefits, however, our customer and client servicing improved vastly, which was evident from the feedback received.

“Within the next three to six months, I am planning to focus entirely on the trading platform, and bring some more algorithms to the dealing team, so as to improve executions and reduce the time taken. This will help us discover more opportunities for dealers, explore developments in the industry, and evaluate new players to develop a more solid operational approach.” 

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