Aparna Saraf: The Transformation Master | Tech Mahindra

Aparna Saraf: The Transformation Master

Not giving up in the face of adversity is a lesson that has been taught to us since childhood. While reaching for the sky, one must overcome the hurdles to make success happen. Embodying the same spirit of never giving up despite difficult challenges is Aparna Saraf, a Solution Architect in Mexico. Aparna deftly navigates through obstacles and converts them into opportunities for growth.

Her biggest impact yet comes from the inspiring work she did for a Tier-1 Mexican telco. Aparna was tasked with not just changing the perception of the customer but also making the impossible happen with their underperforming self-care app.

We sat down with Aparna to understand how she overcame such challenges and elevated the customers in the eyes of their end users.

The Woes of Traditional Processes

The customer’s problems stemmed from the lack of digital transformation. Their traditional way of carrying out customer orders and processing was holding them back from gaining a competitive edge in the market. Their back-end systems did not support their digital transformation journey as they were not open-ended and lacked APIs. So, whatever modernization they might have done on the front end, since their back end did not support it, it wasn’t going through. Their delivery timing was also hit in the process, with them taking 15 days even during COVID, when the demand for deliveries was extremely high.

This had also impacted their self-care app, which had an immensely low rating of 1.7 out of 5, the lowest in the market. The app had a lackluster look and poor performance. This also resulted in extra expenditure as they had to tend to the unhappy customers via call centers or physical stores.

Winning the Project

Aparna truly believed that her team had the ability to pull off this digital transformation and change the way the app worked. Aparna had to fight for the opportunity to take on this massive challenge. And even though the project had already been awarded to a different company, through an outstanding POC that took just 3 weeks, she impressed the customer enough to completely take over the reins of the project.

Now with all eyes on her, she focused on implementing BlueMarble solutions in all her customer's channels to facilitate the much-needed digital transformation and provide a more efficient, faster, and better customer experience. Also, with her extensive knowledge of the back-end systems, she was able to completely revamp the look and feel of the app using Tech Mahindra’s own MobiLytix™ solutions. To improve the performance of the app, she created an architecture that implemented APIs and local catalogs. She also ensured that the catalog was in a synchronised offline mode. This meant that they didn’t have to go online when the customer was there. So, she created very little dependency on the backend system so that the online performance got better.

Changing the Customer’s Market Perception

Her efforts finally bore fruit, and the updated version of the self-care app was a hit! The customer ratings rose from 1.7 to an incredible 4.8, the highest in the industry. Earlier, end-users used to pay through the convenience store, which meant the customer had to pay interest to the store, additional bank charges, and more. But now that customers were paying mainly through the app, these additional expenditures reduced significantly.

With a rise in app usage came a heightened chance of upselling products and services. It became much easier to pitch more services and products based on the end-user’s usage, segment, location, and more. A much faster and smoother app makes the end-user purchase more such services. This has paved the way to earn higher revenues for the customer with a much better CSAT.

Advice for Rising Techies

Aparna believes that customer experience will remain a key factor in the future of IT. So, modernization, time-to-market, time-to-delivery, and innovation will be the primary focus for the industry.

She also has valuable advice for all the new techies.

“When you have the combination of a problem-solving mindset and hard work, nobody can stop you.”