CxO of the Week: Vikas Bhonsle, CEO – Crayon Software Experts

By : |November 4, 2020 0

CxO of the Week: Businesses seek to recover and respond to a changing environment in the wake of COVID-19. IT leaders are in-depth analyzing the challenges and opportunities. In conversation with CiOL (on CxO of the Week), Vikas Bhonsle, CEO Crayon Software Experts talked about how he is coping up with the pandemic. He also outlines how business must rise above disruption and reimagine digital transformation in the current scenario.

1. How is Covid-19 impacting the business? How is Crayon dealing with the situation?

COVID has definitely made a dent in the business goals this year, be it IT or non-IT entities. We share the same pain, and yet despite this global situation, we at Crayon have had a very productive time. We went ahead and initiated our partner conference, events; went about our routine activities; whatever we could manage in a virtual mode.

This year, we saw multiple honours and achievements, starting from being recognized as Microsoft FastTrack Ready Partner, an honour for a limited number of partners worldwide to having both Crayon and its subsidiary Anglepoint being positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in Gartner Magic Quadrant for SAM Managed Services.

This year in August, we also announced our Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Amazon Web Services and later our Partnership with Check Point Software Technologies to meet Enterprise Cloud Security Needs in India. Earlier in September, we were humbled to be awarded as the “Great Place to Work 2020” in the Small and Mid-Size category, by the prestigious, internationally acclaimed Great Place to Work Institute, India as well as getting selected & featured as one of Super Brands in the 09th edition of the prestigious Var India Brand Book.

Given the COVID situation, we also came into a partnership with Health Pasture to assist businesses to implement practices, conduct hazard assessments, educate their staff and create a surveillance culture using the Ibhar EHS-Q solution.

We are extremely lucky that despite global setbacks and unrest, we at Crayon have been tremendously busy improving our solutions and our business. I am once again thankful to our customers, partners and colleagues for being extremely supportive and for not giving up on Crayon.

2. What are the marketing plans Crayon will be taking up with the New Normal happening?

A strong current of changes in the market is apparent in the given situation. And yes, we have always evolved with the changing times – From the way we operate to the way we communicate personally or professionally.

Right now, it is more about selling solutions and bringing the same to our customers that will solve their immediate challenges. We have been rigorous with our marketing and messaging activities. Digital transformation and adapting to the new normal is what we are focusing on.

Our tools to carry that messaging includes our seamless Customer & Partner Communication, Lead Nurturing, Digital Marketing, SMM, Virtual Forums, Content Curation, Website, SEO, Events, GTM with Alliances, PR & Corp Communication, Media led initiatives, CSR Initiatives etc.

3. What were some of the things you miss while working from home? How did you maximize your productivity while working from home?

This generation of ours was never prepared for a day to come when we pack-up our PCs  sit at home to work like it is something usual. What I miss most without the usual workplace atmosphere, is the serendipity that results when one’s teammates work together; ideas and knowledge sharing over conversations and the combustion of creativity.

I gave the maximum emphasis on getting organized and being mindful of creating boundaries. The balance between work and personal life which is the key to efficient WFH strategy. Work will never end, and there is always a mail to reply and an approval to send, however, bringing in maximum discipline is the key to a healthy and productive WFH strategy, which I tried cultivating the most.

4. How are you personally dealing with the pandemic? Are there any new activities that you picked?

As many of our daily routines remain restricted during the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise. With the challenges of WFH and limited access to fitness facilities and me being an outside person, well I did find it hard to stick to a home workout routine.

I have been also missing the camaraderie of cricket friends, the long walks and fresh air… but life has to go on, I found newer ways to fitness. Yoga and strength training is something, which I picked up on the go. And I can tell you that I have never felt so fit before.

5. What are the 4 or 5 main things that companies who are pushing towards digital transformation post-Pandemic should know?

I believe that a few key aspects are always important for organizations to consider while transiting to digital-only infrastructure. Firstly, the financial plan in which any business planning to embrace digitization must calculate the total allocation. They must understand what they are actually seeking at the end. This will also help them understand their priorities.

In the current climate, to be easily short-sighted or too far-sighted regarding such investments is only natural, but you need to plan for the upcoming months, quarters, and years. Organizations must allocate funds to react appropriately to upcoming scenarios. The strategy for digitization must be for the long term. So, it is advisable to choose carefully before investing in digital tools.

6. With the ongoing pandemic situation in the country, how do you see the market evolving in terms of data security?

It is disappointing but a fact that Indian organizations are still gambling with their data resources; by not having any stringent data security policies applied to their networks and devices. This is worse given today, where we are already in a vulnerable position while dealing with WFH and when personal devices are getting access to company networks and data. With the rise in employees working from home, it has forced enterprises to migrate to cloud services almost overnight.

In this rapid rush, enterprises have overlooked many security best practices. Cloud services like enterprise chat rooms, online office suites and drives are seeing widespread use nowadays; mainly for file sharing and communication. This creates novel problems since workers are still using more unsecure devices that are lacking the latest security updates and patches. Therefore, with work from home becoming the new normal, cybersecurity strategies need to get sharper, stronger and more relevant.

7. How does technology change now in the IT estate, post-Covid19?

We are still not at a Post-COVID zone yet, and this will continue for some time seemingly. From what we gather especially as a digital transformation service provider it is the time when every individual who felt the upheaval from this ongoing pandemic must upgrade their online behaviour. Frequency of using digital services and platforms is on a rise.

This itself will give a push to further enhancement and upgrading of technologies. We will now see the once apprehended AI and Robotics becoming mainstream. They are slowly getting into our workplaces, our homes, public spots and everywhere around us. Sceptics and cynics of these technologies will not be able to stop them from becoming regular in the new normal. The next wait is only for the full application of the 5G spectrum. It will be the biggest game-changer in the field of technology.

For previous CxO of the Week, read here.

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