At Salesforce, Arundhati Bhattacharya bullish on new tech, demand

Salesforce is among the first global employers to take the no-layoff pledge owing to Covid-19 crisis. (Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar)
Former SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya (pictured) joined Salesforce to head its India unit at a time when the firm was facing multiple challenges.


On April 1, when she took over as chairman and CEO of the US-based software major, the country was under a lockdown. Business sentiment, too, was quite low. A couple of months later, she is now more optimistic than before regarding the adoption of newer technologies, even though she acknowledges there could be short-term challenges owing to the pandemic.


“In the short term, it is going to be challenging (due to the pandemic). However, the future is very bright in the medium-to-long term. In India, there is huge demand, which will drive growth for Salesforce,” said Bhattacharya.


The veteran banker added that the company would stick to its earlier hiring plans and is planning to come up with new product launches in the banking and insurance segments. “As we have not seen that level of slowdown in demand, there is no reason for not taking in necessary people, at this point of time. Rather, our Hyderabad support unit has received clearance for another 100 staffers. Therefore, it will all depend on the business.”


At present, Salesforce has offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurugram, and Mumbai, with the firm employing more than 2,500 people. The Hyderabad centre, which provides global support to enterprises, is the largest for the company in India.


Salesforce is among the first global employers to take the ‘no lay-off’ pledge, pertaining to Covid-19.


Bhattacharya said that the CRM (customer relationship management) software company has, in the midst of the pandemic, come up with several offerings for enterprises to effectively manage themselves.


One such product has been launched in the health care space, which helps hospitals regulate their patient intake and care.


Deloitte has implemented the Salesforce platform in its healthcare programme for the Odisha government. “It is helping the Odisha government monitor hospitals, hospital supplies, and patient status, among others, through this service.”


In the coming few months, the firm is planning to increase its focus on the banking and insurance space. “Earlier products were more on the NBFC (non-banking financial company) side. Now, we will be definitely looking at the banking and insurance space more closely,” she said.


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