The Silicon Review
“iSON Xperiences has operations in 18 countries globally that align well the time zones of the numerous geographies we serve. We truly are a global organisation, of global citizens servicing global brands.”
iSON Xperiences is a proactive customer engagement and customer experience management provider, partnering with brands to optimise their customer experience, revenue generation, and business process management across the enterprise. With a presence in 18 countries (Pan Africa & India) through 36 delivery centers, it has been managing a few of the world’s most renowned brands. iSON Xperiences combines human efforts with technology to deliver exceptional customer experience with the help of a workforce of over 18000 employees, serving over 50 million customers per month.
Pravin Kumar, GCEO of iSON Xperiences, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how his company is creating valuable and delightful customer experiences.
Q. What was the motivation behind starting iSON Xperiences? How has the journey been for you as the CEO of the company?
Having been part of the few organisations who started third party outsourcing in India in the year 2000 and having seen the impact of job creation across the country, we knew we wanted to create jobs, specifically in countries that have high unemployment rates. While doing so, we saw a great need to bring jobs and IP to people, instead of expecting people to leave their families and homes and relocate to find jobs, often unsuccessfully. Following this model, we were very successful in creating a third party Outsourcing Industry in Sub Saharan Africa in tier 2 cities where people needed them the most
Given our domain expertise and successful track record of adding value, organisations in our target markets saw huge benefits in outsourcing business processes and customer services to iSON. We then established infrastructures where we saw high unemployment and proceeded to recruit, train, and provide workplace experience for people in those areas, servicing customers from all over the world across various industries.
Q. What makes iSON Xperiences relevant in today’s times? Could you give us some context?
Satisfied customers and clients will always be fundamental to any successful business. Companies worldwide are on a constant quest to improve their customer experiences; build stronger customer relationships; to connect with people in a way that truly resonates and delivers on service. As a global leader in Customer Experience Management and Business Process Outsourcing, iSON Xperiences is leading the way in combining human efforts with technology to deliver customer delight in all interactions and on all channels
Q. How is iSON Xperiences challenging the status quo?
We have several differentiators, but our agility and ability to add value has been key to our success. We can scale up or down at speed and meet clients’ business requirements with affordable solutions while strictly adhering to all governance and regulatory requirements of the countries we operate in. Not many other BPO and CX Management organisations are able to respond in the same manner that we can.
Q. What does innovation mean to iSON Xperiences?
We understand that the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption in exponential ways. Customers expect to engage wherever they are, whenever they need, and on whichever platform they choose. This means that we need to be at the forefront of meeting these demands. By combining the rich insights that we gather from each customer interaction, root-cause analysis, business process re-engineering, and CX technology, we strive to keep innovating our strategies and methodologies, providing agile and bespoke solutions to our customers adopting leading digital technologies using omni-channel platform.
Q. How is iSON Xperiences unique? What differentiates you from others in the space?
Being able to provide best-in-class solutions at affordable cost is unique about iSON Xperiences. We are driven to deliver service excellence globally, gathering valuable learnings and disseminating these learnings in the new growth areas. We also have deep domain expertise in industries such as Telecoms, where we service over 60 percent of the African Telecoms market in addition to having credible presence in BFSI, Retail, and eCommerce segments
Q. How do iSON’s core values contribute to its success?
Our values and ethics are sacred. We believe in being open, honest, and transparent in all our dealings with all external or internal stakeholders. Our values drive a set of behaviors by our employees that are centered around service excellence.
Q. Could you tell us about the work culture at iSON Xperiences?
Our key focus is on career growth and the progression of our employees. Over 99 percent of our employees in Africa are citizens of the relevant countries, we operate in, and almost 100% of the supervisors right up to senior management level are identified and developed internally.
To date, we have promoted over 2,000 employees through our robust Internal Jobs Profile program and iSON Young Leader program, ensuring that we upskill and retain staff as much as possible. We care about our people – about their health and wellness, inclusion and diversity, as well as their personal and professional growth.
Q. How was your experience working through the pandemic? Could you tell us about it?
As for many organisations globally, it was a learning curve for us. We went through three phases: Respond, Recover, and now we are in the Thrive phase.
As you can imagine, the implications of moving large workforces to work remotely, often in areas where basic infrastructures such as network connectivity or electricity, were challenging at first, but our IT, HR, and Management teams were phenomenal in their efforts to ensure that our customers experienced no downtime in their services.
We also had to deal with different compliance and Covid-19 regulations across 18 countries, which were constantly changing as different waves of infection reached numerous geographies.
Recruitment and training were all done virtually. In some instances, where remote work was not viable, we ensured that our premises were fully compliant, with regular screening and sanitization, dispersed workspaces, on-site nurses, isolation rooms for those showing symptoms, and constant track and tracing. Once again, our agility saw us through this challenging time.
Q. What does the road ahead look like for iSON Xperiences? Do you plan to expand to new geographies?
Indeed. Having successfully covered over 85% of the economic blueprint of Africa, we plan to continue on our rapid growth trajectory as we expand into new regions such as the UK, parts of Europe and US. We have recently expanded our services to serve the Banking and Financial services industries better. We can now assist our customers on their Digital CX Transformation journeys with bespoke digital solutions.
Our talented and highly skilled workforce is able to serve customers anywhere in the world, in the language of their choice. iSON Xperiences has different operations that can align with the time zones of the countries we serve. We truly are a global organisation, of global citizens servicing global brands.
The Stalwart at the Helm of iSON Xperiences
Pravin Kumar is the Global Chief Executive Officer of iSON Xperiences. He is credited with launching first-of-a-kind, professional Business Process Outsourcing services in the African continent. The journey in Africa started in Nov 2011 when Kumar secured a contact centre outsourcing project from Airtel for setting up greenfield BPO set-ups in 6 African countries in Sub Saharan region. This was the beginning of iSON Xperiences as a BPO company in Africa, and it was started with around 100 local staff and one single centre.
Today as the company peaks, along with a small group of highly motivated and passionate leadership team, Pravin Kumar has grown the company to 18000+ employees, with 36 state-of-the-art contact centres delivering world-class customer experience, serving over 500 million customers worldwide. With over 50 marquee clients, these reputable Telecoms, BFSI, Retail, eCommerce, DTH, and ISP brands rely on iSON and its leadership team to deliver exceptional customer service and grow their market leadership in geographies they operate.
He is credited with the creation of the “Mobilink” paging brand in India. In 2002, he was shortlisted for the Ernst & Young Manager of the year award.
Mr. Kumar has completed MBA in Finance, Advertising & Sales from BITS Pilani. He was the first President of the Indian Paging Services Association and an active member of the Telecom Committee of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).